Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ya Zina (=Hey Beauty)

يا زينة ديري لا تاي
ديري لا تاي ومنل قابسة للبراد
يا زينة ريبي للواد
ريبي للواد وجيبي نعناع جديد

Ya Zina make the tea
Make the tea, from the sauce pan to the tea pot
Ya zina go to the river
Go to the river, and bring fresh menthol






I have finished my thesis yesterday and spent the rest of the night watching a film of Maryl Streep and Clint Eastwood named "Bridges of Madison County". This evening I decided that I should take a rest. I opened the youtube and found myself typing "Raina Rai Ya Zina" and hearing that song from the 80s of Algeria.

يا زينة مانيش عليك
مانيش عليك لاخرودوني عينيك
يا زينة كولي واه
ولا لالا ولا تكطيني للياس

Ya zina am not speaking on you
Speaking 'bout you, your eyes have perturbed me
Ya zina tell me yes
Or no no, or cut my hope

Algerian coast in the 80s witnessed one of my earliest discoveries of my body. I saw my extended family for the first time in swimming dresses making some conversation with the sea. I preferred to run like a young wild horse till the sun said goodbye. "Bronzage", said in a French accent, made my old uncle saying: "your color now is so beautiful my boy". It was very rare that he talk to me. His compliment made me feel so happy. One month of happiness ended heralding the return to Baghdad while my mom's tears are in her cheeks while the taxi driver was driving fast next to the sea taking us to the airport. My eyes, not used to see my mother's tears, started pleasing them to stop that silent crying.


يا زينة عينيك كبار
عينيك كبار يدخلو المحنة للدار
يا زينة والزين الزين
والزين الزين وساكن سيدي ياسين

Ya zina your eyes are big
Your eyes are big bringing the ordeal to the home
Ya zina the beauty the beauty
And the beauty the beauty living in Sidi Yaseen

يا زينة والفن والراي
والفن والراي وخارج من بلعباس
يا زينة راني مهموم
راني مهموم منك ماجاني نوم

Ya zina & art & rai
And art and rai coming from Bil Abbas
Ya zina I am concerned
I am concerned, because of you no sleep came to me

Sahara treated my insomnia (March 2005)
Insomnia attacked me on Algeria in 2005 while I was searching for a job and not finding any. I thought I am a tuff guy till I chose one day to visit a psychiatrist. She was a lady psychiatrist. I cried a lot like I never did since long years. She was very helpful. After visiting her I took my Amytriptiline and went to Bou Sa'ada to start searching for a job there. Bou Sa'ada is also called the gate of Sahara because it lies at the start of Sahara. I started sleeping so well there but I found no job during a period of one month. On the night I chose to return to Iraq a Bou Sa'adian family invited me for dinner.
Before we started to eat an old lady entered the room where we were sitting. She stretched her hand to me. She seemed she wanted to shake hands. I put my hand in her hand. She started to take my hand toward her mouth…. And then… I wanted to take my hands back but I thought it would be in appropriate… she kissed my hand… !!! God what to do. I thought for a long second then decided that I should kiss her hand… I took her hand to my lips and kissed them. You know what she did? She took my hand again and kissed it!!!! I took again her hand and kissed it. I am not sure now that we did that a third time but I am sure that the people around us were surprised by this strange greeting of our invention, me and the old lady whom I didn't see before. We were smiling wide to each other when she went inside the house. People decided not to comment on this perplexing incident while I was really feeling more relaxed and more secure. We ate that Bou Sa'adian dish with resonant gusto.

يا زينة كولي لباك
كولي لباك راه القلب رضاك
يا زينة كولي ليماك
كولي ليماك وراه الحب براك

Ya zina tell your dad
Tell your dad that the heart is willing for you
Ya zina tell your mom
Tell your mom that love had healed you

يا زينة ما نيش عليك
ما نيش عليك وراني عل روميات
يا زينة كوليلي واه
ولة لالا ولة تكطعيني لليآس

Ya zina I am not speaking on you
'bout you, I am about the western women
Ya zina tell me yes
Or no no or put an end to my hope

To Baghdad with her tears on my cheeks (April 2005)
I reached Alger. I went to tell my mom that I will go back. I could not bear the weight of her tears. I went out to central Alger. I bought 2 books of Rachid Bou Jidra. I walked in Didoush Murad street. I walked in Bab El Wad. I bought a ticket to Amman/Jordan from the Algerian Airway. I took a taxi late in the evening back home. I took my Amitriptyline and Bromazepam prescribed by that Algerian female psychiatrist two months ago. I slept like statues do. I woke up. I went to kiss her goodbye. She was in her bed, under her blanket silently crying. While her tears were on my cheeks I went back to Iraq.


كي راني ولة مهموم
في هذي كحلة لعيون
نجمة النجوم
كي راني لة مغروم
يا زينة

I am concerned
In this black eyed woman
Star of the stars
I am in love
Ya zina

3 comments:

Laura said...

This is another wonderful post, Sami. First and foremost, though, MANY congratulations on completing your thesis!!!

Sami said...

Thank you Laura, I have dedicated the thesis to "my family and all my friends and colleagues who supported me". And that offcourse includes you Laura. Your encouragement has always pushed me forward to be more positive and work hard.

Thank you my friend.

Laura said...

It's a pleasure to hold your hat and cheer you on!