Thursday, April 19, 2007

Alibabba

28 Mar 07
Two more rockets this morning around 0400 both landed just outside the wire by Waterloo Lines.

The other day we were playing volleyball with the Iraqis. As we were leaving one of the older Iraqi maintainers, Abdullah, was ribbing one of our guys. Our guy returned the rib and said something to the effect of “We’ll get you next time, Alibabba.” Abdullah rushed over and pretended to wrestle with our guy in a jovial manner. Afterwards, he gave him a very stern look and told him you must never call someone “Alibabba” in Iraq. The word means “thief” and is a major insult. Several other Iraqis had heard what our guy said and throughout the evening they went by his room to tell him his behavior was not acceptable. Our guy felt so bad he eventually went to Abdullah’s room and gave him a gift as an apology. At dinner they asked me if I had heard the exchange and even explained to me why it was unacceptable.

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