Friday, February 15, 2008

Beauty and Ayerakis

"Hhhmm it is good," I said to the waiter, "I rarely find good pickles at restaurants".

"Yeah, everyday we check these jars, and these are Lebanese work," he said, flashing all he can of his Lebanese pride, but like any other curious person, his small eyelined eyes were focused, he fired "where are you from?"

"Ani 3ira8iya," I said, "I thought you were Jordanian… the accent," he said.

Of course I change my accent to make it swifter and smoother when I talk to non-Iraqi Arabs, as our accent is apparently sounds Chinese or Hindi to them.

"But is it possible in Iraq to have such beauty," he continued.

I giggled.

"But are there more?" he asked

"There are more of course, and much better," I confirmed. I ended up explaining to him that Iraqi beauty is diverse and changes from the south to the north encompassing looks from blondes to tanned skinned women with green eyes.

The eyelined waiter pursed his lips when he heard tanned skinned women with green eyes.

"Strange, of how people think of Iraqi looks," I said to him with sarcasm.

"Only now, we see Iraqi women, before when they used to come to Lebanon, they were all covered, now there is more liberalization and now we see them," he said.

(I thought that was odd, as there were Liberal Iraqi families with pretty girls residing there especially in the seventies…)

"But in the seventies, Iraqi women were liberal ………" and the conversation continued….

This is neither the first nor the last of all the redundant impressions people have on Iraqis, I don't blame them, we hardly have any good looking actors and actresses, it seems that the professional work of acting attracts the not so good looking Iraqi specimens.

And even though I do constitute a casual cute or pretty material, and I do have confidence but I found his last inquiry – if there is more- was a bit offensive, but I took it jokingly, but I no way, top the beauty of a real beautiful Iraqi woman!!!
we really do have hot women, is just they do not appear on TV much and we do not have any modeling agencies or any branding, public relations agencies that can take care of Iraq's image. We only have blood, violence and tired, poor people that they constantly show on TV.
I still remember the 1999 Clintons bombing on Iraq, the TV anchor said "the bombing hit downtown Baghad", and all I saw in the footage was old Iraqi women in black Abayas herding their sheep
I guess that was the "real" Baghdad downtown and not the lovely Mansour and its beauties.


nadia n said...

You know I am Leb on my mom's side and personally I could do without the hottie stereotype, I feel like I'm letting people down. I don't understand that culture and I don't think I ever will, as much as I try. Though I know what you are talking about, but people are silly, so good riddance to them. I can never take anyone that flatters me seriously, I think it makes me come off as rude but I can't help it, it's a reflex.

Gilgamish said...


There was this forward 20 points - you know you are Lebanese of them was like-- even if the girl was ugly , she will have arab men chasing her hahahaha I thought that was hillarious.
On another note,it might annoy you, but you can think of the positive side and to enjoy it.
And I tell you when people comments the other person's looks most probabl they mean it! so have fun with the falttery :)

But I too sick and tired of the redundent impressions people have on my looks, actually it is a major complain especially with the good looking Iraqi girls, no one believes that they are Iraqis lool even if they keep repeating that, and what even ANNOYS me further, is that NO one has lived in Iraq to actually know how iraqis looked like and then with all audacity philosophize , oh you do notlook Iraqi and bla bla bal...

Well, with my Lebanese friends, sometimes they have these moments commenting of how I do not look excatly Iraqi, translating -oh , I think you are good looking! --

But even if people think we are good looking, our accent won't fair much, there is a Jordanian saying "al mar2a al 3ira8iya jameela , ila min tibdi titkalam"

yeah nothng is perfect :D

nadia n said...

I think I remember that fwd, but I think that's more about guys thinking the Leb girls are easy than pretty, but that is a whole other debate! I think I sounded angry in my comment, but that guy's attitude sounded very...Lebanese to me (I hate saying so because I hate the stereotype and am way too defensive about it-and also so many don't fit it) and I hate that way of thinking. I think it's kind of funny when anyone talks about the beauty of women in ______, as if they're all that different than upperclass women anywhere else that want to look good.

I remember some cartoon floating around about how different wives are in different countries, I don't think Iraq was even on it. I never heard the ugly thing specifically(though I've heard it said about others), but from others I get the impression that Iraqis thought of as really... uncool I guess. I get "you don't look it" a lot, but I think that's cause of me being so grossly pale. But how the hell do you hate on the accent, it's the best thing ever, people are crazy.

re flattery: in my head I know that's just how some people express themselves-I'm trying to be less cynical but old habits die hard, I think I get it from my dad.

Gilgamish said...


Iraqis are just blunt, I have noticed that about myself as I am quite of a confrontational person as well.

i have always ciritisized Iraqis bluntness only when i noticed it in me.

As for the accent, i guess it depends on the taste, I think it all depends if it is a bit toned and accompanied with good looks, some of the shamis will take it as some sort of a turn on, as it will sound a bit 3urbi to the bone to them, it is like the cliche of a good looking beduin chick speaking,

however it can deter men looooool i had an Egyptian guy espcaing my vernacular loool

Though never knew you were half Iraqi, good to hear that. :)

Are you part of the Iraq blog count?

ciaoat ya 7ilwat :)

nadia n said...

Egyptian? Talk about pot and kettle, not that I'm biased at all. I tend to like rough accents in general, like scottish is amazing. And I am the only person I know that likes french canadian even though I understand it like half the time.
I am less exposed to Lebanese, even though there's lots of them here, I hardly had any relatives from there around growing up.

I am too accustomed to the bluntness. Like I can't take how I never know what British people are thinking, they are way too composed for me, it creeps me out!

Yeah I don't genrally talk about myself this much on the internet. I am on the blogcount but I'm not totally sure I should be, "Iraqi-Canadian" is more apt a label for me.

take care chérie