Monday, January 17, 2005

A typical day in Mosul

A description of a day in my ordinary life as a citizen of Mosul.

I will start from the early morning and in a usual day.

Usually I wake up at about 5:30 AM before the sunshine, then I will go to the nearby mosque for the prayer of the Fajr (The morning prayer). The females usually do their praying in the house.

When I get back home, I take a little nap and wake up to find the breakfast ready, all the family take the breakfast together. The breakfast usually consists of a cup of tea, some bread and dairy products (cheese, cream, butter, and yogurt) or eggs.

At 7:45 AM, we start to move toward our work. I drive my daughters to their school, my wife to her place of work, then I go to the hospital where I work. Our work usually starts at 8:00 AM. The city is small and half an hour is enough to do this round in an ordinary day. The work hour is from 8:00am – 2:00pm

Going back home, I collect my wife and daughters and if we need any shopping we may do it then, if the stores are in our way. Or just postpone it to a later time. Reaching the house, my wife starts to prepare the lunch, which is usually half prepared from the previous day.

Incase the wife is a housewife; she stays at home doing the daily cleaning up and cook for the family. She may go to visit her neighbors, and exchange food receipt and ideas with them. And when the rest of the family is back they take their lunch together.

The lunch in Iraq and especially in Mosul is different from the western countries. The main dish is usually rice. Rice is very popular here and is cooked in a delicious way, and usually served with another dish, we called it “Maraq”, it consists of vegetable (different kinds give different Maraqs), cooked in Tomato sauce with special spices. We usually prepare the Maraq the day before because it takes time to ripe, but the rice is prepared at time, it takes about 15 minutes to be ready.
Iraqi people can’t live without rice for more than few days, when I traveled abroad; the only food I missed was the rice.

After the lunch, if there is time, I usually take a short nap, then prepare my self to go to my clinic where I stay there to about 7:00 PM, then go back home and may do some shopping in my way home.
The dinner is usually late at night and consists of light food, followed by a cup of tea.
Then the family sits either watching TV or the girls prepare their homework for the school.
Late at night there is a serving of fruits, and we all go to sleep.
We don’t stay awake after 12:00 PM, unless there's a really good movie, or maybe cartoons!

This is a brief description of typical day in Mosul, off course before the war.

Thank you for your time.


Mister Ghost said...

Mr.Truth Teller,
Sounds like you're very much a creature of habit.
Are there any special days, when you say to
yourself, today I'm going to have pancakes for
breakfast with an extra helping of maple syrup
and butter? Probably not. But if you ever have
a chance to sample some pancakes with real maple
syrup, go for it.

Any ways, it's nice to read this vignette of life in
Mosul and hopefully over time, the thugs and terrorists will be cleared out of town and you can
be back to pre-war conditions minus Saddam and with a democratic elected government. Don't forget to vote!

jimmy said...

It sounds like a typical day in Mosul(before the war) could be mistaken for a typical day anywhere. A family going about their business, students learning and families enjoying each others company. I hope this returns soon after the elections and things calm down and people can enjoy political and religious freedom.
I pray for your country and family daily.

praktike said...

Thanks for sharing this ... it's nice to hear what your daily life is, as usually all the news we get is about fighting and politics. It's also interesting to see a doctor's day in another country, as my sister is just now starting the first year of her residency. Do Iraqi residents work long hours (80+ a week) too?

A question about the rice: is it basmati (long grain) rice? Brown? White? I'm curious.

Thanks, and stay safe! You have some very smart and talented daughters, sir, and it's been a pleasure to read their words.

Anonymous said...

Nice diary. But was it much different when Saddam was ruling the country? Even then you could eat, care for your kids, work etc.So what improvement brought the removal of Saddam to your life personally?

Vestal Vespa said...

Maraq sounds fabulous. I am a food fanatic, particularly Middle-Eastern food (my father lived in Tehran for a year, Iranian food is my favorite). I hope one day to visit Iraq and Iran, to sample the food and hear the prayers on the loudspeakers, swelling over the cities as the sun rises. These are the things my father told me about the Middle East, things I long to experience for myself.

Thanks for posting your blog. I feel it is vitally important that the Iraqi people have a voice.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Truth Teller:

Thank you for your informative post. I visit the Iraqui blogspots to try to learn as much as I can about how the people are living. My prayers are with you and your country.

Pat in NC said...

The good Iraqi people remain in my prayers that the elections will go well and that the terrorism will cease. From what I learn from other Iraqi posts and from our military, it sounds like many terrorists are being arrested. May peace come soon for Iraq. You have a lovely family and your granddaughter is beautiful.

strykeraunt said...

Hi Truthteller, I just read on Najma's blog that you are her father. It is important for me to learn more about Iraq, and have a special interest in Mosul. Your postings have been just what I am looking for.

I will be honest with you, truthteller, I am a little reluctant posting here because I have formed an impression about you based on some of Najma's posts. Right or wrong it is how I feel. However, if your are who you portray yourself to be on this site, I do have an open mind. I have also grown fond of Najma but cannot bring myself to email her now because I cannot carry on a positive dialogue if she is blaming all that is happening at this moment on the American soldier. I have two nephews who served in Iraq (they are both home now) and know that life for the American soldiers are pretty difficult right now. My country asked these soldiers to perform a difficult task and I have made a commitment to support them. I do believe that their true intention is to bring democracy to Iraq so they can come home. However, not knowing who is friend or foe makes this mission very difficult.

Anyway, enough of that!! I hope you have a safe and wonderful journey to Bagdad. Hopefully, it will bring you all a needed break.

Dave Schuler said...

This post has been included in this week's Carnival of the Liberated, a sampler of some of the best posts from Iraqi bloggers.

free0352 said...

One thing Americans don't know but should is Iraqi food. When I was there for the invasion to get rid of Saddam, some locals cooked for my squad one day. It was great! I think it was the rice you were talking about cooked in tommatos, with vegitabes and lamb. Oh its making me hungry, I'm going for lunch now. I'll add your blog to my faveorites.

Papa Ray said...

Greetings, I hope this finds you and yours safe and healthy.

I read your post about your average day before the war and thought that it was typical of most people all over the world.

I am sure your life and your world will never be the same as you used to have.

At the same time I am sure that your life will be even better than you ever dreamed in the future.

I also would like you to read a very long essay that I found last night. There are many things in it that you already know, and many I am sure you do not.

I know that I learned and understood much, that I didn't, before I read it. Yes, it is just one man's opinion, but that is how anyone learns or grows, by being exposed to and thinking about things from someone else's opinion or perspective.

Anyway, here it is: The War Against World War IVI would say that you should not let your daughter read this, as she is not old enought or educated enought and she may either not believe any of it or be frightened by what it contains.

This is my post

Papa Ray
West Texas

Critt said...


I was fortunate to meet Omar and Mohammed -- Iraq the Model -- for a few minutes during a lunch break when they visited the United States in December last year.

I found your daughter's blog a few days ago, and now I come to yours. I am thankful that you have taken the time to write publicly. As my son is an American soldier, now working in Mosul during the election, I depend on you for knowledge of your city.

I look forward to learning about your life in Mosul.


Critt Jarvis

Mike O said...

We have two Pakistani Muslims in my office; they took over an empty office and turned it into a prayer room, so they don't miss out (except on Fridays; they then go to the Mosque). I think it's great; sure far superior to cigarette breaks (everyone smokes outside here in the U.S. :)!

Salvador said...

Dear Mr.Truth Teller!

I have just found this accusations on the web- page of Al Jazeera:

"Aljazeera also learned that US forces took over al-Salam hospital in the northern Iraqi province of Mosul to use as a military headquarters after driving out all patients and medical staff.

The seven-storey building is the city's biggest hospital."

klick!Could you please tell us if this is right or jazeera propaganda BS?

Thanks in Advance!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the honesty and openess of your blog. It is unusual for a blogger to answer questions posted so quickly if at all. Your grand daughter is a beautiful child. Her pictures make me smile. Could I ask you as a Dr., are the hospitals in worse or better condition than before the war? Do you have more medicines? Have a lot of the medical staff fled? Our military and government always tell us how improved hospitals are and I want your opinion. I wish your family a beter and safer future. Sally

Anonymous said...

Hello, dear Dr. Truth Teller,

Thank you so much for starting a blog!

It's a relief reading on Najma's site that you've arrived safely in Baghdad. May you have a lovely, peaceful time with your family there. May you have a Happy Eid!

I wonder if your rice is like the Italian "risotto", which must be stirred and stirred while it's cooking?

I think some of your Western (especially American) readers may be confused about two things you or your daughters have written about:

I think some are confusing Mosul with what they've read about Kirkuk. (both in the north and everything)

I also think some are confused about the word "jihad". To many it seems to only mean "extremists and suicide bombers".

Thank you for your time, dear Doctor. Take care.

Love, Tilli (Mojave Desert)

PS -- I think you may be the oldest person to blog from Iraq!

PPS -- If you read the Norman Podheretz article Papa Ray linked to, you'll be introduced to the byzantium of American politics and to one of the most influential neo-conservatives we have. He's a close personal friend of Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al (and his wife wrote a highly complimentary biography of Rumsfeld).

I think the neo-conservatives have a deluded and dangerous way of looking at the world. Many Americans agree with me. I also think that many people who voted for Bush didn't understand all that he represents and wouldn't have voted for him if they had! Well -- that's what I think...

Anonymous said...

Good luck from California. I sincerely hope the spring will bring peaceful days along with the smell of flowers.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Truth Teller. I wanted to thank you for your posts. They help me to better understand your country. I would like for you and your daughter to read an article by an American soldier stationed there. questingcat

Anonymous said...

I am sorry the link would not work. The Url is

Topgun said...

I wish you and to your family good luck and everything is better after de January 30th.

From Barcelona ( Spain)


Le deseo a usted y a su familia buena suerte y que todo sea mejor después del 30 de enero.

strykeraunt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
strykeraunt said...

Mr. Truthteller,

I believe that the post Anonymous wants you to read on the American soldier (thequestingcat) blog site is the one dated 1/19/05. It really is a well written article that mentions Najma (the star from mosul).

Anonymous said...

Hello Truthteller,
If no one else has, let me apologize for the disruption and chaos of your life and your families caused by America. May you find peace and serenity again soon. I would encourage you to vote if it is possible in the next election for a party which demands an end to US troops in Iraq. God bless the people of Mosul, which I have heard is ancient Nineveh.

Anonymous said...

I suspect the Kurds in Halabja will have - shall we say - slightly less fond memories of Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Not to mention the tens of thousands of Shia's now lying in mass graves.

What goes around comes around. Hopefully Iraq will pull through this so that freedom and justice can be served for all Iraqi's, not just the Sunni's who benefited from Saddam Hussein's rule.

Anonymous said...

I read Najma's posts regularly and really appreciate them because they are so honest. Anyone of her age and in her situation is going to have ups and downs in feelings. I don't resent what she says about Americans or others. I just find her posts to be honest expressions of her thoughts at that time. Her honesty in expressing feelings I need to hear is why I read her blog. --Joe.

慢慢來 said...