HOME March-April 2009 Featured Stories Background Information News On The Web



by Boris Zubry


Hello! Salaam Aleichem! Peace be with you! Inshallah! Praise the God, Allah the Gracious. Allah Akbar! They call me Baraka and how do they call you? This name came from Africa somewhere and in Arabic is written as Baraka. That's what I've been told by the Mullah, who could read or so he said. That was rare in our area. Reading I mean and not the Mullah. Everyone was the Mullah here but only in his own mind. Now, writing was a different matter. If reading was rare, writing was not even that. It just was not there. Oh how wonderful it would be to read a book, not mentioning to write one. How many books are there anyway? Do we know? There could be ten or twenty of them or more. In short, there could be many upon many books but we have not read them. Some like that Mullah I mentioned before think that they know it all. I think we don't know more than we know. And, how do you compare what you know with what you don't if you don't know so much? Well, you can shock your mind with what you don't know believing that you know it all and footing your opinion on that. Many do that and religion does it all the time. So, as you can see "many" was the operative word for much of that. And, also you can see that numbers don't mean much to me either. Counting in my education was laying somewhere in the realm of writing. I say it was right in the middle between reading, writing, traveling around the world with the first-class ticket and eating exotic foods. What's to count there? Yours? I'll find how to count yours when it's mine. Mine? I don't have anything to count but fleas and the lice. I don't want to count them. Do you? What difference does it make how many of them are there. A few more or a few less, they are all mine. And I cherish them because they are truly mine. Overtime some of them jumped over from other people and some left me for a different adventure on the back of someone else. So what? Meanwhile they, all of them, were mine and no one else's.

Now, books, could one read all of these books? I mean all of them, twenty, fifty or a million, and from cover to cover. I would like to read Koran. This is a good book. Everyone I know says so. But then again I memorized it as a child anyway. Why to read it then? I remember it by heart. The Mullah taught me that. He was chanting the text and we children were repeating it word for word. That was our education and education is one of the most important parts of Islam. So, I had my share of that. Now I want to read a novel or a great love story. History is an interesting subject. When did it happen? Why did it happen? Where exactly did it happen? Did it happen at all? Who was there to corroborate that? Yes, history was an exciting subject and shivers ran down my spine when I tried to figure it out. Adventures and travel I am not sure of. I get adventures every day right here on the marketplace. First you were stalking your food or something else you wanted and then you steal it. Now everything changes and the hunter becomes the hunted and they are stalking you. That's an adventure full of running and fighting and the narrow escapes. It happens every day to me and the others. So I have enough of that. Can your adventure beat that? Travel? Travel is like going to a new marketplace in another village but you have no idea how things are done there. You tried your way, missed and got caught, and that is not a happy situation. Beatings are not kisses they hurt. Now love is a different story. Some say that love sometimes hurt even worse than beatings. How would I know? I never stole love. Love is not an everyday affair in our lives, not here and not for us. We could use a bit more of that but where do you get it from. If people loved us, we might love them back. Someone said: you show love first and people would pay you back with more love. Good and bad things go around. You start with love and love comes back to you. You start with hate and that's what you get. I don't think so. I doubt that. That does not work for me. Not like that. What if they cheat? What if I love them and they don't love me but someone else. It's like I love her but she loves him and he loves someone else and no one loves me back. What then? What do you do then? No, no, you are first and then maybe me. Hate is a different story. Turks hate us and we hate them back but we suffer and they prosper. There is something wrong there. But that's how it works in our part of the world. We know how to hate but we want to be loved. Our part of the world is not perfect, it's not even good but it's our part of the world and we call it home even if we don't like it much. Understand?

I hear there was a book called "1001 Nights" (Alf Laylah wa Laylah) or, otherwise, known as "The Arabian Nights". They say it's an important book. This is probably the second most important book after Koran in Islam. This is Islam with all its wisdom and traditions. This book contains the entire knowledge of the Muslim world. It has customs, religion, politics, history, wars, peace, geography, travel, people, poetry, love, harems, folklore, fairy tales, gossips, adventure, animals, nature, sea, mountains, and more - everything we know. I've heard from the Christian teacher in the village and from some of the Turks that actually none of the stories in that book were written by the Arabs or even the Muslims. They said it was translated from Greek, Latin, Chinese and Urdu. Someone said that these stories were the tales collected by the Arab traders along the Silk Road and translated in to Arabic much later for the Arabs to read. Some said that it was not even the Arabs that collected these stories but some other people perhaps Uzbeks or the Mongols. Even the Afghanis could have done it if they wanted to. Anyone living or traveling in that regain at the time could have chipped in. Those translated stories were not just translated in to Arabic to stay boring and strange but adjusted somewhat to be more of Arabian and homely. It took some work, I can tell you. After translation these stories became the Arab commodities as well and were traded. I know what work is when I see it and to translate so many foreign stories and then to pile them in to one book is work. This was another item caravans brought to the Caliphates back then. That was great when they did it, and now we have a classic of the Muslim literature. Also I heard the Arab Muslims gave the world numbers and the numbering system based on ten. They took it from the Hindus back then and gave it to the rest of the world but later. It was so noble of us, Muslims, to share knowledge with the infidels. Inshallah! God be praised! So, as you can see we have the deepest cultural roots and we still keep them deep. Our roots and the rest of our bodies are deep in culture thickly spread throughout the Muslim world.

Why do they call that book "1001 Nights" and some call it "The Arabian nights"? I am not sure of that but possibly it takes that long to read it and one should read it at night. Perhaps at night you can digest this stuff better. I think that's it. The reason I am not sure is that I have not even seen it yet. But I will read it one day as soon as I know how. Promise, I never lie. Muslims never lie. We tell a lie only to infidels and when we don't want to tell truth. Sometimes we lie just because but that's it. Muslims never tell a lie if we can't get away with it. I know; I am the one. I saw a few books though and I even held one or two in my hands. They feel weird and wonderful. Turks have them though. Also they have magazines and newspapers, and they write letters on paper with a pen or a pencil. They have pictures of the slightly dressed women. I saw a few. Well, I stole a few. Turks call these pictures "The French Pictures". These pictures were more revealing than hiding and those women had a lot to reveal and a few things to hide. Shame on them. I mean the women. You can't shame Turks. Turks don't have the shame concept developed yet. Turks are shameless. Locals? Books? Locals and books? There are a few Bibles and Korans around. I've seen them here and there. I know. To read. What a dream; what a feeling. I feel like I could fly. I want it. I want to read and to write and perhaps to wear glasses.

Now, Baraka means in Arabic, Hebrew and possibly some other important African languages — "Lightning". Am I lightning? Yes, I can run and fast when needed. Well, I can run not as fast as a horse but I can outrun a donkey. And, when I have shoes, I am lightning. Try to catch me then. One has to be lightning when one has to steal for living. You steal and you run and that's your work and this is your life. Steal, run, eat, steal, run eat, sleep. That's my life rhythm. The faster you run the less chance they have to catch you. If they catch you, they beat you. They do it hard and you may die. That happens often around here. What do you want? I have no work so I steal what I can and I eat anyway. I have to pinch everything: food, clothes, shoes, money and even the place to sleep. Well, actually you fight for a good spot to sleep. I live in a small cave just outside the town and I have a dog to guard it. We are both orphans so we stay together. We both have fleas and we share them, food and a blanket so it works out just fine. Money, I wish I could take some money but how. Money would give me freedom to buy whatever I want. Well, to steal money you have to have people with money to steal it from. Who has money around here? So, money I don't see too often but still food I get almost every day. Food every day and not to go to sleep on the empty stomach – that's my motto and I don't break it easily. Frankly, I didn't miss too many meals. It happens once in a while but it is not in my character. Working is not in my character either. And I got all that only because I am good at stealing. And I am good at stealing only because I am lightning. In short, I am Baraka. I may get even better one day if I try harder. I hope I will.

Where did I get this name from? Baraka? How did I wind up with it? This strange, foreign name from Africa someplace? Name is a name, you know. It's given to you as a present and you wear it for the rest of your life. You may get rid of it but it's not easy and I would not go there, not in this story. Well, my name, Baraka, that could be another story but I'll tell you anyway. You don't need another story from me. So, there in the soldier's camp was a black servant. He was from Africa, Kenya I think or some other place there. I was told that he was born there so it was not his fold and no one should blame him for that. He just came from there. Like me, he could not pick parents or the place of birth. He was not born yet to choose when it was chosen. Anyway, his name was Baraka and he was some kind of a prisoner or a slave. With Turks, there was no difference. They treated everyone as a slave. Baraka was the servant of the camp commander and that was his life. Commander was not a good Muslim, I think, but he was a good Turk. He smoked the hashish pipe, drank alcohol, used prostitutes and was homosexual on the top of it. He liked it all. And, after he had it all, he would beat Baraka, the slave, to half death and then prey to Allah for forgiveness. I think Allah forgave the commander every time because nothing ever happened to him. He lived well and probably died in his own bed surrounded by the members of the family. Allah, must be truly merciful but not to all. Not everyone, even a faithful Muslim, deserved it. Everyone I know is still hoping for the mercy but somehow it's not there. Perhaps it was still coming so, just in case, we keep preying and hoping. It may come when you least expected it. Allah is Allah and we can't always understand his ways. Just don't get spooked by the mercy when it suddenly appears and die of a heart attack. It happens. So, going back to the story of my name. Baraka tried to help my mother to give birth because the commander was the last one to rape her while she was in labor. Yes, that's what happened. What kind of an animal could do that? No, animal would not but people would. Animals don't have sex just for sex. The commander kept saying that was the sexual experience of his lifetime. I don't know what he did to her and how but he did it to me as well because I was in there. That was my first rape and her last. At the end my mother died and there was I on the wooden floor choking on my mother's blood and the Turk's sperm but living and even healthy. That was the beginning of the beginning for me. It was not pleasant but it was my life as it was. Could I change anything given a chance? I could change back then almost as much as I can change now. Oh, how I hate the Turks.

The black servant Baraka gently picked me up from the bloody filthy floor. He washed my little body with water from the bucket by the door and wrapped me in a dirty towel from the kitchen. Then he buried my mother by the latrines and took me to the orphan's home in town. The burial site by the latrines was reserved for the entirety of nobodies and my mother fit the bill. She was nobody for the Turks when they took her in and then she became nobody for the family after the Turks took her in. That is why she was buried by the latrines. When Baraka gave me to people in the orphanage, they asked for my name. He said Baraka. Maybe he said his name or maybe not but that was it. People from the orphanage wrote it down and I became Baraka. What happened to Baraka the Kenyan? He died a few years ago. This time commander had not stopped beating Baraka when he saw blood. He hammered him to the death and, then, mutilated his body with the sickle-like Turkish knife. Pieces of the Baraka's private parts were thrown to the dogs freely running around the camp. After that, Baraka was not whole and could not enter the Paradise. Allah and Mohammad would not have him like that. I think it was written in the Koran. As far as I know that was the biggest disaster for a Muslim, not to go to the Paradise I mean. I went to his grave. Baraka was also buried by the latrines not too far from my mother. I was upset but one soldier told me that Baraka raped my mother more than anyone else and the commander used to watch it. Baraka liked raping her and the commander liked watching it. The more savage Baraka was in the rape the happier commander was. He would sit there smoke kalian and applaud. It was like the favorite show one liked to watch over and over. Sometimes commander rewarded Baraka with a little hashish, alcohol and even money. The Turkish soldier said that after the brutal rape my mother could not walk for days but still they forced her to work: cleaning, washing and cooking. She washed, cleaned, cooked for the commander and attended the animals of the camp. This soldier also said that Baraka probably was my father more than anyone else but who knows for certain. Many chipped in. I in fact was a bustard of many nations. Well, that story of Baraka raping my mother was another disappointment in life and a big one but I was still called Baraka.

As you surely understand, all that was just a gossip and possibly even a vicious one. Maybe Baraka was a kind and a decent person and they held it against him. Maybe. Gossips in these parts of the world and among our dear brother Muslims often grew on trees and bushes. They flourished thickly planted in the nutritious soil of our unqualified souls. Gossips here and in some other parts of the world could be used as some kind of currency where bills were printed by the second. These bills were increasing in numbers rapidly and decreasing in value speedily but still hurting the ones that were hurting already. They sprung up like mushrooms after the warm rain in early fall and ran about like the wild birds in the spring. No one knew where they came from and where they were going to but still they were all around and available. I never believed any of it but still I was a kid with the darkest skin around. What can I say? Baraka was the only one who did anything for me. He was the only friendly face I knew. He gave me the name and later visited me in the home for orphans. He gave me a few toys made by him so I could play and a few apples stolen by him so I could eat. For a couple of times he took me to the river where we fished and then ate whatever we caught. Baraka cooked it the African way in clay and on the open fire. It could be delicious if we had any salt and paper and perhaps if the fish was better. But it was delicious nevertheless because I was hungry and we were friends. Hunger was a strange feeling. I was not hungry all the time but most of the time and always when I was awake. Baraka was my good memory and, if the gossips are true, he could have been the worst memory of my mother. But my mother had no memory and she even was not my memory. I never knew her, nothing at all. So, Baraka was it and I was the darkest one around, not counting a few Turks.

They said I was fourteen years old now and I was a man. I trust them, they know. I don't in truth remember when I was born. I was too busy getting born and surviving that experience to remember, but they knew. So, I was fourteen and I was not a boy any longer. I was a true man. Well, that is legally, after you survived for thirteen years, they call you man. So, I was the one because I survived all these years and was still strong and lightning. Not too many survived that long here and now with the Turks in charge. Turks made it too hard for the frail regulars. With Turks everything was hard and living was harder than dying. Still, dying with Turks was a true challenge sometimes. Many wanted to die quick when Turks got a hold of them, like my mother, but Turks would keep them alive just to make them suffer more. We learned fast that one better hide when Turks were around. They were evil, the Muslim breed of evil. They were four-five times a day praying and turban wearing evil. You see, evil was not universal. Each religion and each nation has one evil tailored specifically for them. It has some universal characteristics and many specific ones just for this group. In short, Turks were Turks and they had the own evil. They enjoyed bad things. Well, they enjoyed bad things not when they were done to them but when they did it to the others. Someone important advised not to do to the others what you don't want the others to do to you. I think it was written. I don't know for sure but maybe they would enjoy that too. So, my strong advise to you — stay away from the Turks if you don't want to find out what they can do to you. Nothing good could come from them. Turks also didn't like the foreigners that are anyone that is not a full-blooded Turk. Why should they; they didn't even like the own people. But they didn't like us more than they didn't like the own people. That is why I think Turks just suffered from the other Turks but we suffered and died. Why do we always have to die? Why are there hunger, gutter and death? Why not plenty of the "Turkish Delight" to eat, soft carpets to sleep and a cute poppy for a friend? Ah, there I go again, thinking and I have not read a book yet.

My mother was an Albanian national living in Kosovo when it was still a pleasant place or maybe it was not already. There were many Albanians living there for a longtime. I was told that Turks liked it that way or it was a result of war centuries ago or something else. Who knows for sure? Who could remember all that stuff from the centuries ago? Books...But who read them? My mother's family lived there in Kosovo and some other places not too far for generations and maybe even before that, forever. Maybe they were there since the beginning of time for all I know. In fact, I don't know for how long they lived there in Kosovo but they started doing that way before I was born. I know my mother was born in Kosovo and all her relatives did too. She was beautiful, I think. No, I know she was beautiful. I never saw her alive though. She died giving birth to me. That was a big misfortune and especially for her and for me. Some people said that she was sick and died. Some said that she had died of the difficult birth giving. And some people said that she was raped by the Turks even when she was giving birth and that is why she died. Turks kept her and some other women in the castle where they cooked, washed and cleaned. Also they were raped first by the officers and then by the soldiers. Servants and slaves came later. They've got the leftovers. When women became pregnant officers did not want them any more and asked for the new ones. The new ones were brought in and the pregnant ones were given to soldiers. Soldiers did not mind; some even preferred it that way. Yes, my mother was beautiful and that is why they raped her and raped her, and raped her until there nothing left to rape. They raped her beauty. Maybe they hated beauty because they were ugly. So, they raped the beauty until beauty had not much to show for any more. The inner beauty? That did not count, not for them. Maybe that's what happened to my mother? They say that I was the Turkish bastard. They said my mother was never married but raped many times by the Turks. Maybe...I hate Turks. I want to kill all of them. I want to cut their throats and let them slow bleed to death. Slow and painfully. That's what they deserve. This is my sacred dream. I pray every night to Allah to grant it to me. If I had a good knife, I would do it in a moment. I'll get a good knife one day and kill all of them. All...But what if I too am a Turk? Do I have to kill myself too? Probably...What would be the right way? No Turks should survive after I kill all of them and I am one of them even if I hate them. I know. I'll kill myself last. After I kill the last Turk, I'll kill myself. This is a good plan. Solid...Now I have to work on the knife. Maybe I need a few knives. Yes, I'll steal a few good knives first and then I'll start killing the Turks. I have to do that. What if I am in the middle of killing and my knife breaks. I have to have another knife for those circumstances. That's a must. I'll work on the knives, get ready and kill all the Turks, no matter how long it takes. Oh, such a pleasure it's going to be. Death to all Turks! Young, old and the children...Men and women...All. But I would not rape the pregnant women.

My mother had some relatives but I have none. You see I was an orphan, parentless and a bastard on the top of it. Kosovo was a Muslim place and the Muslim humanity did not accept us, orphans. It was not set up that way. We were the lowest of the lowest and our place was on the bottom, in the gutters. Well, that's where I lived right after running away from the orphanage at the age of five. I had a chance to escape, and I took it. I had to. I was not happy at the orphanage because of many quite reasonable reasons. First, the place was run by the Turks. There was little food there and they beat us for anything and without. Food was stolen and often sold by the Turks and they needed no reasons to beat us because they owned us. Then, when we grew up a little, they started using us to satisfy the wildest sexual imagination. Girls were used for one thing and the boys for the other. Together we were used for orgies where many local and some visiting Turks took part. I think more Turks were homosexual and pedophile than not and many children died. We were too little for all of that; we were still frail. What did we know? Do you think the older children survived that better? No, not really; they died too. Even my mother died and she was grown up. So, I ran. I was lightning after all. I always dreamed of improving my social standing and I did. Gutter was it. Gutter presented as little food as before, bad living conditions but much less rape and that was an improvement. Yes, occasionally a Young Turk would get you when least expected and you are nailed. I could take it once in a while. With time I actually learned to enjoy it a little and you would too. What else could you do with so many horny Turks running around? Where would you go? To police...They were the Turks as well and, also, horny. I never could figure out whether it was a part of the Turkish heritage or being a Muslim. It could be both, but could be just religion. I think rape; stealing, murder and injustice were the Muslim national pastime. What is rape but the moral mugging of the weak and what is homosexuality but the decadence of the mind? Turks had it all. Muslims had it all and we, the weak, were on the receiving end.

I was traveling now. This was something I had never done before but always wanted to do. Travel was one of my sacred dreams. We always talked about, me and my dog, at night in the cave. No, no, this was not the flying carpet travel from "One Thousand and One Night" stories. No. I was riding in this boxcar. There was a train with a steam engine and many boxcars going somewhere far. There were many of us in here. I think those boxcars previously were used to move cattle and now people because of the war shortages. It smelled of the cow manure but we had the clean air sweeping through when the train moved and it moved some of the time. So, it did not smell too badly when we were moving but often we were not moving and doors were locked. We could not go out without soldiers. Then it would smell of cows, manure, unwashed us, our excrement from the bucket in the corner and the rotten life. I think it smelled of the fields we were passing all the time. They smelled of all that for a reason. There was war shuffling through and smell of all immorality was out control. These fields smelled of the dead and alive animals, people and their thoughts. Rats reined misery that flourished and multiplied at will and we had to ride our train through the midst of all that. Boxcars were old and not too comfortable but we had plenty of straw on the floor and food and water. The Turkish soldiers gave us food and we did not have to steal it or do anything we didn't want to do. They did not ask us for anything and they had not forced us either. Officers were always present watching and possibly seeing everything. We knew, the Turkish officers could do to the soldiers what soldiers could do to us so soldiers tried to stay away from them not bringing much attention. Soldiers knew they would get their chance later anyway so they could wait and pretend to be humans. That should be the order from the general — be human this once. Was there a general there? I had not seen one but than I don't actually know how the general looked like. I liked it so far. It was a good experience full of food and nothingness.

Our train stopped every 5-6 hours for about 20 minutes for us and the soldiers to relieve themselves. Sometimes it stopped for much longer. We did not run away. Why would we? Who runs from food? Where you run and soldiers would shoot. They said so and we believed them. Turks never lied when they promised to kill you. You could count on them for that. That was a known fact. Well, it was not just me traveling. Turks had gathered all orphans from the streets and the houses a few days before and then they put us on this train. More boxcars with orphans from other places were added as we went along. One soldier said that train was going to a faraway place called Gaza. Also he said there were a hundred thousand of us, the Turkish orphans. And, where this Gaza was? Some said it was in the Palestine. And, where was that? The Turkish soldier said it was the armpit of the Ottoman Empire. How far was it from Kosovo? It could be far or it could be close. It all depended on where Kosovo was in relation to Gaza on the holy body of the Ottoman Empire. It could be as an armpit in relation to the asshole or some other smelly place. It could be anywhere but was it on the map? The same soldier said that he was born there in Palestine, in Gaza, and that's where the Jews, Arabs and the Turks lived together. He said this was the place where Mohammed left earth and went to Allah and Jews were guarding it now for the faithful. He said that Jews and the Christians had something to do with Palestine also but he was not sure. I thought it had to be a nice place — a Holy Place. Also he said that we would live right between the Jews and the Arabs. I thought it should be warm and cozy to live between the two people but the soldier said that we would shield the Ottoman Empire with our bodies from the Arabs and the British. He also said that Jews were fine; they did not bother anyone. But the British and the Arabs were a problem. Who are they? I thought Arabs were living with the Jews in Palestine guarding the Holy Place. That should be the other Arabs, the problem Arabs. How many Arabs are there and what do the British want? That was all confusing. The farther we went the more confusing it became. Who were all these people and what it had to do me? Am I one of them? I thought I was a Turkish bastard. That's what they kept telling me. What was wrong? Why should I go to the armpit of one Empire to shield it from the asshole of another Empire? I don't recall any of that being discussed on the market in Kosovo lately. How did it affect the price of the mule's dung in China? The Mullah that maybe could read had never mentioned any of that and he read a book or two. I think he read "One Thousand and One Night" and that's where all his stories came from.

I think, no I know, there was a war somewhere. Soldiers said so. They said that, if not for this trip that would take a while, they would be fighting in that war. I hope to see some of it while traveling. I have not seen war before and who can say when the next one was coming. Would I recognize war when I see it? For a few years already some countries were arguing trying to re-divide world differently. The world was divided already by people before us in accordance with the size of the stick they carried. Lately they wanted to change it and they all had good reasons and the counter-reasons. Many were after the Turkish lands but Turks wanted to keep them. Turks were kind of attached to their lands and raping of the half of the world. I did not want the Turks to keep any land. I hated them. So, I was with the countries that wanted to take this land away. Maybe they would rape us a little gentler. That was my political position on that argument. Then, someone, a Bosnian, killed someone, an Austrian, in Sarajevo. Was the Bosnian Muslim? Maybe but the Austrian was not. At least that was clear. Right away the world had split in to two huge armies with soldiers, horses, cannons and the spectators. The mass murder started. They threw everything in it but, nevertheless, both sides were losing and Turks were losing the most. Their military was vast in numbers but limited in quality. Turks were badly armed, primitively trained and more bloodthirsty than bright. Officers were mostly interested in rape, robbery and destruction. Fighting was reserved for the low classes and they did the best they could. Come to think about it the Turkish officers were officers by birth and not by the merit. There was very little merit, bravery or chivalry in almost all of them. In short, the impotence of the general staff was solved by striping the land off the able bodies and throwing them on the battlefield to die. I think those soldiers often were called — the "cannon meat". The least educated and the worst trained in the Ottoman military died first and in mass. These were mostly the Arabs and the Turks from Gaza and people from the other remote areas like that. Who could count thousands of Arabs, Bulgars, Greeks, Romanians, Armenians, Azeris, Persians, Jews, Iraqis, Syrians, Lebanese, and many others that died on the service of the Ottoman Empire? They died all right but it did not help. Millions were forced in to the military of the hated Sultan and left to die almost on every battlefield of the world. That's what they were there for. No one knows where they died because not too many could read those maps. All these places were known as just a battlefield somewhere in Europe, Asia or Africa. What happened to the villages and towns all these soldiers came from? Good question. After the most of the men left for the war women could not survive. Lack of money and food, hard labor, children and the constant abuse from the local garrisons and the passing Turks drove them away leaving huge territories empty of people. Gaza became a huge void open for the Arabs and British to march through. Turks could not mount any resistance even they had to. Some women planned to come back after the war and when the men were back but that would be much, much later, if at all. For now there were these empty voids tearing the outskirts of the Turkish Empire and the Ottomans did not like it. British using the Arab rebellions could move in to those negated areas barely wasting a bullet and little by little they started doing that. The Arab revolt grew. The Turkish Palestine was in danger and Gaza was the key to the whole area. The Ottomans decided to fill this void with us, the Turkish bastards from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Geese, Herzegovina, and the other regions full of the similar Turkish rejects. That is why we were picked up from the streets and the orphan homes and put into those smelly coffins on wheels. That's what the soldiers were talking about while we traveled to the faraway place called Gaza. Gaza... That was the farthest corner of the Ottoman Empire and it was empty. In short, Gaza was occupied by a few lost souls, the camel dung and a pile of dust gathered in the past few thousand years. No one really lived there but a few religious Jews and Arabs and mostly women and children. There were more rats than people there. Rats flourished there living the long and prosperous life while people suffered and died prematurely. They would have left as the others did but these particular people had no place to go to. They were the orphans already and at the end of the rope. Jews lived there since the beginning of time but who asked Jews if the new neighbors could move in there to create the biggest nation of thieves, beggars and the murderers. Turks always exercised the policy of "don't ask — don't tell". Turks did not ask and you should be quiet. You don't express your opinion if you didn't want to lose your head. We were pushed down their throats and they could not complain. Lives of so many were rearranged in no time and no one even tried to think it through. As a result, right from the beginning, we had a problem with everyone living there already. Come to think about, the Jordanians killed more of us than Jews ever dreamed of and who wants to mention Egyptians, Syrians, Iraqis and the Lebanese. They were swimming in our blood just for fun. That was and still is the wholesale murder in the name of Allah, Allah the Merciful. And the faithful Muslims enjoyed it full-time. Still we were told to hate the Jews because they occupied our lands we never lived on before. And, if I have to hate, I hate. Kill, kill, kill... Drown the Jews in the sea or starve them to death in the desert. Deny them all. Kill Jews and fight the international Zionism. What is that? Zionism. Someone said that it was the wish to live here in Palestine, the land of Zion. It was their land and they wanted to be here. I didn't. But still we hate them and we killed them because that's what they deserve for occupying some land they lived on for thousands of years. They said that Gaza was the armpit of the Ottoman Empire and I think it was the land of milk and honey. Maybe this was the sourest milk and the gone bad honey but I have no other and the Jews either. This land gave us shelter, food and a place to call home. We had no other place to go to. This was it. Did the Jews have another place? They tried for thousands of years and nothing good came out of it. No one liked Jews because they were Jews and no one liked us because we were nobodies but of the Muslim persuasion. Kosovo, Albania and the other places of our birth were too far and no one wanted us there or anywhere else either. We were the Turkish bastards — the reminder of shame. Oh, how I hate the Turks. Oh, how I hate the Jews.

Who could say back then that fifty or so years later we, the lowest Turkish bastards, the refuse of the great empire, would claim this territory as our own? Who could say back then that someone would invent the word "Palestinians" making us, the bad mix of the offsprings of the unknown source, a Nation? Who could say back then that they would teach us to hate the Jews more than the Turks? Come to think about it we didn't hate Turks any longer. We forgot all about that. We forgot the Turks. And, after all, who is left to remember? People died and the collective memories became erased and then replaced. Our Muslim brothers, Arabs, taught us to hate the Jews instead. This is how it works. First you get no education but Koran or some version of it. You do not learn Koran through reading it but through listening to the cleric and memorizing what you can. You think you memorized Koran but in fact you memorized only the words of the Mullah who maybe could not read either but would not admit that. How often do you see a Mullah reading anything but Koran? Can he read anything but Koran? Can he read? Maybe he never read it either memorizing what he was told but by whom? Who knows what he was told back then and how he memorized that? Then, what exactly did he tell you? He was supposed to be the learned one but he told you a version of a version of a version and that was not much and questionably correct. It was not repeating of the original text; it changed a great deal with every telling. Every time someone told you the memorized version of anything things were added and removed. The story got twisted and twisted again and then twisted some more. What was it now? What was left there from the original story which was twisted a little already? So, now you know something but what. While you were memorizing this something the same Mullah told you everything he knew about it. He gave you the own version of understanding and following Islam but this was his Islam and on this particular day. It was his story. How did he learn all this? He had a Mullah as well. It was the similar deal as we have only much earlier. And each previous Mullah had a previous Mullah and it went back to who knows when but was it originated by Mohamed the Prophet or any of his original followers who understood? Maybe the one that originated this link was the one that did not understand the teaching and maybe he never meat the Prophet or any of his followers? And now the movement was called the Wahabi and they were all-powerful and pious. They sanction mass murders and convict thousands of innocents to horrifying death in the name of Allah they think to know. Do they? Maybe, could be, possibly, likely but not very convincing considering the foundation of ignorance. How could we check Koran verifying for ourselves if we couldn't read? And even if we could read, what would we be reading? Torah? Bible? A version of any of them or of all of them badly translated in to Arabic of the fifth century and then translated and translated again? We have our own book. But who wrote this version of the book? What book is this book from? The book we were reading or not? Was it another "1001 Nights"? The collected stories...Ah, I get a headache just thinking about all that. This was another reason I didn't want to learn reading. Why to bother? Reading...Why to read with all these "whys" and "whens" and "whos" and the "hows"? Life was so short and complicated already without those books and problems they had introduced. And most of those problems are not even our problems. Books make you think and do you think you need it? Do you really need it? Do you need it on this hot and hungry day with all these children screaming and running around? Wife gave you a headache already, why would you want more? What you want is a pipe and a little hashish just enough to calm you down. You have to think about the everyday survival and this is a hard subject. Food, Islam, wives, children, neighbors, goats and a few more things — that's all you need to think about. This is all you need in life. Books, love, history, politics, the world problems, freedom, wars, peace, the economic crisis...What economic crisis? Where? We have no economy to worry about the crisis. All we worry about is what's in it for us? Just give us your leftovers and, if you don't have any, make some. Your skinny nothing to look at (by your standards) leftovers would make a nice, fat life for us. Don't think about it and just do it.

So, you have no education, you know Islam or what you think is Islam and now they can starve you. This is an easy part. Where would you go to earn your living if you know nothing and want to do even less? Should you go to the Arabs? They have as many problems as you are. Should you go to America? Yes, right, they are waiting for you there with a huge welfare check. Well, many went there and the Americans gave them the welfare check. I know that for certain; they come here to visit relatives and bring many gifts. They tell us about beautiful Mosques where they pray and the coffeehouses called the "Dunkin' Donuts" and the "Starbucks" where they can spend time reflecting on Jihad. After all infidels are infidels with or without the welfare check. Many of those shops belonged to brother Muslims so one can enjoy a stimulating conversation on the top of the weak coffee. And, when the infidel comes in, they all smile and spit in to his cup when he does not see it. What a beautiful life this is for an honest hardworking Palestinian making a living in the concrete jungle of the USA. Many people around the world when they see us and the way we live are ready to give us anything including the daughters and to destroy the Jews. Jews are guilty by definition. But let me tell you, most of problems you cannot solve in twenty-four hours or just by throwing money at it or by blaming the Jews. These good people crying over our tragic lives don't know that we lived like that way before we knew what Jews are and will live like that well after the last Jew is gone. This is what we were and this is how we live. We kill, we steal, we lie, and we beg, we pray, we cry and we blame the whole world for our drawbacks but we don't work. You see, you shed tears, you demand and you pay. Give us in dollars, please. Dollars are better. Dollar could be stronger or weaker but it was still a dollar and the other stuff is just stuff. And we don't ask for much: food, women, a camel or two and a weak neighbor to steal from. Give us a few cars as well. We like Mercedes. Good for explosives, sturdy and well-built. Was it designed for that? I wonder. That's all we want. If your neighbor is strong, someone may get hurt during the robbery and that someone could be you. If that happens, your family has to kill someone from their family now and then their family would kill someone from yours and that would keep going for us long as the families were still there. We don't like that. It's against the god's law. Jews are not good neighbors. You shoot them and they shoot back killing more of you than you killed of them. So, now you have to get more wives and make more children. This could be tiring sometimes: wives, children, hunger, the house too small, noise, feuds, and you always have to think solving problems. So, you send children to earn living. They can beg, sell something and steal. Children do it better than the adults and much easier to train. The man of the house can't do that. He is busy making children and resting after that.

So you are hungry and in desperation. An Arab or an Iranian comes along telling you that fighting one another would not make you rich. None of us has anything anyway. Jews are a much better target. They tell us to go to the Jews living on land that could have been ours or most likely Arab's and to take what we want. We like it and we do it. What difference does it make whom you rob for as long as you rob someone and often? Then the same friendly Arab or an Iranian offers you money for one of your children. You have so many that you listen to the offer. They want your child to strap some explosives to the body, go to the Jews and blow them up. Yes, it could be done but why? Why not? Good enough. Jews would become scared and the whole world would be more receptive to our requests for more help and a lot of money. It makes sense. So you take money and your child becomes a martyr, Shaheed. What a honor and they pay well. The whole Muslim world chips in and your child is a martyr. Now all neighbors offer children for the good deed which brinks a lot of money and some honor to the family. Martyrdom is such a beautiful and noble idea but wasted on the dead people. Martyrs are our biggest and the only export. And there are so many buyers. Let's kill Jews in Israel. Let's kill Americans in America. Let's kill Arabs in Egypt. Let's kill all of them on an island. A fat island resort would be just fine. Where could they go but die? Soon there was no more explosive to go around and we had to wait for the Russians to supply more. Russians gave us arms, ammunition and the explosives. They do it for money that we get from the Arabs and the Iranians. These are the development funds we get from everyone and we develop attacks as requested. When we ran out of explosives or requests for the martyrs that create more hunger because our children do not work and we do not get money for their effort. Blowing ourselves up so the whole world was terrorized paying tones of money, as ransom, to the Arabs and the Iranians is our work. This is our holy work called Jihad. So far it's been the only thing we could do well besides of making more poor and uneducated children but as you can see it's been connected. Oh, how I hate the Turks.

Do you know how this really works? Do you think you really know it all because you saw it on TV and the American woman reporter claimed to know the story from the inside? Yes, right, it's like we proud Muslim men were sitting around the fire on the beautiful warm desert night telling our intimate thoughts to a strange women from someplace in America. Wake up, innocents, and smell the camels. We don't even talk to our own women. Why would we talk to a strange woman from a different tribe? She is not equal in our houses. That's the law. She is a woman and an infidel. What could be low? Well, add the word "lesbian" and that would top it all. She was questionably fit for a harem. She could be good in bed and she could bear children but she would be too much trouble. I know I've seen them. What idiot in America sent her here? What do they think? Yes, we would be polite and smiling to her. We would offer her a cup of coffee and then we spit in to her cup when she can't see. I hear Americans employ women as diplomats and ambassadors to the Muslim countries. This is great if you want to lose every negotiation and they usually did. What Bedouin would take seriously a woman from another country when they were considered much below our own women? Can you see Saudis or the Yemenites doing that? And these women are not Muslim on the top of it. We are obligated to lie to them by law. A good Muslim always lies to infidels. We tell truth only to one another and merely when needed. It was written in Koran or somewhere else. A white infidel woman negotiating with the pillar of Islam or just us, or the Iranians... How stupid is that? How far would she get? And what if she was a lesbian or secretly fooled around when her husband did it openly? Or, what if she was corrupt or a well-known liar? Or, what if her husband was corrupt and a well-known liar? What if we know all that and gossips precede her well in advance? What if the skeletons in her closet scream for vengeance? Don't you think we hear? We would have no respect but contempt for her. No, even Americans were not that stupid. We would spit in to her cup when she does not see it and we would call her a whore when she does not hear, and we would touch her with the sole of a shoe when touching was required. Brrr... I rather hug a Jew but not the Turk.

So that's how it really works. We start crying loudly from hunger and from being so poor. The liberal reporters film it showing the tragedy on TV. That would take our case to the world. We blame the Jews. Why do we do that? Who else do you want us to blame? Do you want us to blame Arabs, Iranians, Russians, Martians, ourselves? Are you joking? One shall not spit in to the well he was drinking from. We blame Jews because it's a custom and we get paid for it. Jews have been blamed for everything for thousands of years. They can take it for a little longer. Don't you know that you can solve any problem to your advantage if you blame it on Jews? No, not true, not any longer, but still it works most of the time. So, we do blame Jews and Jews get reprimanded. The world feels sorry for us and liberals give us anything we want and more. We buy more Russian guns and explosives. Why do we buy it from the Russians? Well, Russians hate Jews even more than we do and they hate the rest of the world slightly less than they hate the Jews. If the whole world tries to work harder to get what they want but don't have while the others do, Russians would do anything just to make sure the others lose what the Russians want but don't have. In short, the whole world is trying to speed up to even up with the leader while Russians would do anything to slow the leader down. That's an interesting position. Also, Russians like money too much and for money they would sell anything to anyone, and they often do. Americans would not sell us guns and that is why we hate Americans but less than we hate Jews. Now we have the means to blow a few Jews and whoever else is around up. Jews retaliate and we start crying from hunger, from being poor and from the retaliation. They film it again showing our suffering on TV and give us again all we wanted and more. Jews get reprimanded again and again. So, we do it as often as we can. We call it the "Redistribution of wealth". It makes everyone happy. We get the money and don't have to work for it. Liberals feel good about themselves giving us this money. Arabs and the Iranians terrorize the world holding it by the family jewels. The Europeans are making money selling us food, medicine and everything else. Russians sell us guns, explosives and training in killing. Americans use us to justify help to Israel. Also they sell a lot of surplus to us and to them. Israel keeps economy going through the military, uses us for target practice and to maintain great relations with the world. At the end Israel is always a good guy. How does that happen? We are the ones that crying but they always come on top. You know, after all that, somehow it looks like I know more dead people than alive. Is there some kind of a lesson there? Oh, I think I hate Jews but I know I hate Turks more.

What else can I tell you my comrades in struggle with injustice and capitalism? I am proud to be a member of the glorious Palestinian race and live in Gaza the land of milk and honey that Jews are occupying at the moment and for the last three thousand years. This moment of occupation is going to be over soon. As soon as we kill the last Jew, it's gone. So we would keep sending our children to front the Jewish guns and wait until Jews ran out of ammunition. Then, we would take them with the bare hands. At any rate we can make babies faster than Jews can make bullets and bullets cost money Jews don't have. Arabs give money to us and not to them and Americans don't give much because they can't feed the whole world all the time. Still we get more money from the Americans than the Jews do. There are many sources of money for the one who is crying the loudest and looking for it hard. Have you noticed the Jewish tragedy brings them more tragedy and the Palestinian tragedy brings us profit? We cry and the whole world pays and the world are happy about it. Jews cry and the whole world cries and the world are not happy about it. Big deal. They cry when you cry. Tears are not money. Well, tears could be sold and we call it the "liquid asset". The more we cry the more they pay and this is money. It's like in that old fairytale where the woman's tears became pearls. The sadder she was the more she cried and the more pearls they had, and her husband profited a great deal from all that. So, he kept her sad so she would cry more and he would grow to be richer and richer. That's our story. Was that from our only book "1001 Night"? To us it has a happy ending. He was rich and they lived happily ever after.

Me? Baraka Hussein Bin Baraka? I was born from the father I did not know and mother that died soon after giving me life. Someone decided for me that I should live in this godforsaken place. Also I claim it to be mine while I have nothing to do with it. And I blame Jews for occupying it while they lived there since the beginning of time. I sell my children and grandchildren for profit so they could kill Jews and the innocent bystanders, and the whole world could benefit from that. For a few years now I belong to a small mixed nation called the Palestinians. Yes, this is a nation now and we have land but still this is a nation of pariahs. The holy book says: "For dust thou art," says God, "and unto dust shalt thou return." What does it mean? Pariah I was and pariah I shall be. Some may argue but so far it looks like that. If we keep living as we are, we would still be pariahs until the end of times. We have to change our ways and beliefs. I could be wrong but how else do you break the spell of nothingness and the uselessness? Oh, God, Allah the Merciful, please make us Jews so we could live as normal people and be a nation in the land of milk and honey. Inshallah! Peace be with you!

Boris Zubry is a mechanical engineer. He was born in the Soviet Union and now lives in the United States. Mr. Zubry is also author of "Chess Master," a political thriller; "Miles of Experience," a collection of short stories and "Arrogance of Truth," a collection of satiric short stories and poetry. He also wrote a novel, "Puska", (published about a year ago), a diary of the American cat. Find his books at Contact him by email at or at his website,

This story appeared March 18, 2009 in Jewish Indy at News&file=article&sid=9654


Return_________________________End of Story___________________________Return

HOME March-April 2009 Featured Stories Background Information News On The Web