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Posted: 6/25/2003 4:51:25 AM EDT
Forbidden romances bloom in the Iraqi desert By Betsy Pisik THE WASHINGTON TIMES BAGHDAD — Fatin may have fallen in love with her soldier the very first time she saw him. She was part of the desperate line of Iraqis trying to get into the hotel where foreign journalists were staying. He was manning the checkpoint, a figure of authority and strength clad in military camouflage. "He was not like the other soldiers; he was trying to help people, to solve their problems," said Fatin, an Iraqi Kurd who speaks perfect English. "And John was so beautiful, so patient. It took a long time to get inside, but I just watched him at work." In the weeks after the fighting subsided in Baghdad, Fatin and her soldier had the only kind of relationship possible under the circumstances: discrete, delicious and chaste. He would scan the morning crowd to find the dark-haired translator with the dancing eyes. She would hide love notes in the handbag he was obliged to search. "We would talk and talk, in the Palestine [Hotel] lobby or the coffee shop," said Fatin, 32. "I didn't want to be more alone with him. That is not the way here. But it was like we were all alone when we were together. He is my first love, so you see how painful this is." John — she doesn't know his last name, his rank nor his military unit — was ordered by an irate captain to stop seeing Fatin. When he told her goodbye, she cried for hours. "I was saving my dollars to fly to Georgia," she confided miserably. Fatin and John are certainly not the only romance to bloom during the Iraq war. But in a conservative culture where even the most progressive women do not talk to strange men, rarely date and must not dream of marrying non-Muslim men, their flirtation is an exception to all the rules. Iraqi women in their 30s and 40s are among the most educated, liberated and accomplished in the Middle East. Yet many of them are not married and have few illusions about the possibility. Despite Islamic religious injunctions and a deeply conservative social culture, many Iraqi women find themselves swooning for the blue-eyed U.S. soldiers in clunky battle fatigues. Privately, some Iraqi women ask how to catch the eye of an American man. But publicly, the tone is one of tsk'ing disapproval. "In Islam, in the Arab world, we have rules against women talking to strange men," said Suhair Adil, 24, demurely swathed in a white headscarf. "The Americans are strangers. There is nothing we need to talk to them about. We should let a man give them directions or whatever." But a good man is hard to find here, in a culture where couples marry young and parents often negotiate the match. More than a decade of sanctions has destroyed the economy, and many lament that the expenses associated with marriage — a house, for example — are beyond the reach of Iraq's middle and lower classes. Just as important, perhaps, is the acute shortage of suitors. The male-female ratio in Iraq is heavily skewed by two successive wars, a generation of political retribution and the diaspora of Iraqi men who fled Saddam Hussein's regime to seek economic advantages abroad. "Men like to marry young women so they can mold them like candle wax," laughed May Witwit, an outspoken, trouser-wearing widow in her early 40s who wouldn't mind marrying again for the companionship and second income. But Mrs. Witwit draws the line at courting a U.S. soldier. "I like Americans ... but the army is the occupier," she said during a break from her English studies at the University of Baghdad. "We watch your movies, and we don't know that American men can know how to respect Arab women." Indeed, Fatin's story sounds like a scandal to many of her Iraqi peers. "When God wants me to find someone, I will," said Shatha Sami, a 26-year-old mathematics professor at Baghdad's Mustanseriya University, where newly hung posters exhort women to dress modestly. "We have many handsome and learned Iraqi men." She acknowledges, however, that many of the older women she knows "never had a chance at marriage because of the Iran war," which killed nearly 1 million Iraqi soldiers in the 1980s. Some independent women here have decided that half a man is better than none. Nearly 90 percent of Iraqis are Muslims, a religion that allows men to take as many as four wives as long as he can provide for all of them equally. Few urban men take multiple wives these days, a change driven, in part, by the shattered economy. But educated women who would normally never consider becoming a second wife are permitting their families to entertain such offers. Sana Lazim was astonished to find that her 36-year-old friend is thinking about it. "She said to me she would not have considered it years ago, but the man is much older and can take care of her," Ms. Lazim said. "Also, her father is sick, and she does not want to take orders from her younger brother" after his death. Despite the postwar tide of Islamic rigor sweeping southern and central Iraq, many women here are determined to be beautiful and sensual, even as the culture demands greater modesty. Strappy sandals, for example, poke incongruously from the bottoms of fluttering hemlines — flashing what one U.S. colonel described as "local T&A — toes and ankles." And then there are the carefully made-up eyes that seem to communicate a woman's soul, intelligence and humor. U.S. soldiers, for the most part, say they have little opportunity to meet Iraqi women except at checkpoints and, briefly, on patrol. They find themselves marveling at the hot, black polyester robes many women wear, rather than wondering what lies beneath. "We're not allowed to have relationships with the Iraqi women. There's a rule against it," said a soldier from the 1st Infantry Division who works a busy checkpoint near the Coalition Provisional Authority. "But sometimes, yeah, I do wonder if some of them are flirting."
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T&A!!! Bwahaha![rofl2] BigDozer66
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 4:58:23 AM EDT
Looks like the locals want a little American Beef... [:)]
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 5:06:34 AM EDT
They find themselves marveling at the hot, black polyester robes many women wear, rather than wondering what lies beneath.
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Ya right.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 5:09:29 AM EDT
There's no stopping nature, bureaucracies be damned- people are gonna get together, no matter what. Look for a lot of GI war brides, Version 4.0, coming to your town, really soon. Young/not-so-young women looking for a chance to get away from a dictatorship-ruined, war-torn homeland? Handsome GIs offering a chance to escape all this? A chance to go to the "Big PX" AKA the USA? Gee- where have we seen that before?....
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 5:58:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2003 7:21:59 AM EDT by u-baddog]
Somebody is getting some Iraqy pootang. A year from now there will be a bunch of stand out babies. I will bet 10.00 on it
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 6:02:28 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 6:13:43 AM EDT
[:D] BigDozer66
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 6:14:11 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ilikelegs: Cathrine Bell is part or full blooded Iranian. Some of those women are hotties. Every race has a good selection of hot babes. [url]http://photos.ar15.com/ImageGallery/Attachments/DownloadAttach.asp?iImageUnq=938[/url]
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Are you kidding me? I think middle eastern women are some of the sexiest around. My wife dormed with a girl from Saudi Arabia at the university of Denver and damn, she was gorgeous!
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 6:23:24 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 6:48:41 AM EDT
[b]GIMME MY SOLDIER BACK!!![/B] [IMG]http://www.wmm.com/catalog/photos/c32.gif[/IMG]
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 7:00:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By redray: [b]GIMME MY SOLDIER BACK!!![/B] [IMG]http://www.wmm.com/catalog/photos/c32.gif[/IMG]
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"You are a dirty little soldier"
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 7:09:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2003 7:25:54 AM EDT by GunLvrPHD]
I'd hit it. Take the fact that some of them are pretty hot, and the fact that they're being really, really naughty for even considering an America.... A girl that naughty will do just about anything. GunLvr
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 7:11:00 AM EDT
I'll volunteer to liberate Catherine Bell! Oh, and IBTL!
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 10:51:56 AM EDT
Originally Posted By anothergene: Just something wrong about getting married in a mosque...and the honeymoon camel with tin cans tied on it's rear...it's so wrong! I guess if uncle Saddam approves, who the hell am I?
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LOL! That's sum funny shit. Must photoshop a pic of the wedding camel.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 12:35:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By velocity:
Originally Posted By ilikelegs: Cathrine Bell is part or full blooded Iranian. Some of those women are hotties. Every race has a good selection of hot babes. [url]http://photos.ar15.com/ImageGallery/Attachments/DownloadAttach.asp?iImageUnq=938[/url]
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Are you kidding me? I think middle eastern women are some of the sexiest around. My wife dormed with a girl from Saudi Arabia at the university of Denver and damn, she was gorgeous!
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I’ll second you on that middle eastern/Persian wimmins are hot! ‘Alexander the Great’ did that region some justice! My wife use to work with a girl from Lebanon! She was the most beautiful thing you’d every laid eyes on!
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 12:41:34 PM EDT
"many Iraqi women find themselves swooning for the blue-eyed U.S. soldiers" There is more than one way to change a country..
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 1:08:19 PM EDT
[url]http://www.gpsn.com/middleeastern-singles.htm[/url] [naughty] IBTL
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 1:17:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2003 1:25:51 PM EDT by Boomholzer]
I doubt I'll find another Rudi over there. [img]http://www.geocities.com/rudinewsimages/images/autograph.gif[/img] [img]http://www.facade.com/celebrity/photo/Rudi_Bakhtiar.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.phototiming.com/nw/rudi.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/living/photos/rudi/images/pic1.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/living/photos/rudi/images/pic2.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.jezweb.com/bachelors2001/Rudi%20Bakhtiar_02.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.geocities.com/rudinewsimages3/images/rudi1.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.cnn.com/fyi/interactive/teacher.resources/launch.newsroom.bios/rudi/rudi3.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.cnn.com/CNN/anchors_reporters/images/bakhtiar.rudi.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 1:31:49 PM EDT
[longshanks]"The only problem with Scottland, is that it is full of Scotts. If we can't drive them out, we'll breed them out."[/longshanks]
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