Jennifer Leigh: Romance and Dating
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Jennifer Leigh has spent many years advising couples, and helping singles to cope, manage and improve their interpersonal relationships. Especially within a society in which the odds seem against lasting partnerships. Jennifer Leigh Is not a Doctor, just a real woman with real experiences, and the logic that comes from being a "neutral" Listener to you and your needs.
Note From Iraq
Below is a letter I got from an Iraqi
man (and resides in Iraq still) who reads my column at
shgresources.com he tells me the facts of life before the Americans
came...It will make you cry.... Jennifer
Facts from our life
Here I swear to say the truth and nothing but the truth
The time of Saddam Hussein
July, 17th 1968 April, 9th 2003
Have you ever heard of the cutting of
tongues, hands, noses, ears, and legs?
Or the extinguishing of burning cigars on the nipples of women?
Or the pulling out of someone's nails or teeth with pincers?
Have you ever heard of a bottle of Pepsi with a broken neck and a
man or a woman forced to sit on it?
Have you ever heard of the putting of wires carrying high voltage on
Or to strip a girl out of her clothes to be raped by twenty men or
Have you ever heard of thousands of people buried alive in mass
Have you ever heard of young men and women who were put to drown in
pools of acid?
Or the execution of thousands by cutting their heads with a sword?
These are examples of only very common punishments imposed by the
law on people their only crime is that they hate the leader. I am
not talking about the middle ages or a pre-historic period. This was
happening in Iraq in the nineties of the twentieth century.
There's only one permanent, supreme, and powerful leader; Saddam
Hussein. It is unwise to speak his name just like this; you must
say: the leader, the hero, the brother, the beloved
etc. he has 99
surnames, just like the almighty God in the Islamic tradition. The
pictures of the president are everywhere; in the streets, at every
corner, on the doors of shops and houses, on the first pages of the
children's textbooks, at schools, and on trees and pillars of
electricity. Under each picture, a caption says: "There's no life
without the Sun, and no Iraq without Saddam Hussein".
There's only one Party; The Baath Party. The members of this Party
are about one million. They live a luxurious life. They have money,
cars, nice and big houses. They have the right to travel abroad.
Their sons and daughters attend special schools and universities and
they hold the supreme positions in the country. But their main job
is to watch others and listen to their speeches and phone calls, and
to execute whomever they suspect of his loyalty to the great leader.
To be a member in the Party is not easy; in order to be a member in
the Party you must be a Sunni Moslem and you must be able to kill
and torture whomever you think is an enemy to the beloved leader.
The smallest act of behavior is enough to make you an enemy to the
leader; a word or a look of disgust at one of his pictures is
enough. The rest of the Iraqi people (more than 26 million) are
supporters to the Party. One must either be a member in the Party or
supporter to the Party. If you are neither a member nor a supporter,
then you are an enemy; and enemies must die. There's no place for
them in life. Every child reaches the age of 12 must sign a paper
which says that he or she is a supporter to the Party and an
obedient soldier to the leader. The paper also says that if he
changes his mind one day or if the government feels any suspect of
his loyalty to the great leader or towards the party he is to be
There's only one TV channel. It is the channel of the Party. Space
channels, the internet, and mobile phones are forbidden. It is a
very serious crime if they discover that someone keeps a satellite
broadcasting receiver. The Party channel broadcasts about eight
hours a day. They broadcast songs that chant the beloved leader and
his glorious victories over his enemies and the luxurious life the
people of Iraq live under his wise leadership. Then comes the news
which always deals with the activities of the leader during the day.
After that comes a programme discussing the great thoughts of the
Every morning, teachers, who are members in the Party, ask children
at schools: 'What did your father say when he saw the leader on TV
yesterday?" If one of the children says that his father turned off
the TV when the leader appeared on the screen, it's all over with
the family of that child. The whole family will vanish the very next
They usually come at night to take whole families out of their beds
to the cells of torture. When you find out that your next door
neighbors are not at home, forget them and never talk about them; it
is such a dangerous act to speak about them or remember them. They
do not exist and they never exist. People know very well what
happens, but no one dares to talk about it. To be safe you must be
careful in everything, even when you are asleep. And let me tell you
this story for an example:
Four young men were sitting in a bar in Baghdad one evening. As they
were drinking one of the said: "I had a dream last night. In that
dream I saw that I was the President of Iraq, and you, my three
friends, were ministers. The four men laughed high and went on with
their drink. The next morning the four men disappeared. A week later
their families received their dead bodies. To be a good Iraqi
citizen you must be straight and loyal even in your dreams.
When they shoot someone, his family must pay them the price of the
bullets that killed its son. Then the family of the victim must send
a telegram of thanks to the great leader for saving the country from
such a disloyal enemy. Here I have to mention that it is a sign of
disloyalty and disobedience to mourn the executed person or to make
a decent funeral for him.
After the Desert Storm in 1991, the Shiis in the South and Middle
rose against the dictator. What was the result? Soon the revolution
was put down, and 6 million people from the Shii (men, women, and
children) were buried alive in mass graves and the major Shii cities
were destroyed. And when the Kurds in the North tried to rise
against him at the same time, he attacked their cities and villages
with chemical weapons. In few moments, hundreds of thousands were
killed by poison gas.
The dictator has two sons. They are as evil as their father. They
kill anyone they dislike. They used to haunt colleges and
universities with their guards. They have an army of guards. The
purpose of their frequent visits to universities is to look for the
most beautiful girls to take them somewhere by force and rape them.
They took some of my female classmates in front of my eyes and I
could do nothing to save them.
Iraq Mesopotamia was the first civilization in the world, and it
is the richest country on the earth. But the Iraqis do not find what
to eat, except the little bad food that keeps them alive. Where does
the fortune of Iraq go? Part of this huge fortune is spent on the
development of mass destruction weapons and part of it goes to the
pockets of the dictator and his family and followers. The rest of
our fortune goes to the Palestinian terrorists and to Osama bin
Laden in Afghanistan. While the Iraqis live in poverty, the family
of the dictator and his followers lose millions of Dollars every
night in the gambling places in Switzerland. At the same time the
dictator builds for himself hundreds of palaces made completely from
gold and marble. His sons have cars and wagons made completely from
That was the kind of life we led before the multinational forces,
under the leadership of the United States, came to Iraq. It was the
happiest moment in our life when we heard Mr. Bush declare the
beginning of the liberation of Iraq operation. America saved us from
all our fears and miseries and poverty. The Americans are helping us
now to rebuild our country. Now we have law, and no one is above the
law. All our fortune is ours now. We practiced our rights and
elected a new President and a prime minister. Now we have a
parliament that watches human rights and the behavior of the
government. America did all this to us. The dictator and his
followers are in prison now waiting to be prosecuted. His sons were
killed earlier in an attack by the American Army on a palace they
were in. now we are free; we have a lot of money; and we are able
now to use the internet and mobile phones and to receive space TV
channels. Now we can talk publicly against the President; we can say
whatever we like and express our thoughts freely through hundreds of
newspapers and TV channels.
To be continued
For those of you who have dated through meeting on the internet, I would like to hear your stories, good or bad for an upcomming column, as well as any advice you can give to those looking for love online. Please email me at enniferleighIRC@aol.com
Also I am researching the issues of trust in a society where infidelity is becomming common place. Please send your stories on how you keep faithful, or how unfaithfulness has occured in your life as well as the effect it has had on you, or on how you recover to trust again. Your opinion counts and helps all who read them. Share your experiences with others as it can enrich and help others in their struggles. JenniferleighIRC@aol.com
Email questions and stories to Jennifer
||Can you think of anything that cures the heart more than the water and the setting of the sun?"
- Photo by Jennifer Leigh
Thanks for all the interesting questions. Take care until next time!
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