Thursday, November 15, 2007

HW 34: Gold & Date palms

In Iraq gold does not mean that you are an extremely wealthy person. Gold plays a part in their everyday culture. In 1990 the value of Iraqi Dinar kept changing value and caused it to become very hectic. When this happened everybody had their money exchanged for gold jewelery. All types of jewelery were bought, like, gold earrings, gold bracelets and god necklaces. "Women here call gold "zeeneh ou 7*azeenah (khazeeneh)," which means ornaments and savings. Gold can be shown off and worn, but in times of economical trouble, a few pieces can be sold to tide the family over." (Riverbend, 100) This action of transferring money into gold is like changing the currency from Dinar's to gold almost. If many people keep gold in their homes as their savings then it is almost like a new kind of currency. Especially if you can sell your gold when your not economically stable for money.
The palm trees in Iraq are very common. Palm trees don't seem as important anywhere as they do in Iraq. They Iraqi love the presence of all of their 500 different types of palm trees.
"A palm tree is known as a "nakhla" and never fails to bring satisfaction and admiration. They are the pride and joy of Iraqi farmers and landowners. A garden isn't complete if there is not a palm tree gracing it." (Riverbend, 103) The Iraqi people collect the somewhat 300 different types of dates off of the palm trees in the summer. Every date has a different taste, color and texture. Dates are not only used for vinegar, alcohol, and food, but they are used for brooms, baskets, mats, hats, bags and plenty more. The one thing that is liked by Riverbend the most is the fact that she gets beads out of dates. Not only are dates one of the prime resources in Iraq, but they represent beauty too. (Riverbend, 104) "Historically, the palm trees have represented the rugged, stoic beauty of Iraq and its people. They are a reminder that no matter how difficult the circumstances, there is hope for life and productivity." (Riverbend, 105) The palm trees give Iraq a sense of hope and security that as long as they are there, everything will work itself out.

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