O mie si doua nopti in Bagdadul trist

da1b47207ade024f134942d31a0f2540A inceput cu urletul unui copil care mai adineauri zambea langa vatra bunicilor albi de ani si amintiri. Plecase tacut spre strada, cautandu-si camarazii de batut mingea pe asfalturile albite de nisipul irakian, de soare si timp molcom, timp care uita uneori sa mai treaca prin cartierele Bagdadului. Apoi cateva femei s-au auzit in departare, prin curti nestiute, cum tipau si jeleau ca peste drum trupurile barbatilor lor erau aruncate-n pe placi de ciment, ca raspuns la tovarasia care-i tinuse-n strada, pentru un vis. Visul unui Irak sigur, cu paine si liniste-n case. Cerul se implumburase intr-un mov al doliului, copiii muti de spaima isi priveau parintii, strangandu-si la piept jucariile murdare de noroiul luptelor pentru o schimbare. In noapte, Bagdadul iar isi numara mortii. „Vrem de munca, vrem un viitor pentru copiii nostri, ya Allah!”! Cineva ruga divinitatea cu cateva minute inainte de a-i fi strivit corpul pentru indrazneala de a visa la alte orizonturi. Pentru a cata oara Irakul plange? De departe, din inaltul presarat cu ramuri de curmali, lumea pare un furnicar neobosit, de lupte, lacrimi, cerinte si franturi de vise. Miroase a moarte pe strazile vechiului oras al civilizatiei islamice, marele Bagdad. Un oras mare, cu oameni striviti, care din palmierii inaltului par mici, mici…

Western Asian flavours and the Kurdish cuisine

04ef0397-1491-4db6-8f35-bff596077db6-mKnowing a Kurdish family may be the perfect opportunity to get familiar with their cuisine, as well. The Kurdish cuisine (Çêştî Kurdî), is composed of a wide variety of food that Kurdish people prepare since centuries ago. Analyzing where the region of Kurdistan is positioned, we won’t be surprised to notice the cultural similarities of Kurds with their very close neighbouring countries, such as Iran, Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Armenia. Kurdish cuisine have as well some dishes that you will find them in the Indian subcontinent and Arab Gulf countries, such as biryani. If there is a way to describe the cuisine of Kurdistan, one may say thay it is a typical western Asian cuisine.
                            (Kurdish traditional food)
kurdistan-1

The high price of popularity: between social media and family traditions.

Palestinian girl Isra’a Ghareb (photo) is just the last case of honor killing happened few weeks ago, inside the conservative society of her country69952505_2507591386001868_4437697593346097152_n. She’ve been killed for using the social media in a shameful way, according to her family’s point of view. Last year, because of her fame, daring outfits and opinions on the social media, Iraqi model Tarah Fares and other two well-known women from the same country, (Dr. Rafeef Al Yasiri and businesswoman Rasha Al Hassan) passed away in strange circumstances, reported as being murdered by conservative religious groups, according to local mass media. All these victims were interested in beauty market and were leading female social media figures in Iraq. In 2016 Pakistani model Qandeel Balooch, has been killed by her brother while sleeping, for some selfie pictures, considered highly offensive for her family’s reputation. And these are just few cases of honor killing, where women pay with their lives for not having protective laws on their native land. Should females from conservative societies stop using the social media to protect their lives or they must act brave and keep going by following the Western trends?

The stunning tradition of Afghan embroidery

As a country surrounded by many cultures derived from different ethnic groups we are 53461739_2310920915609038_6872475963167342592_nnot surprised to find out that colours, designs and great quality materials are used by the locals of Afghanistan when it comes to their embroidery that can be seen as a reflection of country’s important location inside Central Asia. Generally speaking, the responsability with the production of embroidery is carried out by young women and girls, who are sitting inside the domestic environment, working handmade. Not only the women were doing such type of work by the end of twentieth century, but men as well. They were carrying out the embroidery, but in a different manner, such as using 15078608_1325721377462335_2400687686605380222_nthe machine embroidery from tailor’s workshops. In Afghanistan, embroidery is used for decorating a wide range of interiors, objects, mainly for home decorations (mats, towels, curtains and and table cloths) and of course, for the clothing of both: women and men. As a difference between men and women’s outfits, we must notice that women’s clothing are more colourful and elaborately embroidered. Kandahar is a famous place known for its type of men embroidery. Other places where you can find different styles of handmade embroidery may include Herat, and inside the Nuristani community located in East of Kabul, (this form of embroidery can be comparable to the chikan work originally from North of India, especially from Lucknow city). To decorate their dresses, Pashtun women use beads and large mirrors, while coins and shells are usually found on nomadic women’s dresses. Shisha embroidery (with small mirrors) can be seen at Pashtun and Baluchi women, and the idea originates in Northen India, as well.  These pictures are just a small proof of how beautiful the Afghan embroidery is!

(Beautiful traditional Afghan dresses displayed inside a shop)

69581501_2505306249563715_8724044872803155968_n

Ne trec anii, ya Omar!

Astazi e Joi si am de gand sa-ti spun ceva, dar o las pe maine, cand ai sa vii de la 9c7c7e0299ca1977b6263ef41ac9da11rugaciune. Ai sa intri cu ochii plecati, in camara tatalui mei, ai sa iei cativa dinari munciti din greu s’apoi, nevazut, ai sa te-ntorci in modesta-ti camera, unde iti inchizi tineretea si visele, de parca viata te-a condamnat la o pedeapsa neanuntata si nevazuta.O grea povara peste primaverile destinului tau. Eu maine, ya Omar, cand Abouya isi va termina pranzul, iar ceaiul si el va fi gata pregatit, am sa ii las curmalele pe masa, tocmai pentru a-l opri sa caute-n odaile mele, si dusa voi fi din casa! Am sa vin spre tine, cu valul tras pe chip si am sa-ti zic asa: Ne trec anii, ya Omar, nu bogatii si bratari de aur astept eu de la tine, habib alby. Inceteaza in a-ti mai umbri zilele cu munca chinuitoare pentru cei cativa dinari care nu-ti ajung decat pentru paine si iaurt. Eu jur pe memoria mamei mele Sultana, ca fericita am sa fiu de ma iei de soata, si nu astept bogatii ori ca la Nikkah noastra sa rasune medina a lafaiala si grandoare! Ce-i viata fara dragoste, baiete draga? Nu te mai osandi la grele munci, sperand ca intr-o zi sa intri si tu in voia tatalui meu, eu insami, Layla, iti bat la usa, iar inima-mi te roaga sa deschizi! Ne trec anii, ya habibi.

***

Luna cea hoata isi roti cercul de aur peste cupolele albastre din Bagdadul de poveste si Layla cea cu gene lungi astepta ca musulmanii sa se intoarca de la al salat. Din casa-i mareata putea vedea clar poarta moscheii,iar cand Omar cel chipes si inalt iesi din lacasul de rugaciune, fetiscana indragostita iute se pierdu-n simtiri. Il astepta sa-si ia plata de la avutul ei tata si, cand nimeni n-ar fi banuit ca o fata de-a Bagdadului s-ar compromite in acest fel, frumoasa o lua tip-til, urmandu-l pe uliti care duceau spre camera modesta a tanarului artizan, Omar cu ochi de migdala, acest minunat mester ale carui cufere de zestre erau neintrecute-n frumusete, de pana si Damascul auzise de indemanarea sa. „Cine-i”? se auzi vocea de dincolo de ziduri. Laylei ii pieri graiul. Cu chipul acoperit, doar ochii ii mai aratau din scanteia dragostei. Barbatul se arata in prag. „Ce doresti, surioara?” intreba acesta atunci ca o vazu pe straina in negru. Laylei ii pieri limba si curajul, simtind cum pamantul ii fuge de sub picioare. Isi pleca ochii a rusine si o lua la fuga, cu grija ca chipul sa nu ii fie vazut de vreun vecin mai dibaci, ori de vreo clevetitoare. Si cand ajunse-n odaia sa plina de doruri nespuse, lacrimile ii cursera-n voie. Apoi hohote de plans venira si ele, ca o prelungire fireasca a suferintei unei iubiri mute. Trecu ziua, iar dupa amiaza lenesa facu loc unei alte nopti singuratice. Era Sambata. Acea Sambata cand Layla fierbea cardamom in curtea interioara a casei falnice in care isi ducea viata fara de dulceata. Se uita spre fantana, stiind ca nimeni n-are s-o vada. Si vazu scrisoarea! „Ne trec anii, saptamanile, zilele si clipele, Layla habibty. Dar iubirile de-o viata nu ne trec”. Atunci stiu. Omar simtise gandul ei. Privi mai atent in jurul gradinii si intelese ca iarba, trandafirii, rodiile si migdalii, toata natura ii era alaturi. Iar daca Allah Preabunul avea sa incuviinteze, de ce nu chiar ea ar fi fost viitoarea mireasa a Baghdadului? „Insha’Allah” isi zise in sinea-i. „Insha’Allah” raspunse un tanar cu ochi de stea, de dincolo de zidurile casei ei.

 

 

 

 

Alep, ultima toamna

p1001908373-3De undeva de pe colinele durerii, toamna isi striga furia si, neputincioasa isi aduna una cate una, frunzele lipite de trupuri tinere, de trupuri azvarlite din cetatui fantoma, candva marete si admirate, cetatui captive in maini dirijate de forte nemaintalnite de nimeni pana atunci. Cu puteri neanuntate, diabolice. Un actor al dramei siriene, frumos la chip, cu o viata intreaga de trait inainte, necunoscut inca de nimeni, muribund pe scena vietii, se tara cu disperare spre scarile de piatra, in speranta ca se va salva. Era poate mort demult si totul se petrecea intr-o absurda poveste, dantelata cu dorinta ca viata sa triumfe. Mortul isi cerea viata si mireasa din Damasc. Damascul era departe de iadul Alepului, iar ea probabil, era in odaile tristetii si, cu lacrimi in ochi, il asteapta la ferestre. „Ne vom casatori in fata lui Dumnezeu,  ne vom intalni dincolo, habibty”. Scarile de piatra se transformau in ace de gheata, ace groase cu varf ascutit, sa ajunga in inima actorului. Un oftat, o lacrima pe obraz tanar si un ultim decor vazut prin ochi de barbat indragostit si ucis in floarea varstei. Alep cu fantomele sale. Orasul gri se ineca in ceata. Ceata nefiintei.

 

Rain in Beirut

 „And this is how I forgot to love you. I was watching you one morning and I suddenly knew, clearly, with no doubt, that I no longer love you. You will complain that I am bad, that I am selfish and that mistakes have always come from my side, because you, as a man, always have excuses, motives, circumstances explaining” THAT” behavior. The woman is hysterical. The woman is in that period of the month. The woman’s got „movies in her head”. The woman is thus guilty for being as she is, you do not bother, of course, to wonder how she ends up like it. Suddenly, the woman who did not sleep at night until she knew you arrived safe in a certain place, who did not sleep until she got a message from you, the woman who forgot to mix the sugar in her coffee when she saw you sleepy, entering the kitchen for the steamy coffee, wincing just to satisfy you, that woman is forgotten somewhere in a corner, insignificant, unimportant, with no chances to survive, and clearly too weak to be able to protect herself against the new ME. The hysterical, the selfish and who does not love you anymore. Today I am drinking my coffee just the way I like. With two teaspoons of sugar, slowly boiled, relaxed, and I am watching the rainy streets of Beirut, listening to one of Elissa’s songs. I no longer find magic in the artist’s lines, I find them senseless, written for dreamers. Your cup is a little further on the table. You are still sleeping and probably in a quarter of hour you will be looking for me to make a coffee for you also. The sugar is almost over and more than ever, I do not feel like going down to the supermarket. I am good the way I am, on this rainy weather, which „matches” my soul. All idle talks, that I am no good, that you cannot imagine how I could manage without you, all your nights out when it was „men’s time”, all those psychical intimidations making me guilty for any look I attracted in public, the hysterical, ungrounded scenes, all of which have become a millstone, and then your victimization, forgetting about her, the weak, crying woman after the „manliness” excesses. The hangman needed the victim’s protection. I am coming to you in the bedroom. I do not like you anymore. It is not because you are ugly, you have always been handsome, and there are enough jays who want you near them at a glance (I was one of them, when it smelled like Lebanese spring flowers). Our apartment is a simple, cozy one. White, cheerful, nothing Oriental in it, we are a young couple after all, influenced by our trips around Europe. But today, in the scenery of this rainy Beirut, our house seems to me more like a hospital. The patient is you, of course. It is normal like that; given that you are an innocent man. But, curiously, a powerful patient, with no wounds, if you read my minds. I am the exhausted doctor. But I will not give you any more pain killers. As from today, I will take care of myself only. And this is how I forgot to love you. You are fussing me. And I will free myself from you. I will flow as the river, on the moving staircases of the building, and I will hear your reproaches that I am selfish and hysterical fainter and fainter. You are so small in my eyes… You will probably let your family know that I left you. Yes, the guilty left the virtuous.”