Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Poetic Hair Cut

I went for my hair cut in Al Rasheed street. From all the barber shops in Baghdad I chose a classic one. It was the barber shop of the Beatles fans in the 70s as one colleague said to me one day in 2006. I went there once and found 4 men above 50 running the shop. They are calm, slow, and silent. There are always some old Arabic songs played on their TV screen. Um Kalthum songs are the most common. I cannot change them now. All of them had cut my hair at least once. But sooner me and him, the third chair one, knew that I should always come and sit in his chair cause he will know what I want without talking. The other three men know that I will wait my turn to have a hair cut in that third chair. The price of the hair cut is the lowest in Baghdad in their wonderful shop. They don't start talking at all, but if you talk they would talk with you for a while seriously and kindly. Then they will go back to their silence waiting for you if wanna talk again. Sometimes they are visited by a friend of them when they will start talking spontaneously with him a little. Their friends always don't stay too long.

I always feel great after I went out from my hair cut. I went to Al Mutanabbee street to find it paved and clean. This street had suffered a wild explosion since about 2 years. I didn't know that it is fixed. I knew they were working on it but I forgot that. Wow it is nice and some new things are added here. Oh yes it is time when I feel I like my Baghdad. I found 2 new novels of Taher Bin Jalloun, and 2 books on Iraq, one of Khalid Al Kishtainy and the other by Rasheed Khayoun. I bought them and went back walking slowly over the bridge of martyrs above Tigris smiling widely to Baghdad.


tracy said...

Hello friend Sami,
Thank you for a wonderful story and pictures, i loved seeing the photos of the streets in Baghdad. Now, we need to see a photo of your new hair cut, okay? :)

Could you do me a really big favor and explain to me what is the celebration of EID and how is it pronounced in English? i would appreciate it very much, thank you so much.
Your friend,

Anonymous said...

Al-Rashid street looks different!, did they give it a make over and make it a pedestrian only zone?. it looks nice.

Laura said...

Thank you for this lovely post, especially the pictures. How I wish I could walk down that street.

There's something especially peaceful about the silence around a hair cut, don't you think?

Thank you Sami.

saminkie said...

Dear Tracy my dear friend, thank you for your nice comment which i always feel so happy to recieve it. EID means a happy holy day. It is usually linked to islam. So there are 2 EIDs. One after the fasting month of Ramadan and lasts 4 days. The other is after the piligrimage to Makka and lasts 3 days. In both mulisms visits each other and give presents. It is nice days. the word EID is usually saved for these 2 occations but can be applied to any other happy occation. For example we call some other days by the word EID, like the first of may which is called the EID of labours, or of workers. We have also the EID of mothers, and some others. We have EIDs for other religions in Iraq too. We can call any happy day as an EID. some write is as 3eed cause the first letter is present in arabic but not in english. Iraq, for example is not called as IRAQ by Iraqies but it is 3eeraq. If you can see an Iraqi saying IRAQ then concentrate on the first sound and that would be the letter "3" in arabic. And you may imagine how EID or 3eed is mentioned in arabic. Hope i was clear my dear friend Tracy. Sorry for my long comment. I was just so happy to see your comment my friend. Take care.

saminkie said...

Dear Anonymous, it is a pedestrian only zone for the most part of it. Some parts of it are open for cars also these days. It is a great street that i feel conected to it by my umbulicus. May God make it safe for all the Iraqis for all the times. Thank you for your care.

saminkie said...

Oh dear Laura I remembered you today while I was there today. I remembered that I should let you know about how beautiful Baghdad can be. I hope that there will come a day wonderful people like you can come and visit Baghdad. Till then I will keep talk and publish photos about the beautiful Iraq that I like. That I adore.

And yes, having a hair cut in silent place seems like meditation. You feel you are born again. And a kind wise barber can be loved so fondly. I can remember the barber used to cut my hair in Babylon. I went to visit him once after all those long years and he remembered me. He remembered that i am a doctor, and called me as "My Dear Doctor". Yeah, life is beautiful.

tracy said...

Dear Sami,
thank you so much for a wonderful answer. There are EID stamps for sale here, it being the holiday season and they are very pretty, blue with Arabic writing...i want to get some, but felt a little education was in order first, so i wasn't a fool.
Many thanks again, tracy
Haircut pic? :)

saminkie said...

I hope i was helpful Tracy for the meaning of EID. i liked to add that you can say it like when you say "need".

I smiled to myself proud that you wanna see me my friend. I will send my photo to your email Tracy now.

3eeraqimedic said...

kel 3ada Sami, lovely post and great pictures

Bassam Sebti said...

Very touching post. Thanks for taking the photos and for posting them on your blog.

saminkie said...

Hello 3eeraqimedic, thank you for your nice words. Glad that you liked it.

Welcome Bassam Sebti in your blog. I feel very happy that you liked it. Thank you.

tracy said...

Dear Sami,
i am so happy that you included Bassam in you blog, as i feel we have another friend to sit at our table. i now read his blog too. Thank you dear friend for adding friends!

Happy Season of EID!

Thank you for everything,

Anonymous said...

whenever i feel sad , i visit your blogsite .your writings make me so happy and pick me out of my sadness.thank you

sami said...

Hi dear Tracy, happy Eid for you my friend. I wanted to thank Bassam because he was the one who added me and let me know about his important blog. Thank you for you Tracy and for Bassam.

sami said...

Dear Mama, when i saw your comment first i thought that it is from my mom. When i thought for few fractions of a second i remembered YOU, the Young Mama from the lovely Mosul, the Mother of the 2 springs. I miss my mom so much. And I miss Mosul. I love your Blog Mama, it is an Iraqi blog with a personal flavour. My blog is yours and i will feel so happy whenever you like to send me comment.

Margaret said...

Happy New Year, Sami. I hope that 2009 is a good year for you, and for your country - full of peace and good things and foundations laid for a happy future.

I started reading about Al Mutanabbee street, and found it so fascinating, the history of the literary associations, and the tragic bombings, and now its rejuvenation. I wanted to write about it, but time has been short recently. Thanks for the photos of an Iraq very different to the one I imagined.

saminkie said...

Happy new year for you Margaret and thank you for your nice words.