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My young cousin is a religious Sunni who goes to the mosque and listens to the cleric there every Friday and believes whatever he says, as he’s still young. My uncle always teased his son about this but never prohibited him from doing that.
We were talking about different stuff; the kids’ needs, clerics, Americans and the increase in the average income of most Iraqis. My uncle had some unusual sense of humor that didn’t fit quite well in his somewhat religious family. He winked at me and turned to his son and asked him "What do you think of the Americans?"
His son answered, "They are occupiers".
"So you think we should fight them?" his father asked.
Ibrahim said "No, but I don’t like them".
My uncle said, pretending to change the subject "Do you like your new computer that no one shares with you?"
"Yes of course dad".
"Ok, are you satisfied with the satellite dish receiver we have or do you need a better one?"
"This one is fine but I heard there’s a better one that gets more channels"
"ok I’ll get you that next week". Then he said, "Is there anything else you’d like to have son?"
"No dad I have all that I need".
"Ok but how about a car?"
Ibrahim was astounded and said "Really? a..a CAR.. for me!?".
"Of course for you! I’m too old to drive now and my eyes are not that well and you are the older son. So whom else would it be for!?"
"Oh, dad that will be great! When will that happen?"
"Just finish you’re exams and you’ll have it".
"I will dad".
"Are you happy now son?"
"Yes dad, sure I am!"
"Then why do you hate the Americans you son of a b***h!? I couldn’t get you a bicycle a year ago, I could hardly feed you and your brothers and sisters. You didn’t know what an apple or a banana tasted like, I couldn’t buy you a damned Pepsi bottle except in occasions, and now you can have all that you wish, and a car of your own! Who do you think made that possible!?"
My cousin’s face turned red and didn’t answer as we laughed and I said "What do you think Ibrahim?"
He said, "Well it’s true but it’s our money. They are not giving us a charity"
and I said "Of course it’s our money, so let’s forget the Billions of dollars they are giving to rebuild Iraq and the efforts they are doing to cut down our debts and lets talk about our money. Why didn’t your father, I, my brothers and all the Iraqis have anything worth mentioning before the Americans came?"
He said, "Because Saddam used it to buy weapons and build palaces".
"There you have it Ibrahim, but Americans are not touching our money. Can you tell me who’s better; the ‘occupiers’ who are helping us or the ‘patriot’ who did all that you know to us?"
He said in a faint voice "They are better than Saddam but still they are not Muslims".
"So do you want them to be Muslims?"
"I wish they were."
"Will you fight them to that?"
he said, "No, of course not. I don’t like fighting."
We didn’t want to pressure and embarrass him further and didn’t go further, as he’s still young but he’s smart and good-natured and will get it soon.