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..


Little Penguin said...

oh my god!! how can you forget sha3ar banat (candy floss)?.. or shamiyya (popcorn)?..

My favourite part of madeenat il alaab was bumper-cars.. we called it 'sayyarat da3amiyya'.. I never enjoyed the arcades coz I'd always lose.. especially the street-fighter one where the guy has this special move that he does while saying 'hallyyoooogin!!!'.. he always beat me!

i can't believe what you've just done, noomee.. I just got this huge reel of memories in my head.. during Eid, we'd go to a small-scale madeenat alaab.. we spend ALL our 3eediya buying the most amazing guns.. and there were these sort of group-swings.. they were terrifying.. the guy who pushed all 10 of us would push according to how loud we shout.. they would say "aweeeha bil shedda.. abu 3abdo biddo 2atleh!" (make your pushing stronger, Abo Abdo is gonna get beaten up).. I would shout '7aaaaaaaaaaajeeh.. 7aaaajeh'.. that's Syrian for Kafi (enough).. GOD!

nomee, thank you for taking me back to 1996! :)

Yasmin (Blanche) said...

dear Little Penguin,
how nice to have u back with yr sweet comments..
i did not write about Shaar Banat cause im not a fan of it, i dont remeber ever buying it in my whole life more than once or twice.. as for pop corn, i dont remeber it was that good in Baghadad at that time..
Sayyarat Daameyyah i used to fear to ride in as i would freeze in the middle and ev body else keep banging into my car..
nice memories of Syrian Madinat Alaab..
I hope u had nice memories..
regards..(oh and good luck in yr exams)..

A&Eiraqi said...

You've just touched the wound

I miss Iraq

Allah kereem

Yasmin (Blanche) said...

hello a&eiraqi,
the wound is always open , ready to bleed, on my work today i by chance listened to an arabic song which reminded me terribly of Baghdadna, i felt like crying all the way till work, when i got in the elevator my tears were about to fall..
tell me a&eiraqi, is there anything in this life that could replace our loss??
i dont think so..
take care..

3eeraqimedic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
karim said...

Bonjour Yasmin

Comment ça va ? C’est toujours un plaisir de lire tes souvenirs irakiens

Prends soin de toi

Yasmin (Blanche) said...

Hello 3eeraqi Medic,
thank u for yr sweet words..
im not Quite sure (a am) back,but indeed im trying hard.
So happy that it brought u nice memories.. Dilab el Hawa wasnt v much my favorite, dnt know y..!!

Yasmin (Blanche) said...

Bonjour Kareem,
Quelle surprise joyeuse!!
Im sure u expected me to reply in french but "malheureusement" i wouldnt dare..
I never have teh courage yet, as im still not in command of the language as yrself..
many thanks for yr gave me great pleasure..
take care..

mewmewmew said...

I remember sitting and watching the process of mixing the dough and filling the qallaba.. god it was such fun.. the best bit was smashing the qallaba onto the seeniya and squinting at how loud the pang was.. I think we used to have like secret contests as to who could produce the loudest pang without getting told off, in the name of making klecha.. dear o dear.. it feels like a century ago..

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