You Must read the whole article to understand it fully.
By: Latif Yahia
I feel like Popeye.. I’ve taken all I can stand, I can stand no more!
Of course I don’t have spontaneously erupting muscles and I won’t be beating anyone, at least not literally, but possibly metaphorically. As I have come to acknowledge over the years the Pen is much mightier that the sword, and indeed for many years now the pen has been my weapon of choice.
My reference to Popeye? Well, that has everything to do with the perception by some people that my silence about a certain subject and period of my personal life, is somehow a weakness or a by-product of guilt. Well it’s not, my silence was actually an attempt to give my Son Charles Latif Yahia (obviously I didn’t pick the Charles part and he is probably better known as Charlie Cunningham in his neighbourhood) a quiet and relatively normal life with his mother Joanna Cunningham.
So why is it that this subject is now appearing on my blog? Well, as the opening line says, I can take no more! The above article appeared in The Sunday World yesterday penned by NiamhO’Connor, a journalist that I don’t believe that I have met with personally but who likes writing pieces about me, generally for the above mentioned piece of tat and always with the aid of Ms. Joanna Cunningham, ex- whatever and God Forgive Me, mother of my child Charlie.
The combination of the three always reads the same way, Devil’s Double – Con Man- life of hell, you get the picture. Nothing new there then? Why the blog? you say. Because for these past ten years I haven’t seen Charlie, he was three the last time that I saw him, he will become a teenager this November, I have missed out on so much of his life it causes me real pain, but less pain than having to deal with his mother. Generally if I were to read this blog let alone her accusations in what passes for a newspaper in Ireland, I would probably just say “Ah, sour grapes, EX- etc, etc” But has no-one ever asked why this guy,
Me, Latif Yahia who went up against Saddam Hussein while he was still in power, talks openly about the CIA and government corruption walked away from his son after fighting for nearly two years in the Irish Family courts, just for access? No, because everyone wants to paint Joanna as the victim, but it was I who left the courts with the five year safety order against her and what she calls a “war wound” after I supposedly gave her a “hammering”when really she was in a drug and alcohol fuelled rage. Sorry, I forgot that Joanna doesn’t consider hash, pills or cocaine to be drugs, Heroin on the other hand, no that is drugs because several members of her family were addicts so she saw the devastation first hand, everything else is just recreational. It would give me great pleasure to believe that she had “turned her life around” and that her work with special needs children as she claims in The Sunday World has brought her the fulfilment that she needed, one of the last times we spoke in 2002 she was doing a course to become a journalist, maybe that’s where she met Niamh O’Connor.
When I look back on where and how Joanna and I met it reads like a Black Comedy, Iraqi exile desperate to change his life in 1997 lands in Dublin, Ireland, after forty days and forty nights holed up in his Hotel decides to experience Dublin nightlife, is directed to a nightclub called Rumours (unbeknownst to him the running joke in the city is that if you don’t have a broken bottle going in, they hand you one at the door!) and unlike every other Capital city in the world Dublin’s Inner City is NOT the “IN” place to live. Dressed in Armani, their eyes met across the crowded room, he thought it was love at first sight, she smelled GRAVY. Whirlwind romance, and it all went downhill rapidly from there, Joanna came from a tight-knit community in Dublin’s City Centre an area called Summerhill, what I had mistaken for an “Irish Accent” was in fact “thick Dublin” although she was well able to change according to her surroundings, but bring her within a five mile radius of the Northside and “How a’ ya luv” and “Jeawsus” was never far from her lips. It truly was a case of lovely until she opened her mouth. But that was the least of her problems.
A brief bio of Joanna’s life as told to me by her, usually when she was drunk, runs like this, at the age of ten she was raped by one of her Mother’s many boyfriends, she and her brothers and sisters were taken into care, her mother was a drinker and also used substances and at one point was imprisoned but it was never clear for what. She and the rest of her brothers and sisters were returned to her mother when she was 14 and she became involved with her mother’s then Toy-boy, a guy called John Cashin, she and John ran away together and lived in a flat near Summerhill (in the 14 years that I have lived in Ireland, this area has NEVER had a good name) she became pregnant with a daughter for John, the relationship became abusive and she left him, but kept in contact as he was ‘the father of her child”.Or maybe it was their mutual love of dressing up (see photos) that kept them linked. All that I know is that after helping her fight John Cashin for two years in family court and spending the best part of 8,000 Irish pounds at the time, the day that she finally won full custody of her daughter, was the same day that I arrived home to find them both in my bed. That’s the kind of woman she is.
When Joanna drank she was liable to do anything, one evening when we were on speaking terms and she had let me take Charlie out for the day, I returned with him, she had been drinking and decided to tell me a funny story; On a night out with friends she took a taxi home, on finding that she had no money , she told me ” I couldn’t pay cash, so I gave him a Blow-job instead, ha!’ there was no shame, no embarrassment. It was this willingness to operate “payment in kind” that started her relationship with Sergeant Smith of Coolock Garda Station, we had bought a house in the area because she wanted to be close to her mother and again I had no idea about the area until it was too late. Sergeant Smith was Joanna’s trump card, if I caught her smoking hash in the house, he was called, if she was drunk and wanted a fight he was called. Even after she had me barred from the house without my knowledge, he would accompany her to the family court to stop me seeing Charlie. Always the two things she used against me were, my book ” I was Saddam’s Son“ and “He’s going to run away with my child to Iraq!” I found the family courts in Ireland to be particularly Xenophobic in the early 2000’s. When Sergeant smith couldn’t go with her John Cashin would oblige.
John Cashin and Joanna Cunningham in Spain 2003.
On the 11th of April 2001 I came downstairs because I heard Charlie crying, as I descended the stairs into the haze of hash smoke I asked Joanna what the hell she was doing? She knew that Charlie was asthmatic and that I had no time for drugs of any kind, at this point she had ploughed through 6 large cans of Budweiser and a bottle of wine, in the article she says she hit me with a mug, it was a pint glass. To this day and three surgeries later, I still pull bits of glass out of my face, a lifetime reminder. In the past ten years since the pint glass, I have tried and failed repeatedly for her to be charged with assault, anyone that has experience with the system here in Ireland knows that you have to get a Garda to take a statement before a charge can be brought. No Garda would take a statement from me in Coolock Station, when I finally did find one, he was transferred and the statement went with him. I filed a complaint to the Garda Ombudsman, the finding, my complaint was “vexatious”.
In Ireland as opposed to many other European countries the Police (Gardai) are trained for six months at the Police Academy and are then sent out to “learn on the job”,e.g. slap on the handcuffs ask questions later.
I was very pleased to hear that Ireland had it’s first “mixed race” recruit a few years ago, but Ireland’s police force still doesn’t have enough “colour” for my liking.
Knowing Joanna’s background I find it deeply disturbing that she should say that I threatened to rape her daughter, having suffered through that ordeal herself as a young girl. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love children and would never hurt them, they are the only innocence and purity left in this world and to hurt a child is the greatest evil possible. Also, Uday had threatened to rape my sisters if I did not comply to be his Fidai, why would I use the same threat? I hated him and everything about him.
She also says that I have made the past 12 years of her life hell, well, I haven’t seen her in the best part of ten, I really don’t want to either and the last time we spoke was when she drunk called me telling me “Any man would be proud to have Charlie as his son, but what can I do, I told him you were DEAD, Bastard!”
It was one of her milder calls. I had two hundred and fifty missed calls one day and was constantly receiving fast food deliveries that I never ordered.
I understand why The Sunday World and The Sunday Times have interviewed her, she certainly makes sensational accusations and of coursethe accusations being her words not theirs saves them from lawsuits like the one that I filed and won againstThe Sunday World in 2006.
Again Joanna was in the background of that story also. Yes, I lost on appeal, after Michael Mc Dowell the then Minister for Justice in Ireland had changed laws pertinent to my case, I was provided with a Criminal Judge to try my case not a Libel Judge as in the case that I had won and instead of the case being an appeal the Criminal Judge decided to try it as a new case, using surprise, surprise, the new laws. All in a court in the middle of nowhere with only one journalist allowed, guess which paper she wrote for? One in four of Ireland’s Judges are corrupt, in fact the whole judicial system is incestuous, you can’t get in unless you have family or friends in the right places and most of the cases are won and lost on the golf course.
As for Joanna’s assertion that I only wanted a passport, if that were the case I would have taken the one they offered me in 2002, but I didn’t ever want her to say the I got it through her, so I rejected it and now I don’t want to be Irish, the Irish government are cowards, they can’t face any problem head on and it doesn’t matter which party they belong to they all operate the same way, without true love for the country or the people of Ireland.
Joanna Cunningham, Click the Link ►► Makeover Your Mum Finalists!!
Let me say this very clearly, after four years of waiting on an answer for my third Citizenship application the Irish government can SHOVE IT UP THEIR ARSE!
Everything is related, a few weeks ago I applied for my Freedom of Information Act from the Department of inJustice in Ireland, well, it must have scared someone because since then the smear campaign has started and Joanna has been wheeled in to discredit me. A few years ago an unknown Irish journalist wrote an article about me in a subscription magazine, he now works for the Irish Times and interviewed Joanna for his own blog, he then passed her information to Ed Caesar of The Sunday Times who added to her paid story by interviewing Uday’s pimps whom also got paid for their participation, a story which has been paraphrased in Niamh O’Connors piece in The Sunday World. Their goal? Screw Latif Yahia, Sell newspapers and make a name for yourself. But as Oscar Wilde once famously said “There is only one thing worse than being talked about, not being talked about.”
John Cashin and Joanna Cunningham in my Home 2001, Joanna tried to tell the court that these photos were taken before my relationship with her, further photographs proved to the Judge that these were taken while my son was present in the house. the Judge the called her a liar.
Whatever the future holds, I am sure that I have not heard the last from Joanna but then she has not really heard the last from me either, for a few years now I have held off the publication of my book about Ireland and of course my relationship with her, I had hoped that I would be able to end it on a happy note. I now see that as an impossibility, “Forty shades of Conspiracy” will be available at Christmas, don’t expect to find it in Irish Bookstores.
As for my son Charlie, well, I love him dearly, I always have and remember him everyday. Wetalk about him from the days when he could be with us and look forward to the day when we can see him again. I made the decision in 2003 to stop fighting for him and to wait the long wait for the day when he is ready to find me. When he does, I have plenty of photos and videos for him to watch. He can then decide for himself what kind of Father I was.
I would at this point like to thank my wife Karen for her patience and dedication throughout the past ten years, she witnessed not all but a lot of Joanna’s behaviour and was a rock of sense and comfort. I am also so grateful to have two wonderful children, they are a great source of joy to me. For all the bad that I have seen in my life I am now in the happiest place that I have ever been.
The following photographs are a small illustration of the environment that I know my son was raised in, I can only hope that he has not been left psychologically scarred. My apologies if anyone finds this material offensive, my intent is to shine light on my accuser and to silence any further attacks on me. It was not my intent to go public as such, but I cannot sit idly by as people lie about me.
Unfortunately the Irish family courts in 2000/2002 favoured the Mother in every situation.
To all those Fathers that have been separated from their children, don’t lose hope, not every Father is bad and not every Mother is good. There must be some justice in the world.
A word to any other publication that may have been interested in interviewing Ms. Cunningham, if this is the only level of person that you can find to interview to try and discredit me, then please go ahead because for every lie she tells about me I have three pieces of truth about her.