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 ..my 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 much..an 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..


Little Penguin said...


The weird thing about your blog is that I come to read it, hoping to learn about Iraq's glorious days.. something that would make me feel good about myself.. ashu everytime I come here I feel slightly depressed to have missed out on such days..

I missed out on Set Methaal.. I missed out on al maktaba al khathraa.. I wish.. I wish..

About your syllabus at the time, I think ahaad and asharat was the easiest lesson of all time.. I learned it immediately.. though the fariza and all that stuff remain unclear.. when do you use a fariza, when do you use a 'nuqta, min awwal il sa6r'.. and i've never got any help from my siblings in homework.. I always did it myself.. lie on the floor (alaa batni), and have my left index finger and thumb supprting my head by holding onto the forehead.. copy from miswadda to mibyatha.. hill il tamareen.. imlaa'.. all sorts of homework..

these days, when I study and that's a rarity anyways, I just carry a book and learn words and definitions.. I seem to have lost the way to academic excellence.. my exams start in mid-may and I feel like im gonna fail.. ufff..

inshallah your litte ones pass..


Yasmin (Blanche) said...

Dear little Penguin,
by Fariza i meant the Math Fariza, which separates Ahad from Asharat.. not Fariza for Kitaba..

Im sorry my blog brings deppressed feelings to u.. if its about missing so much, we all feel the same awful feeling , maybe even worse, cause we lived through these good days..and now they exist only in our mind..
I wish u all the best in yr exam, im sure u wont fail, though thats always easy to say for some one who is just listening, i hate exams too..but im sure u will do well Inshallah..
Iqra : Rabbi eshrah lee sadri..

Little Penguin said...

oh thaat fariza.. in syria we called it Fasla..

Inshallah i'll read that aya.. it will help..

I'm gonna go out now, see some old parts of Kuwait and then come back at night and write about the day's events..

Konfused Kid said...

your posts are indeed wonderful, but the thing that puzzled me is i'm having a hard time placing your age, you don't look old to me, maybe like us in your early-twenties or a little more than that.
Ahhh, Adhamiya, i miss my house there, near Jami'a al-Asaaf, or the filka near al-Qastal school, my primary school, where we would throw orange-peel grenades near the abandoned house with a Djinni.

3eeraqimedic said...
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3eeraqimedic said...
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Yasmin (Blanche) said...

Little Penguin,

U r right, in Sham they call it Fasla..
i read yr latest post ab yr holiday in Kuwait.. u r v talented for writing..the details u mention r v interesting.. i liked the post alot..
enjoy yr holiday..

Yasmin (Blanche) said...

Konfused Kid,
Im glad u like the posts..i just try to write down my memories, things i write down seem like a faraway dream to me now..a v beautiful dream i once lived.. on somedays i feel they can come back, the good days i mean.. some days i dont ..
today is one of the 2nd part..

Yasmin (Blanche) said...

3eeraqi Medic,

i get the same feeling when i write them blv me.. while writing i travel back in time..and live happily w the flash back..i feel the events r so close i could take out my hand and touch them..
when i finish i remember that what im telling here exisits only in my mind, and my heart..and sadness fills my heart..
who knows.. maybe one day, Inshallah..the good days return..and iraqna yerjae..
after all.. nothing lasts forever..
PS: thats really happy news u found russian cartoons..i will try to find any of the ones we talked ab..
oh and yes.. i do remeber the frog..Booom..

Yasmin (Blanche) said...

Konfused Kid,
just for my personal info.. is it a tradition to throw ghishir portuqal at haunted houses?? or is just innocent childish acts from yr side?

A&Eiraqi said...

Dear Yasmin

A great and wonderful post again
You just rack me everytime you post things reminding us to things we used to do and live.

Before writting this comment I kept thinking what the next post will be about: Kahi and gaimer , no something deeper, maybe laidi (iced juice in bags) maybe 8emerdeen

You did the best thing by naming this blog noomihillo, you're really Iraqi

forgive me but Yasmins reply about gishr el-purtugal is so funny , I really liked it, I don't mean you but the way she replied a smart Iraqi girl

All the best

Konfused Kid said...

Yasmine, Habibti, the haunted house with his lonely Djinni just sat there watching us beathing the living juice out of EACH OTHER with Orange Peel, it was the last day of exams. i walked out home with a light heart but with swollen ears, nose, and mouth.

Konfused Kid said...

Next post should be about kahi, btw:)

p.s. they just opened a Kahi & Gaimer shop nearby, if anybody is in Jordan, please drop by....

Yasmin (Blanche) said...

Dear a&e iraqi,
thank u for yr words..it makes me really happy that i can write down something that brings moments of joy to others..
i dnt know what the next post either..Kahi is a Great ritual.. of course i should consider that.. but i didnt know what u meant by (laidi)??what do u mean juice in bags? do u mean ice lollypops ?
pls clarify that for me..
many thanks for yr sweet words..
V kind of u..

Yasmin (Blanche) said...

Dear Konfused Kid,
My God , that was some way to celebrate last day of exams..but u made me almost see joy and (HOSA) u were innocently having.. v nice.. v innocent..
PS: pls pls .. can u tell where the Kahi and Gheymar shop is in Jordan ?? i might drop by real soon.. and i will sure need to taste some ..

A&Eiraqi said...


Yes, Laidi is lolypops but haven't you tried it or heard the name , we used to buy it , it was just ice I mean a juice which was iced, I also like tamur hind in bags, I used to enjoy the taste,
Do you dare to write about Pacheh, sheep's head , it'sd my favourite dish but most girls don't like it.

Have you tried it?

Yasmin (Blanche) said...

Dear a&e iraqi,

i dont know this Laidi, i dont know how to pronounce the name.. sure i tried ice lollipops.. but the name i have never encountered..
i dare not speak ab Pachehh.. yuck .. not only do i not eat it, i flee from home when they cook it.. i hate the smell of meat cooking in general.. why do ppl get interested in eating a tongue or an Eye?? wish u can answer that..
Tamor Hind is one of my favorites..i Love it..i love eating it as it is from the bag.. i also like Sharab Rumman, and Love to taste it thick from the bottle as it is..
PS: im writing this after i replied to yr comment ab Jisr..i wasnt planning to publish that post, when i saw the comments i decided maybe i should keep it..
thanks for yr words and comment.. it helped .. blv me..