Saturday, January 29, 2005

"Neurotic Iraqi Wife" casts her vote

I'm holding my breath, watching the progress of the vote in Iraq. For obvious reasons, I am drawn to the blog of "Neurotic Iraqi Wife," who describes her first experience at the polls:
Wow what a day, a pretty sureal one. The first day of voting was today for all Iraqis living outside, and I believe that in my city alone, more than half the registrants that registered between the 17th-25th came to vote today. A big factor, I think was that today is a Friday(a public holiday),the equivalent of a Sunday in the west.

I stood there at 650 am, waiting to be ushered in at 7. I smoked 2 cigarettes to pass the time. The clock struck 7 and I brisk walked to my station as to be the first voter, but HEYYYYYYY,a colleague of mine cheated and didnt bother to stand in the queue. Instead he entered the area as a staff member and stood at the station pretending to read things off the wall. Grrrrrrrrr. I was fuming. I couldnt believe it. I coulda easily done the same, but I wanted to do it the right way. the excuse he bloody gave me"You were the first registrant, you cant be the first voter as well". I kept pushing him,lol (can u imagine the scene). Two grown ups fighting for who to be first in line, then out of the blue,a young polling staff member said I wanna be first. I looked into his eyes, and saw the excitement in them. I couldnt but let him go before me(and ofcourse couldnt say no to those innocent puppy eyes,could I now.sigh). At that moment, I cracked up laughing, I never thought the day will come for us Iraqis, fighting for who to vote first. It really was an amazing feeling. And not to mention, my horrible colleague was left there for third place,hehe....

Crowds and crowds of people started walking in at 730am on a Friday morning. It was simply beautiful. Families singing and clapping as they made their way through. I cant describe the feelings of jubilation. There were chocolates and sweets being distributed and one family brought in huge pots of rice and mutton and gave it to everyone in the center. Umm, No Thank You, Mrs here didnt have any...
But she's not in Iraq. Here's A Family in Baghdad:

How can vote for someone that I don’t know his programme or his credibility? How can I take a part of such a foolish act?
These people that will be elected are going to put the new constitution of Iraq, this is a historic responsibility.
Who can handle such a huge task and great honour?
Only people tat we can make sure of their reliability and trustworthiness.
The elected candidates are going to discuss very dangerous issue like suppurating mosque from state, whether religion is the only source of law, the rights for different religious and ethnic groups, the relationships with neighbouring countries including Israel, the relationship with the occupying forces and whether they will be asked to withdraw their forces from Iraq or not.
All of these issues are very controversial and important, and the new government should be reliable enough to take such big decisions.
It is not just about lists and candidates, the issue is more complicated.

The entire world is shouting and asking, are Iraqis going to take a part of the elections or no?
Wallahi I have headache because of times I was asked this question
Yes, of course I am for the elections, and for the participation and voting, but not in this way! Not in this shallow and superficial way!
At the same time, I am against violence and preventing people from going to elections.
The funny thing is that we face the same kind of question in post-war Iraq: are you against or for saddam? Are you against or for the elections?
No one asks: what do you think about what is happening?
You always find yourself in a narrow space put by the person asking you!
And this is funny, because the world is not just Yes and No!
I don't detect an enthusiastic voter in this post...
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