Monkey Business 4

I for one would like to devolve back into a monkey. Given how people have been behaving all over the world, the monkeys seem rather civilized. So I went and tried to join a monkey colony in Zimbabwe, I tried my best to fit in. But despite my best efforts to learn my ho ho ha ha and picking fleece off my brothers and sisters fur, the monkeys faced me with the hard truth and that is that I didn’t fit in. My monkey comrades were very gentle and sensitive in how they broke the news to me. They acknowledged my hard work and said they were impressed with how close I came to joining their monkey business. Several of the colony members told me that they never felt as close to human as they felt with me. However, a white woman hanging out with monkeys in Africa was causing both the media and the locals to notice the colony and the monkeys were afraid that soon the poachers would follow and that would be the end of their existence. But before we parted, the monkeys left with this single message to convey to the rest of the human race. “Please don’t compare yourselves to the monkeys” they asked me to tell everybody. “It insults us when you call somebody a monkey, especially when most of you are not evolved enough for rudimentary basic existence of a monkey”. I parted with the monkey business with tears in my eyes, but then being determined tough Iraqi girl, I decide not to give up and I tried to join a donkey colony in Estonia instead.

The donkeys didn’t mind me hanging out with them but they were exhausted with my need to constantly express my feelings. It turns out the donkeys are practical animals and they waste no time on expressing things unless it pertains to their existence, like where to find food and how to procreate. So again very gently they asked to leave them and join another species more suitable to my obsessive desire to express myself. My monkey business was unsuitable for donkey life. The chief donkey also asked me to tell the human race not to compare themselves to the donkeys since again most of us don’t have what it takes to be a donkey.

My attempts at joining a snake colony in Australia was short lived. The snakes mostly ignored me while I slithered around with them, but I found wiggling around on my tummy as my main form of movement unsuitable for my physical form. Monkey business got foiled with rashes all over my body.

As a child I always loved the show Tarzan, the man raised by monkeys that spends his days swinging from tree to tree, beating his chest and screaming his signature AhhhhAaaaaaahaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaahAAAAAAAA. A fine example of a man successful at monkey business. However I learned that reality does not mimic the rosy American television shows. Maybe if I was raised by the monkeys from childhood things would have turned different. For better or worse I was raised by that mysterious group that is loosely called Humans. So I guess they are stuck with me and I am stuck with them. Should I give up the monkey business?

My physiatrist says that I need to accept reality and come to terms with my human limitations. That my monkey business is delusional. But I keep telling him that other people have managed to transform themselves to monsters, so why can’t I be a monkey, is that so much to ask for. But those Canadian doctors just don’t understand. They lack imagination and don’t believe in miracles.

I miss the good old days, about two years ago. Every week we would phone family back in Baghdad and they would always complain about the electricity and water shortages. These days I dread the weekly phone call, because they stopped complaining. The electricity and water didn’t get better, but they just got used to it. Now they have much bigger things to worry about. They are afraid to go out of the house, they are afraid to stay in the house, they afraid for their lives everyday. The worse part is that they stopped complaining. There is just quiet desperation in their voices, they tell us without emotion about the people killed and places bombed and road blocks and other horrors, but they say it in a matter of fact, like it has become normal.

Recently, my husband became a big fan of the Indian movie director Deepa Mehta. Ok! try to forget everything you know about Indian movies, this is a serious movie director who makes movies about real life issues in India. Coincidently she has been living in Canada for the last 20 years. My husband keeps renting her movies which are very well made but painful to watch since they deal with real life issues and frequently don’t have a happy ending. The most painful one was Earth. A movie about the breakup of Pakistan away from India. It focuses on a circle of friends, who are mixed (Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and Parsi). In the course of the movie you see friends seeking each other’s blood for revenge based on their race and not their individual actions. The few moderate ones who try hard to relate in human way and refuse to choose sides are labeled as traitors and end up paying the ultimate price.

I groaned in pain as I watched this movie. Mainly because I knew that I was watching the human dynamic of what is happening inside Iraq right now. I should take some comfort that we are not the only nation on earth to be facing this hardship, but still it is hard to bare.

So we all read about the study that estimates that the Iraqi death in the last three years is at 660,000. Some say that number is too high and others say it is too low. I don’t know how accurate it is. What I do now is that every single day I hear on the news about more Iraqi people dieing, everyday there are bombs, deaths, assassinations and abductions. All I know from the contacts that I have with people inside Iraq that life has become hell and unbearable right now. So people are asking was the war worth it? Was it better than under Saddam or worse? It seems from people living inside Iraq that the situation today is worse, however it was pretty awful before as well. Compared to horrid situation in Iraq before it would have been so easy to create something at least marginally better, but only the geniuses at the white house could have messed thing up even worse than Saddam rule. The American administration and the American people must be held accountable for their own actions and their mistakes.

“I hated Iraqis” said American soldier, James Parker, when asked to explain why he raped a 14 year old Iraqi girl and killed her and her family while serving in Iraq.

“US out of Iraq” say the anti-war crowd. But not a single word about what would happen to the Iraqi population in the aftermath of complete troops withdrawal. Since non of the peaceniks are planning a move to Iraq, I suppose the consequences of what they advocate
on the local population doesn’t matter as long as they prove that they were right and the US administration was wrong.

“We must stay the course in Iraq” is a frequent proclamation from the white house. Not a single acknowledgement that the “course” has been an absolute disaster creating the unimaginable “worse-that Saddam” life for the average Iraqi person actually living in
Iraq. I haven’t heard a single word of accountability or a plan of some sort that would indicate that the people in the white house have the slightest concern of the daily loss of innocent Iraqi life.

Iraq is bleeding. A very rough ride is ahead of all those living in the country. Not a day goes by without news of deaths and atrocities. Left, right, democrats, republicans and psychopath American soldiers alike, nobody seems to consider the impact of their
actions on those living the reality. Is there a single person in the whole US that is willing to show leadership, leave ideology aside and put forwards a plan or a suggestion with the Iraqi citizen in mind?

However, let us not fool ourselves into this easy and comfortable US is the source of all evil. It is not the fault of the American army that Shea’a are killing Sunnis and Sunnis are killing Shea’a. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter whose fault it is and trying to figure our what was better, before or after Saddam. Both are awful. Let us try to figure out what to do about it now. Here we are in this mess. The question we should be asking is “What can we do about it?”. Is there any constructive action we can take as concerned citizens that does not entail loss of human life? If somebody has a suggestion, I would love to hear it. With or without monkey business.

From 786 to 1492, in Andalucía, Spain, there was a time when three cultures– Islamic, Judaic and Christian–forged a relatively stable (though occasionally contentious) coexistence. Among the weeping fountains, breezy courtyards a long-running tolerance erupted profoundly rooted in the cultivation of the complexities, charms and challenges of contradictions. Through the interplay of all these cultures produced music so intensely beautiful that it takes my breath away and gives me goose bumps each time I hear it.


We know it can be done, we know it can be achieved. This is not a dream but a reality.

Tolerence, Respect for human life, acceptance of the other
In our culture and history, been done once before, it can be done again.

We study how those managed to achieve it in Spain or we can study the behavior of the monkeys. Who resolve their conflicts in far more peaceful ways than we do.

One day the miracle will happen and we will no longer look at each other for terms to exclude each other from the tribe based on labels or characteristics. Ba’athist, Pro Occupation, Anti Freedom, Not a real Iraqi. But we will look at each other and see terms of inclusion.

Mokey wannabe ihath …. ho ho ho ha ha ha.

Monkey business out.

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