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Please, not again

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    Please, not again

    Please, please, please spare us the Hollywood version of this for heaven's sake. i still haven't stopped puking from the last movie they showed of another story along similar lines as this - the Princess and the Marine i think it was called? :yukh:

    i predict, for this one, lots of crazy turbaned Muslim men frothing at the lips, doe-eyed Eye-raqi girl trying to lead a better life and build a home in the land of freedom, her wacko friends & family desert her, GI Hero steps into the picture, they live happily ever after in Florida.

    By the way, i'm not commenting on their love or whatever. Just commenting on the documentary/movie version that might be released... the ones that thrive on stereotypes. Another one that comes to mind is "Not without my daughter".

    Love across the lines, The Guardian, 11 February 2004 [excerpts only]

    Saddam Hussein is reputed to be a big Shakespeare fan. He particularly likes The Taming of the Shrew and, more oddly, Romeo and Juliet. For some reason, the ex-dictator believes the tale of the star-crossed lovers teaches children obedience to nation and family. In that case, Saddam must deplore Sean Blackwell and his wife Ehda'a's version of the love story, about which he may even have read before his capture. For a while, they were all over the press - the American sergeant and the Iraqi doctor whose impulsive love affair and speedy marriage briefly united the US army and the nationalist resistance in sheer irritation.

    Following their wedding, the US army confined Blackwell to base, stopped him seeing his bride and kicked him out of the military and all the way back home to Florida. Meanwhile in Baghdad, Ehda'a's life was threatened and she still fears for her family, whose name we consequently may not use.

    But this particular story of love across the divide looks like it may have a happy outcome. The pair - who have not seen each other since a 20-minute wedding ceremony last August - are due to be reunited this weekend in the Jordanian capital, Amman. After a long struggle with prejudice and military bureaucracy, they will at last be together - bride, groom and the American television documentary team that has been recording every step of their travails.

    Yet without the aggressive but sentimental glare of network television, the army might not have let Blackwell go so easily. At one point he even came close to being court-martialled - "for falling in love", as Vickie McKee, Blackwell's mother back in the Florida panhandle, always puts it. It was only after McKee and a local lawyer, Richard Alvoid, made the story world news that the army backed down on the threat of a court martial and dishonourable discharge. Blackwell was given a written reprimand - which he now paraphrases as: "You did this. We told you not to. Bad you" - and given an early ticket out of Iraq.

    The story made headlines not just because it was a tale of romantic love on the front line. It also said a lot about Iraq's new occupiers and how they viewed the people they had declared liberated. It was last May, about a month after the fall of Baghdad, that Edhaa, 25, presented herself at the ministry of health, offering her services as a trained doctor at a time when the hospitals were on the point of collapse. She wanted to get out of Qut, the Baghdad satellite town where she was working and where educated, western-dressed women were under threat from resurgent Islamic militants.

    The American administrators at the ministry did not want to know. But the sergeant in charge of security at the gate seemed pleasant and helpful. His name, as it turned out, was Sean Blackwell. He was 27 years old and in Iraq pretty much by accident. He had left the army in late 2002, and signed up with the Florida National Guard (the equivalent of the Territorial Army) thinking it would be a question of "barbecue and beers" a couple of times a month, and free tuition. He had planned to get a degree in nutrition rather than go to war. But a month after he signed up with the guard he received his deployment orders and found himself manning the gates of the Iraqi ministry of health four months later.

    "He was the first American I had the chance to meet," says Ehda'a in a telephone interview from Baghdad. "He was very handsome with very nice eyes. He was trying his best to help." Blackwell had an idea about how she might find a job. There was some money set aside for clinics run jointly by army medics and local doctors, and there was a shortage of women doctors to examine women patients. In the end, the job did not work out - the army surgeon apparently did not want to work with an Iraqi - but at least it got the couple talking.

    "It was kind of funny, I kind of flustered her," says Blackwell, at home outside Pensacola, Florida. "She was telling me [a story], like: 'They want to kidnap me' [referring to the fundamentalists in Qud] and I just kind of smiled and said, 'Well, I can't blame them.' She said: 'What?' and I said, 'I'd kidnap you.' I was just flirting with her. She got a little flustered and forgot how to speak English, and started talking to my interpreter in Arabic and he was translating for her, and then she started speaking English again. She was a little embarrassed. Open flirtation like that... well, it's a big no-no actually over there. But... it happened to work. That was basically it about how we met, and she just continued to visit every two to three days for the next four months."

    Ehda'a would bring him food and talk to his friends. The way she tells it, it was as coy as a first encounter at the school gates. "After a few times we met, the translator was saying, 'What did you do to him? He spent all night asking about you and asking how to say [your] name.' "

    For their first date, Blackwell took Ehda'a somewhere he knew would take her breath away - Saddam's palace. "It was a great day," says Ehda'a, in effusive English. "It was just like palaces of ancient ages." But she also felt sad. "Iraq is a very rich country and we in Iraq should live like everybody else, but Saddam took all the money because of his delusions of grandeur."

    They talked about their families and found out that they had both been abandoned by their fathers as toddlers, and both were anxious to build stronger families. Blackwell's first marriage had collapsed and he had two daughters by two different women, but he insisted he was ready to start again.

    Three months after their palace date, Blackwell - fed up with dating across the razor-wire - was already thinking about getting married. "It just felt like the right thing to do," he says now. "It was something that was more than us. I didn't want to give up something like that."

    "He doesn't make plans," McKee adds by way of explanation.

    Ehda'a says simply: "We just fell in love. We couldn't help it. We are willing to do whatever we have to do."

    That initially involved Blackwell arranging to see Ehda'a's mother and brother, asking their permission, and then converting to Islam in an Iraqi court. But the army was a tougher nut to crack. Blackwell's commanding officer in the First Armoured Division, Colonel Thad Hill, was not about to let him marry.

    "I'd been pushing for a meeting with him to try and come up with some sort of compromise, but he kept blowing me," says Blackwell. "I did get to speak to the sergeant-major prior to the wedding. His reaction was somewhat racist - 'Have you thought about your lives together, what they eat, the clothes they wear, the way they worship' - talking about Muslims." Blackwell told the sergeant-major he had already converted to Islam. "Oh Jeez, he just about fell out of his chair. It wasn't very well received and he basically told me that he battalion commander felt the same way."

    ... Rest of article accessible via link.

    i refuse to watch such movies.. its just propaganda...

    by the way nadia.. have u seen 'pinjar'?? thats different...