May 17th, 2006

I make my way out the door of our house - what's left of it at least. The house, not the door. I'm going to the hospital just under a kilometer away. I'm thinking I'd really appreciate it if the guys who are usually there would give me a break this time round. The time is 4 in the am and I've already missed prayer at the mosque - which is 2 kilometers away. That's why I'm going to the hospital. For the water to wash before prayer. I'm not using the sand today to get ready for prayer because I'm sick and tired of lying to my mother about why the water isn't running. I always tell her that I always reach the hopsital - who are supplying us - and they promise me that it is fixed now. Truth is, I don't even go to the hospital. You would know why if you ever come across those guys who are between my house and the hopsital. They are usually the worst after noon prayer. They look really angry at my uncle every time.
Anyway, now I reach them. They're a group of five. Okay two more just came from around the truck. Seven guys all strapped with identical helmets and who, later in the morning, when I make the trip back, usually have the same sunglasses. For some reason, they all have the number 5 - in Arabic - written on the sides of those glasses. Some come with blue lenses, some with silver; I think they're cool. But I never stole from those guys, I only steal from the guys who are behind the mosque. There. I'm pointing to my left now, to tell you where the mosque is. Wait. One of the guys is calling out for me, he's signalling his way. I'm making my way towards him. "Where you off to?" I'm looking to my right, my left, and I look back, I'm not sure if he's talking to me because his helmet is covering his eyes and I can't see where he's looking.
He's leaning down, kneeling to his knee, and I think he's patting my head. I get really nervous, sometimes, I do it in my pants. I hate that when it happens, because I would have to wait for 7asaan at the hospital - he usually goes at night. He runs the water and washes my pants. I also hate it because 7asaan says I have to go again and pray because my prayer the first time will not be accepted. I believe him.
"Hiya son, what's your name?"
I'm shrugging to tell this guy that I really don't know what he's saying. "Ismaq? Ismaq?". I hear laughter, so I turn my head to see across his shoulder and see the guys who are dressed just like him standing on the big truck and laughing. I look down my pants to check if they're laughing at me, but they're not because I haven't done anything. The guy kneeling in front of me is patting on my head "Go on now, go on." As he gets up, I notice the flag on his right hand sleeve. I remember this flag from 3 years ago. A nice man gave me a big one when my mother told him it was my ninth birthday. It has blue, red, and white. I think it looks okay, but I think the Iraqi flag is much nicer.
I am now just crossing the truck. "BO!". I hear louder laughter. I look to my right, I'm still walking, and see this big guy pointing at me and laughing, "did you see that scared little rat? BO!" I am not sure if I am in trouble. Again. Maybe the guys behind the mosque told them I stole a bar of chocolate from the box they had in their truck. I think that's why they look angrily at my uncle everytime. Maybe because they know he doesn't punish me for stealing the chocoalte.
I'm walking, I don't want to run because I'm afraid they will use those guns. Right there, they don't have them out now. Except that one, he has it strapped around his shoulder. I'm afraid of that one, I'm now across the truck. I look back and the guy with the gun on his shoulder is looking at me. I'm waving to him but he doesn't do anything. Maybe he's just making sure I don't get the chocolate bar out of my pocket now. Maybe he knows I stole it and that's why he has the gun, and why they were laughing, and why that big guy said bo.


  • Great srart .. Loved it much more than Trouble in Paradise - la tiz3al ;)

    ممتازة لغويا وأدبيا .. يالله متى الحلقة الثانية :))

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4.8.06  

  • that was amaazing..i luv how u seem to capture a moment in time and make it ur own

    By Blogger Tinkerbell, at 4.8.06  

  • One of your best.

    I have to say, setting it in Iraq really caught me off-guard.. 7sabt it's about Palestine

    By Blogger Sedna, at 4.8.06  

  • I love. One of your best, indeed. Your narrator sounds very real, and the childlish tone is very touching.

    I don't suggest a part two, though. That would be so not-Temetwir. I'm sort of used to your way of leaving us readers to figure out the rest. But I have to admit I'd be looking forward for a 2nd part this time.. :-\

    By Blogger ScarlO, at 4.8.06  

  • hello there ladies,

    teslemeen, mashkora o bel3aks laish az3al i'm glad you would mention that :)
    i'm not really thinking of making it "one story" put in a series, bas enshala we'll see how it goes from here
    let's say installments, not episodes

    thank you so much, i'm really glad you see it raw as my own experience

    teslemeen ma3alaich zoud,,
    and yeah i chose Iraq trying to (ab)use the recent existing care for one part of the arab world.. i'm guessing the attention can never hurt

    thanks a lot, was actually worried about the child and how he'd sound..
    and like i've mentioned above, enshala i'll see what i can do

    By Blogger Temetwir, at 5.8.06  

  • i agree with tinkerbell. observing a minute and intensively bringing it to life size.

    i love that u give ur self all the flow it needs, in the sense of not cornering ur self in one set of writing (i.e not only politics not only entertainment..), very much needed for mental health :)

    By Blogger Bloo, at 5.8.06  

  • 9arly sena bithab6 since i discovered ur blog.. & i've been addicted since; just wanna say good on ya mate =)

    By Blogger rahab al majed | رَحَـبْ المــاجِـدْ, at 6.8.06  

  • ladies,

    thanks a lot
    and i hope i'm not making a fool of myself by not restricting the topics and themes i discuss heh

    ya hala, sena mn gadna! 7ayach allah :)
    have to say, love the nick if it's the arabic meaning of the word, o mo esim dala3

    By Blogger Temetwir, at 6.8.06  

  • I'm sad to say that I am tired of all the political crap: Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, ...etc.

    Sad because all my emotions count to nothing compared to those who are suffering because of greed.

    I don't think your glimpse has an extension, but perhaps another glimpse from another person.

    Regarding your new personal image: I was going to put a huge one on my blog, but then again it would mean that I admit the existence of isreal as a country, which I don't. So I didn't put the pic.

    I usually sign my emails & messages with "Peace"; I'll start signing them with "Patience"

    By Blogger MBH, at 7.8.06  

  • its the arabic meaning.. & thank u =)

    By Blogger rahab al majed | رَحَـبْ المــاجِـدْ, at 7.8.06  

  • I like your new anti-israel picture. Dasha 3arth I know. But now the lebanese crisis is all I can think about. Seeing u use this picture was nice.

    By Blogger Hazolat, at 8.8.06  

  • mbh,
    is that patience as in
    صبرا آل ياسر؟

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8.8.06  

  • brilliant...sheer brilliance...a moment in time that was caught...but is no longer just a story...but a moment that is somehow..somewhere a deep sad reality...

    By Blogger MissCosmoKuwait, at 9.8.06  

  • well written, like the details and the small bits and pieces included it makes it more interesting and real..... at last a relief from a political topics :)

    By Blogger متفرغ, at 9.8.06  

  • mbh,
    it may political for some, but it's about life and decency for others

    and i think u should go ahead and do the flag thing

    very nice pick, and most welcome


    thank you so much, glad you like it

    political with a twist, i would say

    By Blogger Temetwir, at 9.8.06  

  • really is the perspective of a child..for some reason i felt 4 feet tall looking up at a really tall soldier thru reading this [the height isnt far from truth =D ]

    nicely written..its those little minor casualities of war that are more major then we think

    By Blogger Faith, at 9.8.06  

  • Temetwir,

    By Blogger MBH, at 10.8.06  

  • Hey there!
    What do you think of the latest bomb-threats towards UK & USA?

    I find it funny how every time the popularity of the US goes down, some terrorist organization/individuals try to bomb them. And they are cought.
    Now, UK has joined the wagon.

    By Blogger MBH, at 11.8.06  

  • faith,
    thank you

    if you're suggesting that this is staged, then i disagree.. i think it is 'real'

    what i do think is pathetic, however, is how the media - and unfortunately its influence - has taken that to be a firmer reason and 'proof' for the war on terror .. and that, contrary to what many have believed in the recent past, this war is being 'won' by stopping such acts

    i.e. the word 'terrorism' has grown into something that basically excuses all actions and decisions, even if the 'terrorism act' has nothing to do with the action and decision in the first place

    e.g. i bet you that people in britain and the states will now feel threatened, obviously, and as a consequence will support the "israeli war" against those "terrorists" in lebanon and palestine

    when in fact you and i both know that 9/11, and all the previous bin-laden supposed bombings of US embassies has nothing to do with the arab-israeli conflict .. AND that the recent UK-US airplanes threat has nothing to do with that conflict either

    By Blogger Temetwir, at 11.8.06  

  • and as a consequence will support the "israeli war"

    Bulls eye.

    Though from what I heard from the news, those who were captured were indians & pakistani. The word Islam was not mentioned, but I think it will soon surface -_-

    By Blogger MBH, at 11.8.06  

  • i love your posts. this one is probably one of the best ive read. you need need neeeeeeeeed a part II and III and IV and allllll.
    whats BO? :P

    By Blogger Chicken Soup, at 12.8.06  

  • Erm.. new post already!


    By Blogger Sedna, at 12.8.06  

  • On the side issue of the UK-US avaition threat: Though it might not be "staged" as such, but the gha3ida work has always played in favor on the US and Israel.

    If any of you were living in the US in the period just before 9/11 you would remember how the public opinion was shifing against Israel. There were serious talks about reducing the aid budget and paying closer look to Israel's human rights file. You could see that in daily talk shows and newspapers ,, there was a serious move towards disowing Israel. Then came Bin Ladin and changed the formula. Here he comes again right on time to distract the world from the Israeli atrocities in Lebanon.
    Bush already declared war on the "Islamic Fascists" and HardBall yesterday was about the 'Violence Ideology of Islam' .. so we are responsible anyway ;)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12.8.06  

  • mbh,
    yep, and the word "muslim" was used gabel pakistani o indian o iranian latkhaaf 3alaihom.. maysadgoon khabar

    teslemeen, bas methel ma bayant ma3teged ena feha ajzaa' and stuff because it's more of a theme i wanted to discuss than a story..
    and "BO" is what you (at least I) say lama aby 'akharri3' yaahel

    i'm old school ;]
    entaw hal ayam elthaher tegolonlehom "no mobile" or something heh

    inshalla 3amity rainbow :)

    definitely.. and exactly
    that is what i and mbh are agreeing to
    very interesting thing u mention of the US sentiment pre-9/11

    By Blogger Temetwir, at 12.8.06  

  • Captivating.

    Whens the book?

    Hello Ladies ha? :P Kinda made me laugh...imagined an old black & white movie and a guy at a bar hitting on girls...dunno why...

    I have a slight reccomendation, why dont u join safat? Its the only way i keep track of blogs :/ ive missed so many of u posts, i cant keep up otherwise :)

    By Blogger Delicately Realistic, at 13.8.06  

  • Delicately Realistic,
    Every blog has an RSS feed just type the blog name then atom.xml

    Download an RSS feed program and you're set.
    (This should work on all blogs)

    By Blogger MBH, at 13.8.06  

  • ohhhh ya3ni BOO! (? 9a7?)

    By Blogger Chicken Soup, at 13.8.06  

  • dc,
    * the book is when i break my 4th million inshala

    * i had you at 'hello', didn't i..

    * madri shagolech 3an safat, never intended to be there but they added me at one point, so i told them to take me off; basically, i dont want to join for no reason really.
    - anyway i sent you an email with Eng. MBH's comment

    o yayzatlek Eng. wela asheelha mn elyom o raye7?

    yes ma'am, that is correct

    By Blogger Temetwir, at 13.8.06  

  • lol at "no mobile" - 7ilowa :P

    By Blogger Sedna, at 13.8.06  

  • Thanx MBH & Tem.

    LOL i knew u wouldnt want to be on safat, how u :P

    By Blogger Delicately Realistic, at 13.8.06  

  • Temetwir,
    "o yayzatlek Eng. wela asheelha mn elyom o raye7?"

    People are recognized with their acts, not names ;)

    By Blogger MBH, at 14.8.06  

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