”The ballot before had Saddam Hussein yes or no and if you put no, the bodyguard took you to the jail,” said Ali Almoumineen, 38, who left Iraq with his wife and two children in 1999. He isn’t Kurdish, but found a home in the community nonetheless
Tim Blair is covering the Iraqis who are lining up to vote in Australia:
The first votes in the world in the Iraq elections were cast in Australia this morning. Polling centres in Sydney and Victoria opened at 7am (AEDT) for nearly 12,000 Iraqi expatriates who have registered to vote. The Australian head of the Iraq Out-of-Country Voting Program, Bernie Hogan, said a crowd of people was waiting outside the Fairfield centre when he arrived.
“We had a line-up of probably 60 or 70 people at the front door at seven o’clock,” he said.
I’m so hopeful. SO hopeful, and so happy and excited for these people!
But I am also amused – in a good way – to think of Kurds in Nashville or Iraqis in Sidney. I love imagining a Kurd with a Southern drawl sidling up to his brother and saying, “Achmed, are y’all goin’ to Mosque, or what?” It’s America!
It reminds me of a story in our family, too.
During WWII, a newly-wed Brooklyn-born-and-raised family member went to visit her husband, stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi. Wanting to cook him a decent meal, she went to a little shop and asked for a bottle of oil.
Except, in Brooklynese that came out, “a BOT’le o’ earl.”
The gentleman behind the counter peered over his glasses and said, “I beg yer pardon, ma’am?”
“A BOT’le o’ earl! I need a BOT’le o’ earl!”
He shook his head, “I’m sorry, ma’am I am not familiar with…what it is you’re wantin’”
She pointed to the Wesson on the shelf behind him, exasperated. “Earl! Earl! That BOt’le o’ EARL!”
The clerk looked behind him and understanding dawned. He slapped his forehead! “Oh, ALL! You mean you want th’ ALL!”
“That’s what I said, the EARL!”