Tuesday, 8 May 2007

DRINKING BEER IN BAGHDAD





For those who fancy a cold can of BEER in the middle of the heat of Baghdad, the following is a guide to where you can find BEER now in the free, democratic and liberated Baghdad.

For those who live in the northern part of the city, there is always the liquor stores compound which is right behind the concrete Blast Barriers around the Italian Embassy in Wazziryia. For the thirsty people of Central Baghdad you can either get it across the street from the Famous Baghdad Hotel. Right across the street from the other concrete Barriers protecting the residents of Baghdad hotel with its high guard towers that provides protection to those liquor stores ( later you will know from what).

As for the poor people across the river in the side, which we Iraqis Call Kerkh, now dominated by the extremist Islamist, as far as I know you can only get liquor from the liquor stores at Karadat Maryam area, situated between the 2 check points guarding the entrances to the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad.

You may now wonder why all the above mentioned liquor stores are situated in areas close or inside heavily guarded and fortified places. Why you no longer could go and Buy them from the other liquor stores like the Honey Market, the liquor stores in Arrasat, Karada, Sadoun Street or from the Many liquor stores and whole sell merchants at street 52 in Al-Ellwyia? Well the answer is very simple, because they all closed their liquor businesses after receiving threats or actually attacked or had their shops blown up and burnt.

That is why you need protection and that is why you need guns and gunmen inside the shops to protect you. The only exception to this role is a shop in Karada (I will not say exactly where so that it remains open) where they have at least 3 – 4 guards with AK-47 machine guns and BKCs ( a more powerful and bigger Machine Gun) on the roof of the store. No front windows for they were sealed off with a brick walls. No signs announcing the name of the store or promoting a brands of Beer or Johnny walker whiskey or the local Drink Arak ( kind like the Greek OUZO). Just a narrow front door which takes you inside that store.

The liquor store would wrap what you bought in a black plastic bag or a big Cartoon box so that you do not get in trouble while you carry what you just bought which either could get you killed or save your life. If some of the police members caught you with a can of beer or any kind of liquor they just might beat you like hell for that , even though it is legally Ok to have, move or consume liquor and there is no law against that, and the constitution which Many of those people voted yes to guarantee such right. Some Islamic fundamentalists, who are now separating the cucumber from Tomato at the Markets just because they have a twisted mind that looks at vegetables like human mating organs, might kill you for drinking liquor. It might also save your life for it proves that you have no religious or sectarian affiliation so none of the sects or religious extremists groups would target you and they do not look at you as a source of threat.

Since the real power in the streets of Baghdad is the Militias and the terrorists and not the government, they are the ones who set the rules. And they even have clever ways to get to their victims (unlike the Government). In Iraq, people who drink costumary eats Pacha ( boiled sheep head) a traditional Iraqi dish, because they think that the meat would absorb the alcohol that they just consumed. So Militia elements started to hang around the Pacha restaurants to catch those who were drinking. Some times those Militia elements come in the form of a police patrol car, for the police is already infiltrated by the Militias. Those are the Law enforcement elements but the question is that which law they enforce???!!.

During the past decades till the early years of the 90s, you would have been able to drink liqoure practically every where in Baghdad. There were bars, night clubs and at hotels. In addition to that there were many liquor stores every where. But on the Early 90s Saddam launched his religious Campaign to win the Back-warded Arab and Islamic world on his side in his stupid confrontation with the west, So he closed Bars, night clubs and banned drinking in 5-star Hotels, but not the liquor stores. The liquor stores remained open and no one messed with them. Even Saddam did not go that far.

Right after the war there was too much freedom that street vender's would have a scotch with rocks ready for you that you can pick it up while driving down the Aa'adhmyia Cornish. But now since there is a Government dominated by Islamists extremists ( Sonnies and Shia) and parliament which more dominated by Islamists groups ( also Sonnies and Shiat) we will never have a legislation nor an executive power which will guarantee the Iraqi thirsty man have a cold beer in a hot summer day without Having to build a concrete Blast Barrier around him.

67 comments:

annie said...

i guess that solves the drunk driving problem.

Treasure of Baghdad said...

Well said.

These militias and insurgents are the ones who are running Iraq now. You raised a good point about the law. The government and parliament will never issue a law to protect the liquor stores.

Man! What a mess.

Poor Sancho said...

i just had a beer at my local gin joint, and i have to admit, i thought about you buddy. I pray one day it will be as easy as my afternoon sitting outside next to a barrier, albeit a white picket fence adorned with flowers...

BlogIraqi said...

Its better for your health man..lool
A very strong point you made there which is,
The very same people who voted "YES" for the constitution are breaking it now.
Indeed the extremists (Sunni and Shia) are controlling the day life of people, and a wrong turn in the street is enough to get you killed.

I was there.. said...

Dear Pasha,

What you have said, made me think why they are closing all bars and liquor stores, which made the people happy and cool while they are leaving mosques that turns many of the people to suicide bombers and Mujahdeen?
I am just wondering, going to which one of those places will hurt the people more than the other?
No one will kill the other people with explosive vest after leaving a Bar but he might do that after leaving a mosque.
Sorry, may be some of the people will say the second one is a Mujahid but the first one is an alcoholic "Aragchi".
If so, I will not ask you which one you will prefer, because I know that you will not chose the Mujahid..
I know about that because,

I was there..

Matt said...

Great Baghdad, you said right after the fall of Baghdad that there was too much freedom with the liquor stores. Hopefully one day, the stores will be able to be out in the open. Till next time man!

Carl said...

Interesting fact about street from the Famous Baghdad Hotel,and the post about it,is excellent.

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