Thursday, December 25, 2008

Iraq's Newly Bred Epidemic

Iraq's Children Drug Addicts, Dealers
By Afif Sarhan, IOL Correspondent

BAGHDAD — In new Iraq, many children do not go to school or play in the streets but rather hid in corners to take drugs or even worse sell them. Ahmed, 12, is one of them. "Smoking marijuana makes me happy even being orphan," the child, who has lost his parents to the bloody violence, told IslamOnline. net.

Iraq's Lost Children Iraq Orphans Neglected, Abused
"I like to feel the sensation that, for a period of time, can help me forget all the problems I have," said Ahmed, not his real name. "I do it as much as I want, until I feel safe again just like I used to feel before my parents were killed."

Experts say many children, especially orphans, have fallen prey to drugs over the past few years. "Prior to the 2003 US-led invasion, drug addiction, mainly among children, was practically non-existent, " said Ameer Mohammad Bayat, a psychologist working with child addicts.

He notes that in many cases children turn to drugs to lessen the pain and sufferings inflicted by the war. "Years of violence have driven those innocent to drugs." Other children, who suddenly found themselves the breadwinners of their families, also find their way to drug addiction on the streets, Bayat added.

UNICEF reports have warned that drug addiction is becoming more of a phenomenon amongst Iraqi children. There has been a 30 percent increase in addiction among children since 2005, according to specialists. Since last year alone, the number of child addicts jumped by nearly 10 percent, they estimate.

The problem goes far beyond addiction, with many children being trapped in a thriving drugs trade in new Iraq. "There is a huge market for drugs in Iraq where children are the main columns inside the drug dealing gangs," Yehia Khalil, who works for a local NGO tackling the issue in Baghdad, told IOL. He said gangs usually target children who lost a beloved one or those working on the streets. "The dealers offer job and relief, easily bringing drug dependence among those innocent kids."

It is not uncommon to see children selling drugs in some districts of the capital as well as in some poor neighborhoods in southern provinces. "Children can move easily delivering drugs without raising suspicion," says Khalil. The scenario is almost the same in all cases. Children roam the streets, showing themselves to residents who get used to their faces and when they need, they ask the child for the specific drug and quantity. After less than hour, another child delivers the drug and takes the money. Children can also find easier access to selling drugs near and inside schools.

Raid Abdullah, 13, is working for drug gangs. Everyday, he roams Baghdad streets looking for "clients". "My main clients are young men but women are also buying a lot and pay even better," he told IOL. "They [gang] pay me five percent from all my selling, and once a week I get some marijuana for my personal use," Abdullah said. "I have to divide the drug with my brother who found the job for me."

Experts lament that the children drug plight goes unnoticed by the government. "[The problem is] worsened as the government neglects the chaotic situation children are living in," said Bayat, the psychologist. He notes that the only help children get comes from independent aid agencies and volunteers, who usually face a tough, sometimes dangerous, mission. "Security issues make it harder for volunteers to reach dependent children and offer help, as armed drug dealers can anytime take revenge against aid agents who try take children off the streets." Khalil, the NGO worker, agrees. "Anyone who tries to help them [children] puts himself in harm's way."

He cites how two volunteers of his agency were killed last year while trying to take addict children to a rehab center. Rand, not her real name, was lucky enough to find somebody to help. She was forced by her addict uncle, whom she moved in with after her parents' death during the invasion, to sell drugs in order to get him free stuff. Soon after, she became an addict herself.

A couple of weeks ago, Rand was raped by a drug dealer who told her that he had bought her uncle's silence with a large quantity of cocaine. She managed to run away, and it was then that a local aid agency found the traumatized child and offered her treatment and protection. "I feel empty inside, but thank God there are still good people in this world who want to help people like me," she said tearfully. "Drugs are the worst things in life."

http://www.islamonl Satellite? c=Article_ C&cid=1230108463947 &pagename= Zone- English-News/ NWELayout

The Year Ending 2012.

There is much speculation about the cosmically significant date of Dec. 21 2012. What will happen when the mayan calendar ends. Is it an apocalyptic date, or a time to become free from the physical suffering in this 3rd Dimension and the beginning of an enlightened age of the mind and soul. Does the scientific phenomena of field effect reversal and Earth's axis shift hold any truth. One thing for sure is the Earth will be at alignment with the sun at the centre of the Milky Way, which is an event occurring once every 25,800 years, and the aftermath of such a phenomenon could be a natural shift or a global catastrophe. Enjoy the videos.

PS. I am still learning how to post videos directly on the blog, so bear with me and click on the links for now. :).

Friday, December 19, 2008

Response to "Arab Money"

Great men do great things. As a result of a stand made by an Iraqi MC, the arab community received an explanation and somewhat of an apology for the song "Arab Money" made by veteran hip hop artist Busta Rhymes. This is a great example of how two knowledgable individuals can discuss the intent behind their artwork and settle any misunderstandings that result. It is true that a mere phonecall can provide clarity and closure from any offence that is the product of miscommunication, because we all know that artists cannot necessarily accompany a paragraph to explain the thought process put in to making each of their songs. Some can spark controversy, and others can bridge gaps by paying homage to an adjacent culture in our multi-cultural intermixed societies. Enjoy the read.


Busta Rhymes Apologizes for song "Arab Money".
Dec 09, 2008:-

Only hours after expressing his outrage over Busta Rhymes' controversial song "Arab Money," Iraqi-born rapper The Narcicyst told that he received a personal phone call from Busta himself last night (December 8), apologizing for the misunderstanding created by the song.

According to Narcicyst, the two rappers spent nearly half an hour on the phone discussing Busta's original intent in making the song, which the veteran rapper says was meant to pay homage to Arab culture.

The Narcicyst, whose family fled Iraq years ago after they were displaced by the political turmoil said he came to understand that there may have been a bigger culprit in Busta's lyrical misstep.

"It was a thorough explanation and he was a very respectful man," the Narcicyst told "He explained to me his experience as an African-American man in the States and [it] seemed to me as an experience that I can correlate as an Arab being in the Middle East and having been displaced from my nation and seeing my country being bombarded in the media, being misrepresented."

According to Narcicyst, Rhymes revealed that he didn't purposely disrespect Arab culture and that representing it "in a positive light" was important to his fellow rapper.

"He also acknowledged that it was definitely something that spun out of control," Narcicyst continued. "You know, when you put out a song, you can't really put out an essay on why you put out the song. And it's always hard to explain to the masses."

While some YouTube posts of the song and/or video have already been removed from the popular website, there is no word on when or if the controversial song will be officially removed from rotation.

The song is already banned in the U.K., where award winning DJ Steve Sutherland was temporarily suspended by Galaxy FM, for playing the song.

As a result of Busta's apology and The Narcicyst has also agreed to pull his response to the song, a track titled "The Real Arab Money."

"This is an example of how two people can come together and create something bigger than them," The Narcicyst concluded. "I'm a strong believer in truth and breaking stereotypes down and not allowing people to box you in. And this whole experience has been a huge eye opener for me. This is what Hip-Hop is about. Two brothers from another mother can come to a peaceful and just conclusion for all sides."


Arab Money Offence

It is great to see a member of the Arab community make a stand and rebuke the song made by a longstanding veteran in the hip hop community who should know better. Busta Rhymes released the song "Arab Money" with what is seemingly a mock rather than a celebration of Arab culture. The truth is the song sounds stereotypical in that an arab is an Audi driving oil slick, with money touching the ceiling from petroleum refineries. And to add insult, the hook was seemingly a bunch of jibberish made to sound like an arabic phrase, which leans toward an insult to a language rather than an artistic piece. And you would think any experienced artist would only put out songs with a hook that would sum up the verses and not have incomplete sentences to place in a chorus. Either way, the Iraqi-Canadian ambassador in hip hop was outraged and put out his response to the song, being "the Real Arab Money", and put his education to use in ways that would put out any heat resulting from such an ignorant song. I'll let him do the talking...


Iraqi MC Offended by Busta Rhymes’ “Arab Money”
Written by: Ashlee Todd

While hip-hop junkies and partygoers are currently bopping to Busta Rhymes and Ron Browz's new hit single, “Arab Money,” one fan feels the song is nothing to dance to. While hip-hop junkies and partygoers are currently bopping to Busta Rhymes and Ron Browz's new hit single, "Arab Money," one fan feels the song is nothing to dance to. Iraqi MC, the Narcicyst, is outraged by the lyrics and claims the track to be racist and degrading to his culture and the Arabic community. "Once again, Arabs are represented as these arm flailing, oil rich, loft having, private jet taking, camel toe lady bangin', desert camel riding, bearded sand men," said the Narcicyst, who deemed it a bigger disappointment that the song came from the hip-hop community.

Disturbed by the song’s message, Narcicyst took a break from his current project, a feature film he was shooting in Dubai, UAE, to record a response track entitled "The Real Arab Money." According to the rapper, entertainment companies are being suspended for playing Busta’s version in the UK and most citizens have publicly announced they are heavily offended by it. The Narcicyst says he admires Busta Rhymes’s talents as an artist and in no way will stop being a loyal fan to him, but wants the MC to acknowledge this time he may have gone too far.

"You would think, at a sensitive time like this, that if anyone knew what it felt like to be boxed in it would be the African-American community in America. We are of the same strife. Public Enemy #1 is now Arab/Muslim males. What did they try to do to Obama during his campaign to destroy him? They made him out to be a closet Muslim. Like that is a bad thing, to be a Muslim. It's all one big f**k-up, as you can see, it’s deeper than the song itself, it’s the principle."

Narcicyst believes strongly in rebuilding Iraq and dispelling any stereotypes cast upon its society. The rapper is set to release his new album , PHATWA, in early 2009. A full remix to "The Real Arab Money" has been added featuring Arab rappers Omar Offendum, Cilvaringz, Salah Edin, and Palestine.

"As a person of his [Busta Rhymes] stature, I would have expected more and would have loved to see our people celebrated for our culture and not our money. I just think the song wasn't calculated right. Get an Arab dude on the hook, talk about the reality. I respect that it was an attempt at bridging the gap, but unfortunately it did the total opposite," said Narcicyst.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Release the Shoe Thrower.

Iraq TV Demands Release Of Bush Shoe Attacker

Monday, Dec 15, 2008


An Iraqi television station Monday demanded the immediate release of one of its journalists who caused a furor when he hurled shoes at visiting U.S. President George W. Bush.
Muntazer al-Zaidi jumped up as Bush was holding a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Sunday, shouted "It is the farewell kiss, you dog" and threw two shoes at the U.S. leader. Bush ducked and the first shoe hit the U.S. and Iraqi flags behind the two leaders, while the second was off target.
Zaidi, a reporter with the Al-Baghdadia channel which broadcasts from Cairo, was immediately wrestled to the ground by security guards and frog-marched from the room.
"Al-Baghdadia television demands that the Iraqi authorities immediately release their stringer Muntadhar al-Zaidi, in line with the democracy and freedom of expression that the American authorities promised the Iraqi people," it said in a statement.
In Cairo, Muzhir al-Khafaji, programming director for the television channel, described Zaidi as a "proud Arab and an open-minded man."
"We fear for his safety," he added.(END)

Dow Jones Newswires

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Commencement into Professionalism.

Bismillah Arrahman Arraheem.

I start this journey with my feet to the ground, ears to the streets, eyes on the prize, and head held up high. I move forward, after I get a chance to reflect on some of my experiences that leave me moved and in contemplation. This is somewhat like therapy, I write to get things off of my chest, cleanse my soul, and lighten up my psyche. Plus this can be a platform for information sharing, where observations from the world around us can be put into perspective, discussed objectively, and given a medium to birth new knowledge and gain clarity for our minds to be stimulated, hearts to be fulfilled, and souls to be nurtured.

This can be a healthy outlet, aside from music making, and poetry. Enjoy being on the browsing end of the web-log, for this can be a long term relationship between the reader and the writer, where we write through the tough times, coast through the mundane, and reflect on the good days. So here is a toast for a healthy bond of a companionship, where I hold up my end in not being biased or place for personal attacks, and you become a regular visitor and a loyal reader to my home cooked material.

This is the era of the Self-Made Thousandaire. Bless up~!

PEACE and Hair Grease, Finance never lease.~!