New historicism means the review of history through literature and its cultural content of something. In general, it explains the cultural context of a storyline (Veeser, 2013).
In the story of Iraqi Christ explains about the soldiers in the camp in one of the girls' old school (Hassan, 2013). One of the soldiers called Daniel mostly stayed alone. Most soldiers were Muslims since in Iraq most people were Muslims (Hassan, 2013). Daniel was a Christian and so other soldiers thought he was isolating himself from them because of religion. When soldiers are in one place, they usually stayed together which is a culture in the arm forces. Daniel staying alone was weird which made other soldiers conclude in different ways.
Daniel was known for his great powers. During the Kuwait war, he saved the soldiers, and that is why they were alive (Tucker, 1997). His strong nature was admired by many, and many people loved his kind of care and courage. He remained a hero by most soldiers for saving them which remains a historical thing that will stay in their memories (Tucker, 1997).
Daniel was fond of chewing gum most of the time, and he was nicknamed Chewgum Christ (Hassan, 2013). They thought of maybe he chewed gum so that he could think faster like it was a way of recharging his brain to be more active. It was like a way of life of Daniel to chew gum every time. He will always be remembered for chewing gum.
In the restaurant, Daniel saved a lot of people, and he will remain a hero as he always been even in the army. He saved his mum from the man that came in the restaurant with a belt of explosives. He coming out of the restroom was a way to show people that there was danger and they were supposed to vacate the premises before an explosion (Hassan, 2013). He sacrificed his life to save his mother and other people. It was like a culture to Daniel to be courageous and a man full of mercy and love. Saving his mother, people in the restaurant, and soldiers in the Kuwait war showed that he has so much love that is full of sacrifice. He had a lot of determination in everything he did. He had the conviction of being in the radar until he had a tattoo on his right arm of the equation of the radar.
Daniel saved the soldiers when they were hiding in the trenches. When there was a bomb, he saved them, and they were alive. When he gave up being an army he went back home to take care of his mother even after everyone had gone away he was focused on being with his mother who was old, deaf, and blind (Hassan, 2013). His love for his mother and the country was powerful in that even during the war he remained behind to care for his mother. His older sister told him to go with her and live with her in Canada, but he refused to stay in his paradise country (Hassan, 2013). His stubbornness helped him to be always strong no matter what happened or what challenge came along his way he remained firm.
He did not have any boastful attitude because of his powers. This kind of heart which was pure amazed many people around him. He took charge of everything he did. Soldiers would always be behind him for protection as if Daniel was a shield. Daniel did not boast about that but remained loyal to them and took charge of protecting them all.
Traumatic Reality in the Iraqi Christ
The trauma reality in the Iraqi Christ deals mostly on repression, war, and migration. Iraqi Christ describes a soldier who was escaping from war, and when running, he falls in a hole (Hassan, 2013). When he was in a storeroom packing up water that would help him, he met three masked shooters who broke into the storeroom. He ran towards the backdoor of the storeroom and went towards the National History Museum (Hassan, 2013). While running, he fell in a hole. When he landed in the hole, there was another man who had stayed in the hole for a very long time who had escaped the war in the past (Hunington, 1993). The light that they used in the hole was from a candle. In the hole the soldier saw a dead body of another soldier. He was a Russian soldier (Hunnington, 1993).
Before falling in the hole of the soldier, it all started with protests and killings spread all over the capital. The economy had gone down in a big way. Strikes had begun to be formed where people even were demonstrating in the streets (Hassan, 2013). Bands occupied government buildings. These bands were planning to govern and take leadership by force. Soldiers with machine guns shot more than fifty people who were planning to rob the bank taking advantage of the situation (Hassan, 2013).
In the hole, the soldier was told by the other soldier his name was Djinni. Djinni told him how he killed the Russian soldier who was lying dead in the hole (Hassan, 2013). He was eating the corpse of the soldier, and this disgusted the soldier very much. He always wished to kill the old man, but he considered his age and spared him (Kellner, 2004).
In the Iraqi story was remembered the terrifying moments during the Kuwait war whereby coalition's planes would be bombing the trenches, and the soldiers would not be able to fire even a single shot back. The soldiers would dig more trenches and scampers (Hassan, 2013). They would eat in the trenches and sleep there and pray and hope to be well again. One of the time there was a bomb in one of the trenches, and one of the soldiers called Daniel saved them all (Hassan, 2013).
One of the days Daniel went with his mother who was deaf and blind and very old to an immaculate restaurant that he loved. He ordered food, and he would help his mother to eat. Then there was a man very handsome who came into the restaurant and sat beside Daniel (Hassan, 2013). He ordered his food and could stare at Daniel as he feeds his mother. Tears flowed down his eyes, and so Daniel asked him what the problem was. They both went to the restroom so that the man could talk to Daniel in private. The man had an explosive belt around his waist and a pistol that he pointed on Daniel's head ready to shoot (Hassan, 2013). The man told Daniel that there were people outside the restaurant that were planning to bomb it. The man started promising Daniel he would take his mother from the restaurant safely, but if Daniel did not blow up himself, he would kill her. Daniel did exactly as the man had told her. What shocking is that Daniel went back to the restaurant and people ran out screaming and after he saw his mother's chair was empty he pressed the button (Hassan, 2013).
All these happenings that happened traumatized a lot of people later on.
In Iraqi, Christ is shown how a soldier called Daniel is very loving and caring to everyone who is around him starting with his old mother, soldiers, and people in the restaurant. His love for people will always remain a historical thing for most people and will remain a hero. In the traumatic part is seen that one soldier passed through a lot of challenges until even falling in a hole where he met an old man who had stayed there for many days. Everything around was terrifying, but he remained firm. He remained in the hole growing old. All these show how people are strong no matter what challenges may come in the way, but they remained strong.
Hassan B. (2013). The Iraqi Christ. Translated by Jonathan Wright (2013). Comma Press.
Hunnington, S. P. (1993). If not civilizations, what? Paradigms of the post-cold war world. Foreign affairs, 186-194.
Kellner, D. (2004). Preemptive strikes and the war on Iraq: a critique of Bush administration unilateralism and militarism. New Political Science, 26(3), 417-440
Tucker, J. B. (1997). Evidence Iraq used chemical weapons during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. the Nonproliferation Review, 4(3), 114-122.
Vesser, H. (Ed.). (2013). The new historicism. Routledge.
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