Wednesday, May 05, 2004

:: Last Monday, the graduation festival of the 5th grade students of the college of dentistry/Baghdad University was held.
I missed the opportunity to attend this celebration-that usually attracts huge audience from other colleges-but I couldn’t let myself miss watching the fantastic decorations and paintings that every group of students makes. So I went to the college this morning with two of my friends and started to take photos for these paintings which usually contain mocking portraits and funny notes about each member in the group. The students usually spend months and a lot of money to prepare for the celebration; the preparations usually include the (group tent) which is placed in a corner in the college yard and the students gather in this tent (after taking the graduation photo that all the students appear in) with their families and their friends to sing, dance and take more and more photos. And this is an old tradition in my college and many other colleges in Baghdad.

I think I told you in a previous post that there’s an internet café now in my college but I want to add that this café was installed in the hall that used to be the office of the NUIS (national union of Iraqi students) in Saddam’s days. This union was the spying eye of the Baáth party in every college or high school as the union members were strictly, opportunistic Baáthists trying to get higher ranks by writing reports about the ‘suspicious’ students or even professors.

The college cafeteria is one of my favorite places because I can always see activity, normal and somewhat cheerful life there regardless of how bad the situation might sometimes be just outside the walls of this place as if it has magical immunity to politics or security problems. That's why I never miss the chance to visit my college when I'm in Baghdad and especially when I feel down.

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