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Salam Pax
(1974 - living) Iraq

Salam Pax

Architect, blogger

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(Alias Salam al-Janabi) Salam's first name is his own, but "Pax" is the pseudonym which once protected his life and now spares his blushes. He posted an internet diary (or "blog" - short for "weblog", an online diary read daily by tens of thousands of people) describing the run-up to the war as experienced by a Baghdadi trying to get on with normal life in the city.

His updates were written either in moments away from the eye of what he called the "Evil-Boss-Unit" at the architects' firm where he works, or from his untidy bedroom, which visitors describe as being strewn with CDs and watched over by a poster advertising The Matrix.

He is a Baghdad-based gay secular Muslim whose highly popular blog Where is Raed? detailed his life in, and thoughts about, Iraq before, during, and after the U.S.-led coalition war against Saddam Hussein; after a long period of silence, during which his blog readers feared that he had been injured or killed, he began to post entries again, through an intermediary:

Let me tell you one thing first. War sucks big time. Don't let yourself ever be talked into having one waged in the name of your freedom. Somehow when the bombs start dropping or you hear the sound of machine guns at the end of your street you don't think about your "imminent liberation" anymore.

Despite his frustration with the chaos of the U.S.-led coalition takeover of Iraq, Salam Pax wrote he was glad to see Saddam Hussein out of power:

The truth is, if it weren't for intervention this would never have happened... When we were watching the Saddam statue being pulled down, one of my aunts was saying that she never thought she would see this day during her lifetime.

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