Sunday, November 4, 2007

Barr - Bahar, Hajji Eloo w Alwan..

We were cousins.. different ages, different moods.. my cousins and I used to gather at my Beebee el Hijjiya' s old house every Thursday night..
Or Fridays sometimes, especially in winter.. the house with its big garden, very tempting for our games.. chasing one another up and down the short stairs leading to the Tarma, running in imaginary tours around the house.. running to catch one another in Jommeda.. or (Selleban) -as was called in my old school.. (but cant remember its details very clearly !)..
It always seems like a colorful dream to me, whenever I look back.. no matter how many years have passed or would pass.. which reminds me that one of the favorite games was one called Alwan – Colors.. the assigned one would stand in the middle , and then suggests a certain color loudly.. each one of us should run quickly and locate that same color and touch it, or shouts out : Hayyataa..meaning he has found the required color, so he is safe !! then another color is suggested and on goes..
There was also a game which we all liked .. Barr – Bahar.. we would stand in a looong line, side by side.. on the line where the Thayyal of Beebee's garden ends..and the grayish Shtigher begins..One of us would start shouting repeatedly.. Barr, Bahar, Barr, Bahar, and we would jump from (Bahar) to (Barr) .. the Bahar would be the garden usually..Bahar, Barr, Bahar.. then a sudden repeated word: Bahar, Bahar , Barr.. "B.. You lose.." cause B missed and jumped to Barr instead of remaining in Bahar .. and so on each will miss eventually.. as the "caller" does what he can to make us miss and lose the game.. the losers would stand aside watching the others to find who is the last to win..
My favorite was Hajji Eloo.. always loved it.. again, the assigned one would stand in the middle.. we, in a circle watching him attentively.. suddenly he would shout : EEeeebdaaaaa.. (Start) .. he then starts running chasing us , we must all run at once and find a higher (something) to stand on.. the stairs, a chair, a Qanafa, anything high to be safe.. that’s where the name comes, Eloo meaning Height..the one who gets caught of course loses..
The laughs, the endless running , the green Thayyal.. Ashar el Hadiqa.. our parents would all gather inside to escape the noise .. drinking their Chai in the (Hall) with its old Qanafat.. warm family gathering and usual family chat.. my Beebee would be watching everybody with her eyes..too tired to talk..but her presence overwhelmed us all with love and Aaman..there was nothing to fear.. at that time there were nothing to fear..the outer world was as peaceful as can be.. what could happen ??!! definitely nothing..!!
Happy old days.. happy old games.. all so vivid in my mind.. I can see K, she was the oldest..B with here ever laughing face..A with his silly arrogance.. G always kept to herself.. H and F were always not so friendly.. O was trying to be the one to lead ..L was always mad, judging each one of us.. M ever so sophisticated ..and me.. I was a very bashful little girl..
How many years separate us from the past ? How many miles separate us now ?
But the colorful memories will always stay on.. warming our hearts..

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Klecha w Hawayej w Habbat Soda..

A very good friend of mine, who is still in Bghadad sent me a text msg this morning.. she said : im making Klecha, and I remembered what great Klecha you used to make..
Actually, she meant my mom.. mom was really good at making things.. everything.. cooking special dishes, setting special dinners, sewing elegant costumes (right out of el Burda – the famous magazine back at Baghdad) .. making great Klecha was one of many many talents..
The day of Klecha was a special day.. though I now remember it with nostalgia, I used to see it as a day of work, work and more work back then in Baghdadna,..
Of course, she would announce the Day of Klecha about a week earlier, as we approach the last week of Ramadan, or the last week before Eid el Adha, and though we all looked forward to taste the delicious specialty of Happy events, we (me and my sisters) all had on our minds the loooong hours of working in the hot kitchen, checking the oven and checking on the Sewanee, I don’t know why I cant forget the stifling heat of the kitchen..
On Klecha day, my mom would be up early (as always), we come down from our rooms to find her already into the Ajeen our kitchen cupboards were a bit high, she would be sitting on her knees with a very Large Nejana in front of her (the size of the nejana always helped us predict how many hours we were supposed to stay in the kitchen that day, the bigger the longer !! I always loved to do the Ajeen process, I loved the smell of the dough , but of course she would never let me do that as she used to say my hands are too small and weak to do things right.. we were to sit in the kitchen (no one to go upstairs, we should wait for her politely) till she finished, then she would start giving each one of us the assignment required ( A, take out the Joz, the Festiq and the sugar, pour them into the bowl, I will be with u to make the Hashwa) , (M, take out the Sewanee Fafon and pour some oil into them), (Y, get the Shebak and please put an apron on) .. I always hated these small parts.. but she was the leader and no one dared but to obey the orders.. then we would stand next to each other in front of the looong pale green deeelab, and start making the shapes of each kind, Klechat el Tamor, we used to make it like a swiss roll , and then stamp it with the oold wooden Qalab of mom, something old from her hometown (Mosul), to print a design of flowers on each Klechaya, Klechat el Joz was like half a circle, and the endsd we used to Nothforha in a beautiful design that also mom taught us.. and finally decorated with the flowers stamp, as for Klechat Sada (that was my favorite, she would add Hawayej to it or sometimes Habbat Soda, to give it more taste.. after standing for hours working on the endless small pieces of Klecha, the small pieces of dough we then were allowed to shape as we pleased, we had plastc Qawalib in the shape of rabbits, kittens and Katakeet, kept from days of childhood, I would then laughingly use them, just for fun..
The heat in the kitchen then would be incredible, we would be exhausted and bored and complaining about why should we make all this endless quantities of Klecha? We would only eat little of it, why not buy Jahza men el Sough etc.. but our complaints never mom would answer them with a reprimanding look, mom always had to make Klecha herself , the quantity always had to be large.. and the Balamat had to be FULL.. Our Khottar always praised mom for the great taste of her Klecha..she took great pride in her Klecha but she would reply nonchalntly with a her beautiful smile : Oooh, Aadee.. just the same as ev year.. we in Mosul always made it like this ..
Its strange, mom now never makes Klecha.. the Eid feels different..its not about missing Klecha, its about missing a whole era.. another time , another life.. mom now Does buy Jahez men el Sough.. any kind of cake or pastry would do.. to serve when Khottar visit (if any ever shows up) ..i myself never was interested in making Klecha.. but its just a reminder of Eid in Baghdad.. a Must..
But Klecha in Baghdad is till made, as my friend 's text tells.. perhaps I should take this a s a sign , maybe one day the good days Will return, and I Would make Klecha in Bghadad..
just for the sake of Eid, lets be optimistic for once..
Ayyamkom Saeeda..

Monday, August 6, 2007

To Be or not to Be..

Dont know why this post started in a bright manner and ended differently..
Forgive me all..
I was trying to remember how many things I have wanted to become when I grow up, the list is so long..
First I was in the mood to become a teacher.. we had this big Kantor in our room with such wide doors, it was dark brown.. which was very suitable to be the black board or green board , whatever, I used to stand in front of the Kantor, holding broken pieces of colored chalk in my hand (I Loved colored chalk at the time, I never got enough from looking at the beautiful colors, pale blue, pale green, and pale orange..).. just like my teacher used to do, and I start talking to my pupils who are supposed to be sitting in lines in front of me.. I would go on, reading them the Qiraa lesson, or the Hisab lesson.. whatever I liked.. and every now and then I would turn to write something over the brown doors of the Kantor , to explain something to my pupils.. the good thing was, it was the chalk was so easily removed off by just a piece of Kleenex.. so mom didn’t have to find out..
Later, I decided that I want to be a Reyadha teacher.. (maybe that was when Set Methal, eneterd our lives and hearts) .. I would go out in the sunny garden..stand balanced over the edge of the Flower bed that decorated our Tarma in front of the Hall, and start doing exercise to show my pupils who were standing in lines in front of me down in the garden how to bend down,and up again, how to do (Aala, Thanee, Takhassor, Madd.. ) .. my pupils were always Very quiet and followed whatever directions I gave.. but of course I had to reprimand the undisciplined ones.. though I was always extremely nice with them..
Then, I decided that I am in no mood for teaching. . I'm in the mood for adventure, I used to climb the stairs up to the roof in Bet Bebe el Hijjiya, turn the old looking key in the hole, and go out under the burning sun , then again climb the stairs to the 2nd roof , and up there I would start saving all the captured ones , untie their ropes, set them free, give them a drink of water..
And strangely, all the time I would be running.. running to save them, running to escape from the evil capturers (I wonder who were they in my childish mind at the time!)..
Finally , I decided that my real thing is to become a princess… Yes.. that was really the best thing I want to be.. (like u get to choose !!).. I used to pull the Charchaf off my bed, wrap it around my small waist, put on all the colored plastic bracelets and necklaces I had, and walk around with my Looong gown , moving gracefully like a princess.. bowing to the crowds..
Of course, that was all during the day hours , when my mom would be at work .. I would stand in front of the tall Stand Lamp (don't know really what is it called) , it had 3 or 4 arms all flexible to adjust them as desired, it was taller than me, so I would stand and try to bend one arm down , like I would be adjusting the Microphone, so as to sing a song, or maybe it was a speech!!.. wow.. that was really the best part.. the good thing was that mom was never there to have a say in the matter.. so I was free to dream as I please, act as I whoever I want.. it was always so real to live . it was ever so easy to pretend.. and it was So much fun..
It was like having a magic wand .. I would choose What to be, and Where to be.. and would always come true at once..
Can I do that now?? Can I ever do that once more?? I had only to decide what my next dream is, and it will Definitely come true..
Can my dream of now ever come true?? How much longer am I to wait ?
Anyone knows?? .. how much longer of feeling the ever killing Ghurba?? How much longer before I lay my tired head down , and rest??
Anyone knows??..

Monday, July 30, 2007


I miss Jiranna Om Mhammad.. I miss her kind face and spontaneous smile and warm Malgha .. she used to raise her hands to the sky whenever she sees me and say her sweet kind prayer (Nasron mena Allah w Fathon Qareeb) .. she always gave me a feeling of serenity .. everything is ok.. it will be ok..
El Jiran were actually Ahal back then .. back there.. in our Life in Baghdad..
In my dictionary, Jiran ARE Ahal.. in my New Dictionary, Jiran ARE Neighbors.. that’s it.. full stop..
I loved all our Jiran in our street back then, but mostly, the closest to my heart, a lady much older than myself, who lived in the house next door, a very narrow alley separated our back doors, which we used usually so as not to go through the front street, it was like our secret alley.. I would call her when its afternoon, and after brief hello, I would ask : Wahdech - alone? And she would say : Yalla, come on over (I would make sure she was alone when I have some personal matter to chat about with her) , and at once, I would change my clothes quickly, run to the kitchen, make my favorite Dallat el Ghahwa with lots of Hel in it, and leave quickly through the back kitchen door, cross the narrow space between us and a few stairs, and there I was inside her welcoming house.. she would be ready with Fanajeen and at once the coffee is poured (so as not to waste any time) and we start chatting.. I miss those back door sneaking days.. I miss my friend – jiran.. we would spend hours chatting unaware, till the phone rings, it would be my mom, reminding us of the time , and suggesting why not I simply (Abat) as its almost bed time..
I never found any other replacement for – R - .. not ever..
Jiran were the Great blessing Allah has sent us to go through many hard times, many wars.. who would make life sound normal, feels normal, under bombs and war sirens and long hour darkness, who but our Jiran??
Now, my next door neighbor , is a lady whom i see her going up or down the stairs, as we have different working hours.. not only do we not visit, she made it quite clear that she has no desire what so ever to get acquainted.. when I run into her on the stairs, she keeps her eyes on the floor trying to avoid any eye contact.. in the beginning I used to feel bad about this .. and try to figure out why does she act in this way.. now I stopped .. I don’t want anything to do with her..
Back home in Baghdadna, when a new Jiran comes to the street, the other families in the street would make them feel welcome buy offering any required help.. sending a nice home made desert ..etc..
My aunt who lived in Ghurba for over 30 yrs tells me, she had the same neighbor for over 10 years .. and they would stand waiting for the elevator together and she wouldn’t say even hello.. she would look straight ahead..
A friend of mine, a doctor, tells me she lived in the same building for years, and had the same neighbor right next door, and when they once took the elevator together, she turned to her with wondering eyes (on which floor do u live?) ..
What are they made of these people ? I simply cant understand ..
Was it the nature of ppl back there in Baghdad? Or was it just a different era? I don’t know..
I hardly see such people her in Ghurba anymore.. in fact almost none..none like dear Om Mohammad, none like my dear R..
Before, Jiran made me feel home..
Now Jiran – sorry, Neighbors make me feel in Ghurba more than anything else.. The icy nature I could never understand.. nor the cold eyes..
Maybe im addicted to Baghdad sun.. with its boiling temperature, it used to warm our sky back then, and our hearts ..
And thats what I shall never find elsewhere.. Ever..

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Number 42..

We were in the mid of our studying years..
The trip to my college I used to take alone by myself.. I first take a rather long walk to the bus stop, and stand waiting there.. many of students in university used the Bas at the time..yes it was crowded, yes it was late, but it was there for us, and it was Fun..
On the way back home, I would share the ride with my best friend at the time.. we would walk to Bab el Moadhdham, and stand waiting in the crowds (there was always crowds, never a queue !!).. we never minded the dusty, dirty pavement.. we never minded the strange mixture of humans.. we would stand chatting on and on, waiting for our Bas to appear .. number 42 that was..
And so our awaited number 42 arrives finally .. and my friend and I , both short sighted, would try to approach the front to read the bus number and make sure it’s the One..if we were lucky (and, fast enough) , we would finish our checking to get on the Bas just before the crowds block the front Bas door.. if we hesitated for a minute , we would be blocked from the door, and so we suddenly find ourselves standing last in line ..
Once on the Bas, we would pay for the ticket happily and climb the short stairs quickly to the 2nd deck (yeees Abo Tabiqen our Bas was..).. we always loved that.. we would then pick 2 seats in the middle and sit with our books and files in our laps.. preparing for a Looong ride .. feeling so happy and content .. waiting for the Bas to move..looking down through the window at the people still crowding in the bus stop..
The ride starts, and so does our long chat.. endless chat.. we were best friends..and also students in the same department.. so the topics are endless..
How many times did we take a Vow to visit Al –Mathaf el- Baghdadi?? As many as our rides back home.. how many times did we laugh at the funny names of the shabby hotels? (Qamar el Karkh) is a name I don’t forget.. and the Bas would crawwwwl in its slow pace , people get off, people get on.. and we never took notice of the time passing.. we would be so deep in conversation , we hardly notice anyone else.. It was such lovely times..
As my stop gets closer, I say a quick bi to my friend, and climb down the stairs to b in time in front of the back door .. u never needed to press the half broken buzzer to attract the driver's attention.. ev body downstairs would start shouting at him (Nazel Nazel).. he then would stop the Bas and open the door..
And another studying day has passed..
My friend and I kept in touch for a long time after I left Baghdad.. but were cut off after the war and the disconnected phone lines ..
About a year ago someone sent me her mobile number, she was still in Iraq.. I wrote only one line in my first text msg. to her, didn’t even write my name : Bas 42 yesallem alech.. and the reply was So quick, So happy .. and So full of old friendly warmth..
Bas 42 held so many of our beautiful memories in Baghdadna.. it witnessed a big part of our dreams, and happy, better times..
To my dear friend (N) .. in memory of our shared rides together on the Bas Abo Tabiqen..

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Om Abbas

Om Abbas was our Farrasha in my old work in Baghdad..
She was not old .. maybe in her late or mid thirties.. a widow, always in black (long black dress + black socks and thick black Foota) .. She was in charge of the Tea ceremony in our Daera, along with her other duties such as cleaning , taking files up and down the Daera floors..
She was very poor, but very proud and honest.. she had 2 adult sons, who brought her nothing but misery and sadness, coming to work with a pale face and red eyes from crying because of their reckless and bad behavior, one of them even used to beat her, she being so thin and petite..
She used to have a big bag of nylon in which she brought us hot Sammoon, the famous (Sammoon Hajari), we used to race when we first smell the Chai being done (Yetkhaddar), in fact now when I look back it was always very burnt or shall we say over bolied (mahroogh) I don’t why were we so keen to drink it , afterwards she would start her round, giving each her or his tea as required (with sugar, without sugar, light tea, Verry drak tea, etc..) .. me and my colleague - friends would gather around one of the desks and exchange the latest gossip, the latest engagements heard of of any staff member (announced + not announced) , sipping Om Abbas's Chai along with the hot Sammoon we have snatched from her bag earlier.. it was my favorite hour of the day.. sometimes on of us would bring a treat, a home made cake, or a box of sweets, etc.. ev thing was joyful at the time..afterwards.. we would each start working on her tasks and so the working day begins..
When I think back , I feel maybe it was a hundred years away.. was I really there ? did all the memories that r still so live in my mind, did they really exist? I feel its hard to tell.. we had so much fun.. I used to love my job ..meeting all kinds of people..all sorts of personalities..i had great friends.. it was another life back then..
As the day goes by, we start to feel hungry , and so , a funny protest starts ev where, Om Abbas, how can u not go and buy me a Falafel Sandwitch? Om Abbas, cant u see im so hungry I will faint? Om Abbas? I had so many (Chayat) today I will pass out if I don’t eat something.. and so on.. and the poor Om Abbas would try hard to tell us that she will be missed and then reproached for going out without leave (she was to sit all day on a chair in the corridor, in case anyone calls her out or needs her to do something).. and we would use all our convincing methods to make her go buy us whatever we want.. poor good Om Abbas.. she was such a kind lady.. we treated her like one of us, we would go visit her if she got sick (yes we did!) and help her as much as we can.. she used to say to us (u r all Banatee..) ..and she took so much pride in that.. she used to share her problems with us , her fears, her worries.. and we would listen in compassion and try to help solving them..
Years after I left, I heard she almost lost her sight.. the news brought me such sadness.. I wished she would get well..she was another symbol of the time we left behind and still cherished so much.. the time that we can never have back, when we once had a life..

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


When we did our exams, long ago, when we had a real Watan, the greatest tragedy was the (40 days) of Morajaa before Bachchalorya, how one feels prisoned in his own room , study and study and study (I, was locked up in Ghurfat el Khottar, the room being a bit isolated in our house) order to get a high average and afterwards get to go to a decent college..
Students around the world, have only one fear on their minds, Failure. Iraqi students on the other hand, regard that as the least of their fears, for the endless possible dangers on the way to school are endless.
A relative of mine has a son doing his Bachchalorya exams this year.We speak on the phone, we exchange msgs, we speak of her concern regarding this subject, starting from Her own worry of him not doing so good ( which is the minor fear I could think of) , to her major concern as to how will he avoid sudden bombings, crazy extremists from whichever side (Sunni or Shia, you never know nowadays) who might shower the streets with their guns, the possibility of getting kidnapped, and the list goes on and on..
I keep thinking of him going to school, him and all the other Iraqi students, who still work hard for their exams, their worries: Will there b an exam tomorrow? Will there be a curfew instead? Will they make it to school? Or will a fanatic come out of the blue to color their innocent dreams with blood..
What a life.. what a sad sad life..
Our parents dreams were that we get (ninety and up) .. so we can make their dreams come true.. and in a few years graduate to be someone successful..
I could not help feeling deep sadness when receiving her text msg. telling me : No, the exam is postponed.. there will be a curfew..
Every time I call her I feel a cold fear that grabs my heart, I don’t really care to know if he did well , I just want to know that he made it home safe..
I keep asking myself how does she spend the time waiting for him? Does she really worry that the questions would be easy enough for him to solve? Or does she spend the time praying that he comes home on his feet..
The Baghdad I write about, does it really exist anymore? Or am I just re living an old dream? I really don’t know anymore..
While I admire so much how our people in Iraq continue to go on, I fail to understand .. I suppose no matter what, for iraqiyeen, life always must go on.. Dreams for a better future must exist, no matter what..
May Allah almighty preserve all our students, in every city of Iraq .. ameen..

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Haleeeb Motaam..

A friend of mine has stomach Ulcer.. Doctor told her that milk is good for her, she is to drink as much milk as she can . In order to be able to consume the big quantity of milk required to heal her poor stomach (my friend is very Aqla and very much listens to what the doctor has to say ), in order to do that she was inventing new tastes of milk , she adds all sorts of fruit to it, orange, grape fruit, bananas, pineapple, etc..
Up till now, I can never drink flavored milk, ok maybe once or twice with strawberry flavor , but never with orange or banana flavor, etc.. never ever.. I hate even the color of the flavored milk.. let alone the fact that I hate milk as it is growing up forced to drink at least one glass of milk per day in order to stay in good health..
This brings back an old but vivid memory of my school days..My primary school which I gave a quick description of in one post..
At some time back in Iraq, healthy nutrition in schools came of big interest, I don’t quite recall why.. so they started to serve flavored milk to pupils .
Each one of us pupils was to have a Very large bottle of milk, it came in 2 flavors, banana and orange.. I remember Fawzeyya, the cleaning lady (el- Farrasha ) or the (Butterfly) as 3eeraqi Medic once humouredly called her, would sit cross legged in front of the big black boxes of the milk bottles (I still remember them), and starts opening the bottles one by one for us – pupils, as we come out of the classrooms to the school yard, running and shouting, (Forsa) time ..
I used to take one, force myself to take a few gulps of the colored milk (now when I think about it I don’t know why did I ever do that.. were we watched or what? Cant remember) and then walk slowly and cautiously towards one of the many Dinghas and leave the almost - full bottle behind it discreetly.. then come back walking so relieved .. pretending to have finished the whole bottle.. and my stomach felt sick ..
God, I hate even the memory of that milk ..
How strange that even such simple and perhaps insignificant incidents would still be so bright in our minds after all these years..i even remember the exact shade of orange milk , with its artificial orange smell..
The milk too took me back to my old school , I can clearly picture the yard, el –Saha and the pupils with their grey uniforms , the Dinghas and the pale grey walls (why were they painted grey anyway??) ..i remember the teachers (they were all women, no men) , set Amal, set Zeinab, set Nasima, set Mithal, set Moneeba, set Hanaa.. they all were such kind ladies..
We were so carefree, we had our problems of course (they seemed so big at the time no matter how silly they were),, but they were ordinary children problems, like any at our age..
I so much miss those days, maybe wish to go back in time and just be a tiny little girl in (el –Awwal – Baa), who has the big dilemma of having to drink her milk at school, but will never b able to drink colored milk, neither orange, nor yellow..

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Mahar ..

An Iraqi friend of mine, has just Ghetaat Mahar, she lives in an Arabic country..she sent me the fotos to share her happiness.. as I was not able to be there in person..
The fotos were indeed So beautiful.. u can read the happiness all over the Bride's face.. el –Aroos..and the Arees was Iraqi too (Tabaan..) and their families and a short list of close friends whom I know most of them..
I opened the fotos one by one , i got them by email , the great invention to keep us "almost" close in our "scattered being" around the world.. I couldn’t wait for the download.. why was it so slow? (I thought to myself) ..i was so eager to see Iraqi faces glowing with happiness..
The nice thing, they tried to do everything as if they were in Baghdad or Iraq.
My friend sat wearing a white Ghallabeya, decorated with golden designs.. her hair half covered with a white veil , in front of her was a circular big silver Seeneyya - tray (how nice.. how did she get it.. I thought, it looked old like an antique) ..
The following items were upon it :
- Mraya Faddha , a silver mirror (so the Aroos looks at herself on this special day, I also think some say its for good luck) ..
- 7 Kasat (small bowls) with some white material in each, sugar, flour, rice, etc.. so all her coming days are white ..
- Kasa filled with chocolates (bowl) and another with toffees or something sweet ..and a 3rd one with Henna inside..
- White candles..with green leaves almost covering the silver tray ..(obviousely she could not find Yas, the scented green plant used on these occasions..
- The Holy Quran opened in her lap , as she tries to read some Ayat (I hear sourat el Fateh is to b read) .
- One of the fotos, 2 ladies held a white scarf or shawl over el -Aroos's head, a 3rd lady was scrubbing 2 pieces of (Qand) (the Sugar Cones.. wonder wher did she get that ??) and so sugar was raining over her .. so that all her coming days are showered with happiness..
My friend looked so beautiful .. I thought ev body looked beautiful in the fotos .. or is it that I miss looking at Happy Iraqi faces ?? don’t know.. I just wished I could ve been there to participate in such a lovely iraqi occasion..
There were fotos of dancing.. all Iraqi songs were played, she wrote to me..
There was once an old Iraqi song , quite sad in fact .. by Fadhil Awwad.. im sure u all know it.. La khabar.. la chiffiya la hamedh heloo la sharbat .. so old I know.. but I love it still.. I love the verses..
لا خبر لا جفية لا حامض حلو لا شربت
لا خبر.. كالو صوانيهم شموع انترست
والتمت الحلوات من كل بيت حلوة التمن
thats what i still memorize..

Well.. for a while I lived a beautiful Iraqi was So touching I thought.. i feel so happy..
Yomel Elkom..

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Madinat el Alaab..

The trip to Madeenat el Alaab was always something else.. something special..
We would plan going there for days, once parents announce that they r taking us as we have been v good and (Eqqal) lately, or as a reward for high marks , or just for fun..
I still remember the entrance with its 3 Tall Green (Baqlawa shaped) columns, welcoming us to the land of dreams..
Once we arrive, we run (we navere walked at the time I believe) towards the balloon man , my sister and I, each would choose her favorite color of Noffakha , and we so start our joyful journey with raised heads looking up at our colored Noffakhat with its long thread tied around our little wrists..
First stop would b definitely (Doodat el Qazz), I think that’s what it was called or was it some other kind of worm ?! (a long chain of small seats ,we would sit each two in a seat, with laughing faces of (doodat el qazz) in front of us, we press the face with our small hands and it would Beep or do some funny sound, I don’t know why it was so much fun.. the chain of seats would just go round and round in a small circle, and that's it.. but it was great fun.. we never stopped laughing ..happy innocent laughs.. we were carefree..
My next favorite was the Arabayen pulled with colored horses, that one I loved so much, I would feel like Im riding in a real carriage, they would be run over a certain track round and round and we would get off finally feeling happy and full of independence as we were leading the horses ourselves..
Next there would b my sister's favorite, that’s the Flying Helicopters (al Taerat el Moqatelat), full of colors, and again in front of us there would be a handle or something like a steel arm, u push it to rise, and pull it back to land.. (driving a helicopter was so easy, I thought at the time.. )..
My parents would always be waiting for us patiently, holding our Noffakhat for us, feeling happy just to watch us as we had a good time..
These r the 3 ones I most remember clearly about Madinat el Alaab.. when I look back now, I can see how modern and up to date it was at that time, with its various entertainments.. we were lucky to have it at the time.. it held so many memories of our childhood..
The fine stop would be at the funny mirrors.. where u look at yr image deformed.. we would stand in front of it and move left and right , jump up and down, to become v fat, or v thin, or with a big head and small body, etc.. and we would laugh and laugh till parents tell us, its time to leave.. we never wanted to leave..
They added a few new things in the later years but I never found them any fun.. or maybe we simply grew older and the spell was broken..
I wonder what have become of it now.. I wonder if the Green Tall Columns do still exist.. It was a magic place for us, a fairy land..where happiness was so easy to capture.. and joy was always a short step away..

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Nakhla Irakiyya..

I was in French class the other day, it is in fact an Atelier , it is supposed to make us practice our language and become more fluent, (which I fail to be)..
The subject for discussion for that day was : What if Dreams can come True..?
So here goes :
What if u can make Only One wish come true? (Have back my Watan - Iraq ..).
What if u were to solve One problem in this world ? (War, Occupation, and Ghurba) .. (they sound all just One to me) .
If I were to be a plant, What Plant would I choose to be ? ( Nakhla Iraqiya – an Iraqi Palm Tree).. (I always feel our Nakhal is different, it really is).. for me it resembles Perfection in every way .. subhan Allah ..
I then noticed that it was only me who always gave replies to do with War, Watan, Iraq, etc..
My colleagues gave all kinds of answers :
Voyager around the world , buy a Porsche , buy a Fancy villa , solve the Famine in Africa, solve the Water problem, marry a Millionaire, be very Rich, buy a Yacht, cure Cancer, Cure Aids, solve the Pollution problem, solve Child Abuse problems, etc..
I thought to myself is it only me or is it all of us Iraqis who cant take Iraq out of our minds for one minute? Cant stop connecting everything to Iraq?
When I heard their replies I felt so isolated, here r people who haven’t been through wars, who haven’t suffered from loss of a dear one, who haven’t lost their precious memories, the memories that in fact construct a whole life, a Real life.. life is not to work, eat and go to sleep, life is to have a Real home, to have a Watan..
So, to buy a Porsche would b their utmost wish, or to own a villa ..etc.. (well at least some of them did think of solving real problems), but I still felt different , like coming from a different world, or another planet maybe.. (indeed, a planet called Iraq)..
Iraq is like one big, colored, cocoon that surrounds me w its kind arms, like a mother's .. I Cant get out of it, I Don’t want to get out of it.. I love the feelings it showers me with, the sense of security I can find no where else..
I see the whole world, (my whole world that is) through Iraq.. my Iraq..Iraqna, our real joy and glory, our deepest wound..
The Atelier ended .. we went home..
If only Dreams can come true..

Monday, May 14, 2007

Kollesh Moathther..

This is not really a post..
I ve been feeling so down lately, i wanted to write something away from gloominess, as i dont want to hang around there for long..
Its something i recieved by email, i found it So touching that i wanted to share it with all..
It will definately make a difference for u as it indeed made a difference with me ..

Please visit :

Im sure it will touch your hearts as deeply as it did mine..

Sunday, May 13, 2007

a Colorful Watan..

Feeling v down, V sad .. and V gloomy..
I decided to write down , the definition of the word : Watanless..

To feel that u r an outsider, (always)..
To feel that u don’t belong.. (never will)..
To feel u r helpless, hopeless, and deeply wounded..
To feel lonely , almost 24 hours of the day..
To feel insecure (always) and depressed (most of the days) ..
How many other meanings can we add ??.. Countless I suppose..
Again the definition may differ from one person to the other..
It is not about having a roof over yr head.. it is not about having family members around u, for sometimes it happens that yr family is dependant in its affairs upon u.. it is not about having a job, cause this may be one of yr worst agonies.. a constant reminder that You Are Not from Here..
What is it they have against Iraqiyeen?? Stories of them being badly treated, humiliated, etc.. etc.. you hear stories that make yr heart wrench ..
I decided to go to the mosque in the city I live in.. Balki, I said to myself I find some relief.. I sat reading the Quran, trying to remember all the relatives, friends, who keep asking (me – us), to keep praying for Iraq, and for them as they live there inside.. trying hard not to forget any of them ..
I heard a lady talking.. she was Iraqi.. talking to another about Iraqiyeen and their suffering..(Flan who couldnt get a Visa, Flan who was deported , the other who was not allowed inside, another who was kept waiting for hours on the border then was forced to return, etc.. (of course this was accompanied by country names from all over the world, Arabic and European).. what a coincidence.. I thought to myself.. I took a look at where she was sitting, nothing special about her, the familiar Iraqi features , but what really captured my attention was her last words before turning to pray.. she said : El Denya Dawaer.. wel Dawaer tdooor..
Oh how I silently said (ameen ameen, a thousand ameen) ..
Will we witness the day ? when the Dawaer really Tdooor..? Will we witness the day, when Iraqna yerjaa?? Will we witness the day when the word Iraqi would open the doors not close them shut (with a bang) ?..
I know as we all know that nothing lasts forever.. and after the (Downs) there has to be (Ups) .. but will We be there when this happens??
Nobody seems to be optimistic once the name Iraq is mentioned.. nobody seems to encourage waiting for any glimpse of light.. but if so, how r we to go on?? What is there to live for , if living is in fact about all the above mentioned feelings that one goes through over and over every day??
The question that always haunts me, is that forever and ever Iraq had been hospitable to ev body.. everone was welcome.. it’s the nature of the iraqi people .. how come when We needed help, everybody just turned us down ?? we have become Unwanted.. Unwelcome..!!
I suppose : "C'est la Vie".. Black and White , like we have come to learn the hard way..
Colors exist only in our childhood.. when we once had a Watan..

Saturday, May 5, 2007

No Mirrors in Hell..

There is a story i once read, its French, I read it translated into English, its by Jean-Paul Sarter, the well known author. The title in English is ( No mirrors in Hell, or , Hell has no mirrors). The idea in short is , Hell is actually not about the place, its about the ppl whom we r forced to live with forever, they r forced on us probably by sheer chance, or for circomestances, the point is they become part of our life, and there is no escape from their hateful company, we don’t want them there, we don’t want to be with them, but they are there, just to give us a hard time, they never go away.
I, after so many years in this Ghurba, now think that this could b very true .. the country u r living in, could be very beautiful, but, as i said before its not about a nice place..
outside yr country u r a different person, u lose many things, u lose real friends, u lose your family, and by family I mean relatives and all family members, who would run to help u out in time of need, who represent (Ezwa) , if u know the word,, u lose very essential things, that u can never gain back as long as u r out, u become isolated, a prisoner of a better time u once lived inside yr country, and now u have lost for good..
no matter how many friends u make , the Ghurba is within lives in u, yr mood differs, yr personality differs, yr capability to endure differs, u r not the same person u once were, u will never be that person again..
So, in Hell – Ghurba, u r to live with ppl u don’t want to be with in the first place, let alone having to deal with them every single day, take on their nasty attitude with u, they all know its Their country, not yours, they all know u r weak, cause without your country, u R indeed weak.. For how much longer do we have to suffer our tragic loss? For how much longer, we r to live without WATAN ? shall we ever get it back ? or have we lost it for good?? For how much longer r we to deal with ppl we both know they r much beneath us, but, because its their country, not ours, we have to take on their painful behavior, to remind us day and night that we actually do Not belong here.. to have to experience human feelings we never thought we would have to face, feelings we read about only in books, like grudge, hatred, superior behavior (though both sides know quite well it’s the other way round) ..
For how much longer will we b without WATAN? Without Iraqna? And for how much longer will we b able to go on ?? ..
I absolutely have no idea…
I know it’s a very melancholy post, and maybe it needs rephrasing, i know, but I needed to write down these lines as I feel im about to cry.. helpless and hopeless.. im not sure anymore if I can go on..
P.S. : all our suffering in Ghurba, does not count, not for one second, to what our ppl r suffering there, inside iraq.. Iraqna, our pride and glory.. Our deepest greif..

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

No Comment ..

Sometimes, a photo can tell a whole story.
I would have just added (No Comment) and posted this, but couldn’t help but take in all the details.. and write a few lines..
The traditional tiles (Cashi) of the kitchen floor, the old, multi colored drawers and cupboards, the traditional plastic Dolka, the traditional Jidir..slightly burnt.. a whole world of daily innocent life..
Then the 3 women, the way their heads bent in fear, taking refuge in the innocence of their babies.. fear that is just beyond description, fear they have never experienced before.... where else to go? This soldier has violated even the simple safety of their own small home, of their own small kitchen.. with his ugly military boots .. he didn’t spare them even that.. searching inside the drawer for what?? Hidden rifles?? Or maybe for Weapons of Mass Destruction!?..
What to call this photo?? Fear? Beastly war?? Occupation?? Iraq today??
Not a thousand word article would be able to describe this photo..
Make sure to take in all the details .. (try to magnify each part of the photo, I did) ..
For no reason but being ordinary Iraqi people, living in Iraq.. right now.. this poor family had to go and have to go through this, and maybe much more worse, every day, at any time .. day or night..
It’s a photo from Iraq, Iraqna.. Yes, the same one we once lived in ..
Sadness is just too short a word.. Pain is beyond belief..

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My Bebee (El - Hijjiyya)..

This is in memory of my Bebee, who in my opinion was a Very special lady.
She was widowed very young and raised her 5 children all by herself, she worked in making clothes so as to afford that they finish their studies in university..
I had a special relation with my Bebee,I was the only one among my sisters who would go to spend many days (Abat) b bet bebetee.. i loved going there, to Abat.. I m privileged to do whatever pleases me when im at bebee's..
Bet el Hijjiyya was an old house..with a big garden in front , green Thayyal I remember , high old trees. In summer Karasee el Nylon would b set in a circle, as we and my aunts and cousins would all gather at night to visit Bebee, especially on Thursdays.. there was a small garden in the back too, with a Very big shajarat Nabogh, we used to gather the delicious fallen fruit, as it was too high to reach, and sit eating it in front of the old black and white TV.
Her bedroom was another world, I can now see it with all the details, her bed to the left, the window to the right overseeing the garden, a collection of her many trips to Mekka decorated one of the walls, the window had a very wide Dachcha , I used to hide there behind the curtains playing all kinds of games, princess stuff and all.. i would sit there for hours, not wishing to come out..
I was also allowed to open her closet, and take out her personal things, which were very few in fact ..i especially liked an old bright green handbag which she must' ve bought tens of years ago, I loved hanging it in my arm pretending to b a grown up..
She was very religious, I was told that she used to do (Azama) and (Ruqia) in her young days ..she spent her time in reading Quran, with a beautiful colorful peacock feather for a bookmark inside, that's how I remember her (Allah yerhamha) in her last years..very thin and petite , her grey hair parted in the middle with 2 thin Thofayer ..
She had my oldest aunt living with her on the first floor, my youngest aunt and her husband on the 2nd..(but we always called it Bet el Hijjiyya) ..
Ghurfat el Akel was Vey large, rarely used, with a Big table , and Huge chairs..i especially loved breakfast, when my aunt and her husband would come down, the room would fill with Swalef, laughter and morning chat, my older aunt used to make me a sandwich with butter and sugar in it (beleive it or not , and I used to love it !!) ..a triangular sandwich , half a Sammoona.. it was always a joyful time.. up till this day I love the Reyoogh meal the most, maybe because I have happy memories of it..It was a house full of love and warmth..
In her last years she got very ill and couldn’t leave her bed, I remember how we used to all go visit her and gather around in her bedroom, I have photos of her, attending our birthdays, accompanying us in our travels.. we all loved her so much, Allah yerhamha..
When she passed away, the house was sold, and my aunts moved to a smaller and more modern one ..I once went to visit the place, driving through the old street, tabaan Bet Bebee existed no more, a trading company or something was built in its place, the whole street was different eyes kept searching for the old Hadiqa , the short stairs and the wooden inner gate.. and the memories of my early childhood with Bebee..

May her soul rest in peace.. Ameen..

Sunday, April 15, 2007


I think its Qiddah time now in Baghdad ..
Betna was in a street which used be covered with Qiddah in April..the houses lieing on both sides of it, had so many Ashjar Protuqal and Narenje.. the scent once you start walking down the street was incredible.. it was a great big Festival.. Qiddah Festival .. small scented petals covering every spot of the street, the small neat gardens attached to the doorsteps, on the walkways leading to the inside of the houses..the flower beds, Hadiqtna, every inch was buried with wonderful perfumed pearly white petals..
And though Neesan was a month for unpredictable weather, and dust storms , I loved the world when it came to visit.. cause it would bring with it Reehat el Qiddah ..
The world, my world at that time of the year would turn into something else, a certain joy always engulfed me , I would be in a good mood almost all the time, and nothing can really upset me, i would have the feeling thatsomething happy is about to happen..the world would be shining, Baghdad would be shining ..
Coming back from work, walking down Sharaena , inhaling the magnificent scent , I would walk with careful steps , watching where i put my foot, I wouldn’t want to step over the white petals.. at that time my sister and many of my friends were out of iraq, I would gather a handful of the white petals , and wrap them in with the letter I would be sending, and I would think happily of their faces when they open the envelope and smell the magic scent , I knew how much they would b missing Qiddah..out there, in their Ghurba..
As I remember that now, I try to think of who is left from my family back there.. who would send me Qumshat Qiddah to smell and bury my face in ..No body really ..besides, no mail service is left there now..
We once had a life.. now when I think back , my God , we once had a life..all the flowers of the world would not replace Qiddah for me neither now nor ever..the wonderful fragile pearly flower..
What would I give for just a few petals ..?! how much would i give..?!
Do they still have Qiddah in Baghdad?? Does Sharaena lie covered with it these days?? Its Neesan ..
I feel im going to cry.. I better go..

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Jisr Al- Sarrafeyya

I don’t know what to say with this new disaster..Jisr el sarrafeya and what it means to all of us iraqiyeen .. with all its memories.. its like its been there in its place since eternity.. who of us doesn’t have a memory of some kind attached to it ?? .. the oldest bridge in Bgahdad..WHY !!
It always gave me a feeling of strength and kindness at the same time .. like a Very big (Hodhon).. i always felt like it has arms that embrace me when i pass over it..i almost felt it was smiling at me .. laying still on Dijla..
Strange thing is no matter how hard I tried to remember the details I couldn’t .. just bits and pieces.. noticing how low Maiy Dijla has become in summer and the words( oh yes, this year its v hot.. ofcourse the water is so if it was ever cool in summer in baghadad..
When we used to go to bet Amtee we had to cross Sarrafeya bridge.. so its memory is always attached with going to bet Amtee.. strangely enough just 2 days ago I wrote ab the looong trip to Adhameya..we felt (as kids) it was so long, that me and my sister would sit in the back seat of the car backwards, with our faces facing the back window of the car kneeling on our knees on the back (Coshen) and start singing Alll the Anasheed we memorize to pass the time till we arrive to bet Amtee .. poor mom and dad..and on the way back, we always fell asleep in the back on the trip back home..
trip to Adhameya..Why cant I remember its details ?? details of the way to Adhameya from our house?? Strange the only that comes to mind is Qabor Zobayda.. with its strange design..
Nothing else I can remember..
Seeing half of it down in water, i felt like my hopes in going back one day has sunk down with the dark depths of the river..
i dont know if i shall publish this..
i feel my heart will break ..

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Natheeer Yathoooqo El Asala

My nieces r getting ready for their exams , and as im kind of involved in their studying , I get to go through their school books, this of course brings to mind: (Dar Daran, Doooor..).. Al Qiraa al Khaldooneya..
Its very strange how sometimes the oldest of memories is the part that stays fresh in our minds.. my old school I can still see, with its orange small tiles at the entrance terrace (like in many of the old buildings in Baghdad) and its wooden inner gate.. the teachers I had.. Set Naseema was my first teacher.. she was old, a bit fat, with short cut grey almost white hair..i don’t know why I used to fear her.. though I think she was a kind person ..She would stand next to the black board pointing out with her ruler explaining to us about Asharat and Aahad ..oh and (Al Fariza) was such an agony..!!
I remember one day (el Wajib) homework was to write I don’t know how many times the new subject of Harf el Thaaaal : Natheeer Yathoooqo el Asala sister, 3 years older, and so having a better handwriting , volunteered to do the Wajib for me, I can still see her, sitting on the Dachcha of Shobbak el Hall , hiding behind the Organza curtains , my copybook on her lap, doing my homework for me, I stood watching at the Hall door, in case my mom wakes up from her nap and catches us..!!
There is one Very special Lady whom I still remember and honestly Wish I could meet with her after all these years, or at least know something about her.. that is Set Methal..
She first came as Reyadha teacher.. I never cared for sport at that age really.. it was just another lesson.. but when Set Methal appeared in our school Reyatha became something else.. she would take us all, the pupils of (Shoeba) , in imaginary tours around the school yard, 2 after 2 after 2 in a looong Queue .. singing (thnene thnen , Zenjeelen) .. suddenly she would say in a warning voice: There 's an Alligator hiding next.. shush, be silent.. and we would walk silently, carefully,in fear and in awe, so as not to attract the Alligator's attention, our little hearts pounding.. then she would smile and say : OK , we r safe.. and we would exhale in relief and start laughing once more..
She would make us cross lakes , climb mountains and hills, every thing that comes to mind, aaall in the school back and front yard....and the wonderful thing is , we believed her.. every word she said was True.. there would b an Alligator waiting, there would b a dangerous wild river to cross.. we not only believed her, not only obeyed her.. we simply adored her.. she had such a wonderful character, and a great imagination.. we loved her so amazing person indeed.. full of life and imagination and creativity..
Afterwards she got involved in more school activities like planning the end of shool year Celebration, she guided us to start a small library in class (each one of us would bring a story book, I brought one of Al Maktaba al Khadhraa story books.. el Malek aboo Lehya I think it was..) ..
After a while we heard that she left to England with her family .. that was in the seventies..(though nobody left iraq at that time ..)

To the dear dear sweet Set Methal , who filled our school days with sheer joy, childish happiness and colored dreams, where ever she is now,, Alf alf Taheyya..

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Bet Byoot..

When we were kids, in summer time , my parents as they both were working at the time and not wanting to leave us home alone, would take me and my sister through a long trip to Adhameya where my aunt' s house is, then come pick us up after work.. Adhameya seemed such a faaar place at the time.. entertainment in Amtee's house included many items..
They had swings in their garden ( marajeeh men sodogh!!) .. so we and my cousins would take turns.. I remember how I once fell off and the marjooha banged me on my forehead..
When my parents first drop us, the garage of bet Amtee would be cool and nice early in the day, so this would b the time for Tookee.. i never got to finish, dont know why..
They had a (Taarma) like most of the Baghdadi houses, we would sit in it for hours.. to avoid the heat .. their Taarma was always fun to sit in, with the cool breeze..and we would sit and chat .. silly, innocent chat.. there was also at the time the game of (Tobat) , 2 small balls (Chibin, was it??) which we would try to handle both at a time , i remember it had certain stages (Tappee, Dooraa..) then play with coins, forgot what was the name of that game, we would throw the coin in the air, then try to catch it between 2 of our fingers, in which fingers they get caught decides what this person will b, Jallad, or.. or what ?? my God I forgot the rules of the game.. that used to bring big fights , cause the one who doesn’t get lucky, disagrees with the result and so a fight starts and the shouts (Khalas, Ma alaab baad) reaches Amtee's ears and she would come out and try to solve the problem..
When it gets too hot to sit in Tarmaa in the fiery sun of Tammooz as the noon comes nearer, we would then go inside .. time to play Bet Byoot..
Their Ghurfat el Khottar (guest room ) had 2 couches – Qanafat next to each other.. so we would bring a small charchaf (Sheet)and we would cover the (Yaddat of the 2 Qanafas) with the charchaf and crawl inside.. that would b our home ..
I don’t know why , my older cousin always chose to be Khabbaz !! why Khabbaz, that was always beyond me..he would choose this profession every single time we played.. he would wrap the other smaller charchaf around his waist, puts a small Araqcheen on his head and calls out loudly : im now going to work ..(rayeh lel shoghol) .. I remember I always stayed home !! was I the one to cook ? I cant remember .. why did I forget so many details ??!!.. I can almost see place with my eyes right now..
We all grew up together .. but now , as all iraqiyeen, no one seems to live in the same country anymore .. let alone in the same continent!!
I had a photo once.. of course I left it in Baghdad with all the photos that hold our memories and beloved ones.. it was in black and white .. a birthday of one of us in our house ..ev body laughing so hard..laughs of innocence and not a care in the world , my Bebe (el Hijjiya) sitting in the middle ..i looked at the photo, ev one is now in a different place..UK, Jordan, Holland, UAE, Yemen, USA, only few of them r in Iraq still.. v few.... and my Bebe has passed away many years back of course..
I now envy the family who have relatives living next to them .. we don’t have that anymore.. I think this what makes us always feeling Ghurba.. we went on with our lives, we made friends of our own, but there is nothing like Ahal ..cousins especially.. cause they r the ones u get to grow up with..
Even Bet Amtee exists no more.. I don’t even know for sure if it has been sold out or just rented or what.. as nobody left to live in it..
But Bet Byoot will always linger on in my mind..

PS: my cousin did not become Khabbaz after all, he is now a Senior in his profession..

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

EL Maktaba el Khadhraa and the Russian Cartoons

When my niece watches cartoons, she would answer whoever talks to her absentmindedly with her eyes glued to the screen.. sometimes I would stay and watch what she s watching.. new cartoons are now on .. new characters, new heroes, Timmy Turner , el Jasoosat, the Bratz, (there r new heroines now too) !!.. apart from the violent type which I can never watch.. it always make me feel like I come from a different age, or a different planet that is..
Nothing like our days.. I specifically liked the Russian cartoons , beautiful stories about good values .. I can still hear the man 's voice translating the story for us in sweet Egyptian dialect in simple words, taking us into another magic world filled with astonishingly beautiful events and characters,, my favorites were El Bint wel Feel, where the little girl gets sick in bed and only the elephant (el feel) would bring back her smile , (yes indeed her father brings the circus into their house so she can get better!) Mashka, the little ballerina whose broche (not sure its the right word in english) is stolen by a crow, only a short while before her big day, the beautiful princess who cuts off her beautiful looong (thofayer) to disguise as a man in order to save her husband captured by the enemies , I remember the name Zababa Pootateshna, was it her name?? or a russian word? Don’t know really.. the little Indian girl who does the tiger a favor and he pays her back by locking her in the cage .. she would say in her sweet sad voice : howwa fee adl fee donya walla mafeesh..?? .. there s also One cartoon which was I thought v sad .. A Penguin mother who leaves her egg with a neighbor, the egg falls off the icy hill , so the neighbor replaces it with a rock in the shape of an egg (v complicated I know) .. the mother comes back and keeps waiting for the baby penguin to come out .. but the egg-rock never cracks, then the penguin herd starts to move as the snow starts to melt .. the mother penguin stays , waiting , they all leave but her .. the cartoon ends with her drowning in the melting snow as she clings to the egg – rock.. how sad .. in fact v heart breaking .. but its so live in my mind..
Cartoons were full of beautiful meanings. , values, romance ..just like the stories of (El Maktaba el Khadhraa) .. Anyone remembers that?? All the good stories of Christian Hanz Anderson .. the Wild Swans .. The Nightingale.. The Little Mermaid, The Little Match Seller .. and others.. Such great imagination.. wonderful stories..
My mother would always bring us stories of el maktaba el khadhra to read in our first years in school..
I wonder if those stories still exist nowadays .. or have they just disappeared.. like all the beautiful things we once had and grew up with ..
To those who recognize some of the above mentioned stories - memories , u can visit :

Enjoy ..

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Motar Baghadad w Sopat aladdin w Hadiqat Betna..

The weather suddenly changed.. without previous warning it turned from sunny with a bit of cool air, to gloomy with cold wind and dark grey clouds ..i thought to myself looking at the sky : would it rain?? i dont smell rain in the air (i always felt i could smell rain before it actually rains)..i love rain.. i love watching it, i love being out when its pouring, i love the scent it has.. in Baghadad, the rain had a differnt scent..tabaan no other rain but Baghadad rain would have it..its a wonderful mixture of humid dust and water.. my aunt used to laugh at me when i say while standing with a window open in the rain : reehat trab..not reehat matar.. i would say there is no such scent elsewhere , bas b baghadad..she would laugh and say : all rain smells the same..
i didnt know at the time there would come a time with me out smelling other (motar) than baghdad's.. ooof how i wish to b standing again behind the same open window, in our house back there..i would have the sopa lit (aladdin sopa ofcourse) with its khorafi warmth (no other sopa could replace aladdin sopa for me, uptill now..and yes, el sopa also had a special distiguished smell which i adore).. my room was on the 2nd floor, i would see the top of nakhlat el jeeran, part of their garden hidden with ashjar el portuqal, they had so many of them.. and the flower beds lined with all colors.. my mother had wahes in gardening too at the time, she used to bring shatlat and try new plants.. our hadiqa was so distiguished, no trees, just high rose bushes and exquisite kinds of plants with beautifully colored flowers.. my mother kept plants inside the house too.. green was all around us inside and out .. she took great pride in her garden..she would catch me picking a few roses everyday before qoing to work , so i would put them on my desk.. she would open the hall window and scolds me like a child saying : u left us no roses to look at.. and i would smile and say there r still many more left.. and run away with my wonderful smelled incredibly beautiful .. subhan Allah was it only the roses in hadeeqtna that smelled different ? or was it the roses of another time ?? Baghadad? ..
Allahhh .. Sopat aladdin w Nakhalat el jeeran wel Hadiqa w Betna.. wel Motar.. Motar Baghadad.. oooof shghad moshtaaaqaaa.. oooof..

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I was on my way to work, walking down the long bending street, when she crossed the road right in front of me, in lazy short step.. a beauuutiful grey little (bazzoona) ..she was so small, so cute.. that i really smiled watching where she was going, to the other side where there stands a big trash can .. she was a beautiful dark grey, her eyes round with a strange mixture of green-grey .. i thought to myself : bazzoona! shghad helwaa.. as if she heard what i was thinking, she gave me a charming look , as if saying : thank u, yes i know im beautiful..
i always liked to watch bazazeen.. never had one at home, i dont feel i can take care of one , but always loved watching them..
i remember one day in college, 2 colleagues were discussing (dogs and cats), the 1st said : i like dogs better, they r faithful, really friendly.. cats r ungrateful..u feed her, give her shelter, but u never gain her loyalty.. the 2nd said: why do u blame the cat for having a strong personality?..u cant buy her with food ..not like the dog who has no personality of his own, does only what is asked of him.. in my opinion.. such a weak personality ..
real funny words..
a realtive of mine had a great passion for cats, she had 2 of them at a time, beautiful and (mdanfosha) .. the bazzoona was called Fattoom, the bazzoon was called Ghawwar, after the famous tv series at the time..they were both so freindly and attention seekers, they would jump into yr lap once u sit down.. they were really adorable..
one little bazzoona, brought more memories of the days i miss.. the days that will never come back.. they have become only in another life..we only need one small incident to go back in time.. to the ppl we love and miss, to baghdadna that we love and miss..

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tamor - Nabogh Ajam

I was never much of a (Tamor) fan,, lately i have become one.. after reading all these articles about its great benefits..
Anyway, i have become in the habbit of trying out new kinds every now them, buying them from the near by market which has Every kind of fruit to please all tastes..
the other day, a new pack attracted my attention, the package was very neat, and i thought to myself (it would be very handy later on) .. the Tamor packed inside, was of medium size, pale brown, sort of dry and wrinkled..
Now the nice surprise was when i tasted it.. it had the wonderful taste of Nabogh Ajam.. does anybody remeber Nabogh Ajam??
when we were little, in primary school, the wondering salesmen would be standing next to the schhol gate, waiting for us to come out, their (Arabana)s supplied with all our joyful needs, Shaar Banat(cotton candy), ice cream, Shameyya(pop corn), Habb(melon seeds).. etc..
My favourite was Nabogh Ajam (that i dont know in English).. we would come out of school and at once gather around them , asking for all kinds of Namnameyat they have, in exchange for our little pocket money .. (mine at the time was 1 Derham, then was increased to Meet Filis)..
strangely enough we could buy all sorts of things with our little daily Masroof, teher was always enough to buy us a small pack of Shameyya, or a handful of Habb.. or a small bar of Nastala (chocolat)..
My favourite was always Nabogh Ajam (that, i dont know in English) .. but i know it had the most wonderful taste of fruit.. the salesman would weigh a certain amount and sell to us in small brown paper bags.. very small brown paper bags, they dont exist anymore..
if anyone ever tasted that Nabogh, he would know what im talking about..
I asked the iraqis i know, no one remembered it.. they didnt know what im talking about..
is it possible that its only me who keep having things to remind me of Iraqna and our beloved Baghdad? the happy old days of primary school?
well, the Tamor proved to have another benefit , it took me back in time the joyful days that will never come back ..
i will go eat some more Tamor-Nabogh Ajam..

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Baghdad Sky

It was a very clear night..
i went out for a walk.. the air was fresh, a little chill in the air..
i raised my head to the sky.. the incredible beauty of thousands and thousands of stars, bright, glowing ..i then noticed a particular triangle of rather large gleaming threesome.. at once i went back in time to when i was a little girl, lying in my summer bed,, in Baghdad.. on the roof..
when there was no war.. no fright.. the night was a wonderful trip for us (children) in summer time, we would wait for it eagerly.. with its wonderful rituals.. unpacking the mattresses, the steel beds set in the right position to avoid the early sunlight..
i used to lay on my bed, my sister in the next bed, we would chat of nothing, watching the beautiful stars, enjoying the nice coolness of the sheets.. we never wanted to fall asleep, the sky was too beautiful for us to close our eyes .. every night my mother would prepare our beds for us, we never needed her or my father to remind us of bed time.. in summer we loved to go to bed , on the roof.. to lie under the enchanting stars.. there was that same triangle of stars, my sister and i decided to call it that age we felt it was lit exactly for us..
how many years back was that?? when the night sky in Baghdad was just a beautiful night sky? designed with spotlights of stars?? it must be ages ago..
how sad that we can never forget,, no sky will ever be like (our sky) .. no stars will be like our stars.. is it just me ? or are all Iraqis like that??
i suppose all of them are.. at least the (sodogh iraqiyeen) ..
none of us will ever forget (Nomtel Satteh)..
how close the stars looked just now..
how far our sky seems..
will we ever see it again?? our sky?? our triangle??

Monday, January 8, 2007

1st step

Finally, i have started my own blog..
Though i have been very tempted by the idea of writing, i must give credit to some freinds who have encouraged me ,, and gave me a dose of confidence..
i dont know if i will succeed and find anything to say.. but at least i will have satisfied my curiosity in this field i 've been hearing ab for so long..
This blog is really about the memories i cherish of my days in Baghdad..which i cant stop thinking about ever since i left many years ago.. i want to write my memories down so i wont forget them..
I want to write down all the beautiful (sodogh Iraqia) vocabulary i can remember so they stay clear in my mind.. i dont want to forget..i want to keep in mind every single detail of the days i have lived in Baghadad.. my beautiful days of noomee heloo..

i want to say ( thank u ) to my Freinds.. Shokran Jazeelan..
i hope i dont fail u..