BAGHDAD — A soldier in the Iraqi Army has invented a new tool to help Westerners better understand the Arab concept of time. Sgt. Samir Husain created the “Inshallah Watch” after noticing American military advisors becoming frustrated while relying on western standards of punctuality.
“Inshallah,” which means “God willing,” is a term used by Arabic speakers to express that no future event will happen without God's will. Colloquially, however, it is generally used to evade responsibilities while also giving the listener at least some hope that divine intervention will allow the task at hand to be completed.
Husain says its meanings generally range somewhere between, “I will be at the meeting, but will be about thirty minutes late,” and, “Fuck yourself, I'm not doing that.”
“We always tell the Americans, ‘Inshallah, we will do such-and-such,’” said Husain. “When it doesn't happen, it's obviously not our fault, but Allah's most gracious and merciful will.”
Prototypes of the watch have been tested in the field with deployed troops, who say it has already worked wonders for them.
“Before I had the Inshallah Watch, I couldn't tell the difference between a ‘We'll go on patrol, but not until we've had breakfast’ Inshallah, and an ‘Actually, we're all just going to take naps all day’ Inshallah,” said Lt. Col. Pete Schlitz, advisor to an Iraqi Army Brigade. “Now I just check my watch and realize that it doesn't even matter because, Inshallah, I'm retiring next month anyway.”
The Department of Defense has already invested $7 billion to locally procure thousands of watches from Husain. Defense says the money will provide a much needed economic boost to the region and “definitely won’t disappear into oblivion and somehow end up funding terrorists.”
“Inshallah, this will help our soldiers meet tight deadlines while assisting the Iraqis in their fight against ISIS,” said Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, sporting a prototype of the watch. “I'm told by our commanders in the field that we should be ready to retake Mosul, Inshallah, next week.”
Husain says mass production on the watches will begin after he opens a factory next month.