Shalash: شلش العراقيية (Shalash the Iraqi)

The latest addition to my website is Shalash‘s شلش العراقيية (Shalash the Iraqi). This is an anonymous blog written in 2005-2006 (i.e. post-Saddam Hussein)which is satirical and, presumably, often fanciful and fictitious, hence the combined blog has been called a novel. Shalash is at times serious but he is mainly witty and satirical, mocking his neighbour Khanjar (that dissembling son of a dissembling father), the various activities which go on in his Baghdad neighbourhood and, in particular mocking the various politicians for whom he has little time. They are corrupt, self-serving and, in the case of the prime minister, all too often asleep on the job. During the course of the book there is a vote on a new constitution – most people have either not read it or do not understand it, not helped by the fact that there seems to be more than one version. There is also an election with multiple parties and Shalash is happy to mock them all as well as take the various bribes they are offering voters. For Shalash there’s no one better than the Iraqis. That’s not an exaggeration. It’s not racism, not bias, not anything else. It’s just the truth! but he seems keen to leave for Jordan not least because water, electricity, sewers, and other services are all failing. It is very witty and most interesting too see how the ordinary Iraqis struggled post-Saddam.

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