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..