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   Undertoad  Monday Dec 25 09:26 AM

December 25, 2006: Iraqi Christmas tree





Aside from the official caption, "An Iraqi decorates a Christmas tree in Arbil, Iraq", there's no further info on this AFP wire service shot.

Alex from Neatorama finds more detail on Christmas trees in Iraq at the WaPo. Turns out, selling Christmas trees is one of the most dangerous jobs in Baghdad:

Quote:
Nouri Dawoud has one of the most dangerous jobs in Baghdad. He sells Christmas trees.

For seven hours a day, he stands on the same street corner in a neighborhood where drive-by shootings and snipers are not uncommon. He caters to Christians, among the most targeted people. On a good day, he attracts a crowd, a draw for suicide bombers...

On Monday, one week before Christmas, Dawoud was the only tree vendor on his street, which in the past had become 'Christmas tree row' in early December. His colleagues, he said, were too afraid to join him.

"They said, 'You go check it out first. You're an old man,'" he said.

With a black-checkered kaffiyeh wrapped around his head, he placed five tall, anemic-looking trees against a wall and waited for people to show up. Few did. With his one good eye, he scanned every car. He called his presence a "fidai" - a suicide mission - and broke into a hearty laugh.
Ah well. Merry Christmas from the Cellar and Neatorama.


Elspode  Monday Dec 25 12:24 PM

Truly, this task merits my traditional "Merry Fucking Christmas, Dude".

Have I mentioned lately how much people suck? And how little we here in the US understand real hardship and danger?

We are so blessed as a people, even in tough times. Best of the season to us all, 'cause no one is going to blow us up for buying a Christmas tree.



skysidhe  Monday Dec 25 12:25 PM

This is very cool. Thank you



DanaC  Monday Dec 25 12:44 PM

Food for thought and no mistake.



CaliforniaMama  Tuesday Dec 26 03:07 AM

Just goes to show how f***ing lunatic middle easterners are.

"Hello, I am an Iraqi, look how I try to get shot. Isn't that funny? Why aren't you laughing, my friend? You don't want to get shot with me? Why not, my friend, we are all going to die someday anyway."

His epitaph: I was only trying to make an honest living.

Ho. Ho. Ho.



barefoot serpent  Tuesday Dec 26 12:50 PM

'round these parts, it's The Optimist Club that sells Xmas trees. This guy should at least be an honorary member.



Phil  Tuesday Dec 26 01:05 PM

muslims believe in Christ and some celebrate Christmas.
and I agree with Elspode.



milkfish  Tuesday Dec 26 05:55 PM

I hope that tree-seller lives a hundred years at least.



CaliforniaMama  Tuesday Dec 26 10:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by barefoot serpent
'round these parts, it's The Optimist Club that sells Xmas trees. This guy should at least be an honorary member.
Maybe he should start a club called The Fatalists.


Sundae  Wednesday Dec 27 01:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaMama
Just goes to show how f***ing lunatic middle easterners are.

"Hello, I am an Iraqi, look how I try to get shot. Isn't that funny? Why aren't you laughing, my friend? You don't want to get shot with me? Why not, my friend, we are all going to die someday anyway."
Much as I agree that there are MANY lunatics in the Middle East, I applaud this man's spirit.

My Great Aunt tells the story of how she ran through an air-raid in order to get to a dance, a doodlebug whistling above her head. And I had a friend from Belfast who risked many potentially fatal situations in order to live a normal life.

If you're going to be a fruitloop, at least be one that is trying to do something positive, rather than one who is trying to reduce the world's population.


rkzenrage  Wednesday Dec 27 04:38 PM

"God told me to go blow-up all the Christmas trees! Now I'll go to heaven!"... NOT!
Trying to rationalize this is not religious tolerance.
Rational Imans will tell you these people go to the worst depths of hell.
Being an atheist, I know they are just insane idiots of immeasurable levels.



CaliforniaMama  Wednesday Dec 27 06:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundae Girl
Much as I agree that there are MANY lunatics in the Middle East, I applaud this man's spirit.
I am far too jaded when it comes to Arabs to applaud his spirit . . .

I don't want to disuade you all from thinking positive thoughts of these guys, but this is pure lunacy and greed. It's not like he's risking his life to make a lot of people happy or make good in the world. My guess is it is driven by a perverse sense of humor and desire to get the buck that his neighbor doesn't have the balls to earn.

I do not usually consider myself prejudiced, but I am going to make this very prejudicial statement that Arabs don't give a fig for making people happy!!

And, it's not like this place is full of Christians or anything!

You have to understand, though, that I've had way more contact with Arabs than is good for me . . .

Okay, one example. I worked with this Egyptian. He tells us it is ridiculous that we get Christmas off. You don't celebrate, we ask? Oh, I am a Christian, he says. I watch the preachers on Sunday. But Christmas is a stupid celebration and no one should get it off. It should be just another day. But if you are a Christian, isn't it a good day for you to rejoice? Why, he asks, there is nothing to celebrate.

It's like they can think two opposite thoughts at the same time and have no problems with believing opposing things.

It's a cultural thing.


xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Dec 28 01:15 AM

I don't think the tree seller has a whole lot of options when it comes to trying to scrape out a living. He's probably well aware that he could be snuffed on any corner, on any day, just because he was there.....so he might as well be selling trees.



CaliforniaMama  Thursday Dec 28 12:14 PM

Well, it IS better than selling guns!



wolf  Thursday Dec 28 02:43 PM

There is more than one (Protestant) Christian sect that doesn't beleive that Christmas is anything other than a pagan festival co-opted by the Catholic Church in it's early days, and therefore they don't celebrate it. Or Halloween, or the bunnies and chickies and chocolate aspects of Easter.



Phil  Thursday Dec 28 03:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaMama
Well, it IS better than selling guns!

*applauds*


milkfish  Thursday Dec 28 04:00 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf
There is more than one (Protestant) Christian sect that doesn't beleive that Christmas is anything other than a pagan festival co-opted by the Catholic Church in it's early days, and therefore they don't celebrate it. Or Halloween, or the bunnies and chickies and chocolate aspects of Easter.
To wit: Against Pagan and Roman Catholic Holy Days (Holidays) Like Christmas and Easter.

For people who don't go for Christmas (or "Christmass," as they dub it), they sure do like their red and green text markup.


CaliforniaMama  Friday Dec 29 01:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf
There is more than one (Protestant) Christian sect that doesn't beleive that Christmas is anything other than a pagan festival co-opted by the Catholic Church in it's early days, and therefore they don't celebrate it. Or Halloween, or the bunnies and chickies and chocolate aspects of Easter.
If you are referring to my Egyptian: he's not that kind. He's the kind that becomes Muslim the minute his feet touch Egyptian soil. The kind that the more you know the more you realize you don't want to know!

It would actually make a very interesting study in sociology!!


xoxoxoBruce  Friday Dec 29 04:14 AM

The JWs don't do Christmas, either.



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