Iraqi resistance literature

September 12, 2008

Dr Ziad Mouna of Cadmus Press just sent me some information in Arabic about a new book of short stories that Cadmus is publishing by an Iraqi writer, Kulshan al-Bayati.   The book’s title translates as “Ravings Under Occupation.”

Here’s a translation of the book’s back cover into English:

Occupation is an ugly crime that pushes a person to madness, ravings, and chatter; one is transformed by it into otherness, into a different being.

Under occupation, people rave in an unnatural way, chatter unnaturally, and behave differently, expressing their rejection of the invasion and its inhuman, immoral outcomes.

When Baghdad fell under invasion, Baghdad itself raved, its people raved as had never before been seen in the history of mental illnesses that have afflicted them…

Ravings Under Occupation is a literary work that brings together a collection of the ravings of people both aware and unaware. They rave under the effect of the occupation: ravings of the Iraqi resistance fighter who fights the occupation to the teeth; ravings of the lowliest agent who despises himself; ravings of those who were murdered mistakenly; ravings of women mourning the loss of their children and husbands; ravings of a poet who lost his verse; ravings of the lovers whose right to love in their homeland was crucified; ravings of the chief coroner in Baghdad who cannot halt the dead piling up in morgue refrigerators; ravings of the killed and the killers; ravings of the martyrs before their lord; ravings of the Caliphs of Baghdad and their women, one after the other; ravings of her [Baghdad’s] scholars and intellectuals; ravings of her idiots and simpletons. Read the rest of this entry »

Miss Headscarf 2008

September 5, 2008

The first Miss Headscarf contest was judged a couple of months ago in Copenhagen, Denmark. The organisers developed the idea in response to the recent controversy surrounding the Mohammed cartoons and ensuing debates on the appropriateness of Muslim women’s headscarves in Denmark. (Entrants don’t have to be Muslim; anyone can enter by submitting a photo of themselves wearing a headscarf). The contest organisers see MIss Headscarf 2008 as a way to give a much-needed visibility to the views of “all the Muslim women who are seldom heard in the debate.” As one of the contestants said, “it’s about the time the media talked to us, and not about us all the time.” (

Read the rest of this entry »

An on-the-ground view of Baghdad’s slums

June 17, 2008

Nir Rosen has written a fascinating piece called “Life Under Muqtada: Inside Baghdad’s Shiite Slums,” posted to AlterNet.

Event: Iraq Never Again Conference at Sydney Uni

March 31, 2008

Below is information on an upcoming conference at the University of Sydney.  Khaldoun’s very own Noah Bassil will be one of the speakers.

Iraq Never Again:Ending War, Building Peace

The assumption by leaders that violence is a way to obtain resources and even to promote democracy has contributed to the catastrophe of Iraq. Running parallel to this age old reliance on militarism is the inability of leaders to plan for a just peace. This conference will examine the non violence policy alternative to war, the human costs of Iraq and the humanitarian means of security. In Iraq and elsewhere, only these alternatives promise a more peaceful and joyful future.

In addition to marking the 5th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, this conference will celebrate the 20th birthday of
Sydney University’s Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies and the 25th anniversary of the launch of the international Peace Boat. Read the rest of this entry »