Thursday, July 30, 2009


Dishdashat subgh il nilli

Dishdasha colored indigo

Gumi gumi ib4aragha, hallo

wake up wearing only it, hello

He was a Guns ‘n Roses fan with his long hair and deep blue jeans. He hated her at the first place because she got a strange ritual; she would reach the house of doctors with her Abaya full of dust and mud. She would took off her Abaya and wash it and hang it on the palm to dry. “Our houses are of mud, our streets are unpaved so… I get all the dust from there you know”, she comment once to him when she noticed how he looks at her when she do that.
He hated her more when he smelled her body as she passed next to him and asked: “do you want breakfast doctor?”. He nodded his head “yes”. She brought him a dish of an omelet of two eggs. She said: “I made only one egg for all the others but for you I made two because I want you to get fat”. She was happy and smiling. He said: “I hate eggs, they smell like farts, and I like my body, I want to stay thin, I don’t want to get fat”. He put a dot at the end of the sentence, stood up, took his white coat while she was frozen from sadness, and he went to the ward.
She had a very poor salary. The doctors, his colleagues decided once that they give her an extra salary gathered from their salaries. He was the only one who refused. He said: “it is not my duty in life to aid a woman went poor due to her ignorance”. His colleagues new that he is tough minded. No argument would help. But one doctor said: “her husband is a martyr in Iraq-Iran war when you were still a child, she is so alone and poor, show some empathy”. Instead of showing empathy he raised his shoulder and went to his room.
That was enough for her to avoid him. Till one day he could not sleep at noon from the heat of the weather. He asked her while she was washing the dishes: “how can people sleep at noon in this abyss?”. She smiled and said: “they wear Dishdasha, and their houses are from mud, it is so easy”. She raised her shoulders while talking and left him alone. He started wondering about the way he dresses usually. He remembered how hot are the walls of his room which were built from concrete and metal. Would mud be colder? How could people live in them when they even don’t have electricity? He wondered.
He went after her and gave her a sum of money. She refused angrily. He insisted. She was almost to beat him with the knife in her hands. He put the money at the sink and went murmuring: “I won’t accept it back”. She spent a moments of shaking. But finally she found a solution.

Wil guthla sit 4ayat w

And the front hair got 6 folds

mandel mandal faregha, hallo

I cannot find when it starts (the fold of the hair), hello

The next day she told him she would wait for him in this noon to give him something. He kept thinking about her. When he came back she told him to wait till every body is asleep. WOW, he started to think about sex. Will she do sex to him?
Everybody went to sleep their siesta his heart started pounding. She showed up and asked with one word: “hungry?”.
He almost swallowed his heart from lust. She laughed. She went to the refrigerator and brought him a deep red watermelon. She said: “you would not eat this until you do me a favor”. When he was about to open his mouth she went to the kitchen. She brought with her a blue stripped dishdasha and said: “go to your room and wear this, you would feel cold inside it”.
He was surprised by these rituals. He went to his room and took on that dishdasha and felt how much cold it is inside it. He smelled her odor in the dishdasha but now he likes it. He went back and she clapped her hand from happiness, in spite that she was in her 50s but she was still a child at these special moments of happiness. While he was eating that cold delicious deep red watermelon she went to her house. He had a good siesta that day and spend the night longing to see that beautiful lady again the next day to thank her and his longing started to be like a small fire of love lit kindly into his love naïve heart while she spent the night alone in her room poorly lit by her lantern longing to meet her martyr in heaven.

ya baba khuthni wiak

You Dadi take me with you

sa3a magder beleyyak, hallo

I cannot stand one hour without you, hello

itwa3idni ween ween algak

you gave me a randez vous but where can I find you

ruhi el 3aziza tifdak, hallo

my only soul is all for you, hello

The song is a traditional Iraqi song performed here by Ilham Al Madfa'ai. The first picture was taken by me during my rotation in Hilla. The second and the forth painting are of Mahood Ahmad, a famous Iraqi painter. The third painting is of Jawad Salim, a famous Iraqi painter.


Laura said...

Hello Sami. This post is wonderful. I like the art, the music and the story. It reminds me of one of my favorite poems, by Pablo Neruda. Here it is, in full:

Ode to the Watermelon

The tree of intense
is all blue sky,
yellow sun, fatigue in drops,
a sword
above the highways,
a scorched shoe
in the cities:
the brightness and the world
weigh us down,
hit us
in the eyes
with clouds of dust,
with sudden golden blows,
they torture
our feet
with tiny thorns,
with hot stones,
and the mouth
more than all the toes:
the throat
becomes thirsty,
the teeth,
the lips, the tongue:
we want to drink
the dark blue night,
the South Pole,
and then
the coolest of all
the planets crosses
the sky,
the round, magnificent,
star-filled watermelon.

It's a fruit from the thirst-tree.
It's the green whale of the summer.

The dry universe
all at once
given dark stars
by this firmament of coolness
lets the swelling
come down:
its hemispheres open
showing a flag
green, white, red,
that dissolves into
wild rivers, sugar,

Jewel box of water, phlegmatic
of the fruitshops,
of profundity, moon
on earth!
You are pure,
rubies fall apart
in your abundance,
and we
to bite into you,
to bury our
in you, and
our hair, and
the soul!
When we're thirsty
we glimpse you
a mine or a mountain
of fantastic food,
among our longings and our teeth
you change
into cool light
that slips in turn into
spring water
that touched us once
And that is why
you don't weigh us down
in the siesta hour
that's like an oven,
you don't weigh us down,
you just
go by
and your heart, some cold ember,
turned itself into a single
drop of water.

--trans. Robert Bly

saminkie said...

thank you Laura. The poet is really great. I think i would buy a watermelon today and eat it.

Take care

Laura said...

I'll join you. We can dip into our melons together, a half a world apart. Do you prefer a fork or a spoon?

saminkie said...

Yes we can Laura, I would cut the melon into small pieces then eat them by my hands Laura to feel them better cause I am longing for them. Miam miam.

Touta said...

Despite times changing so quickly, i still have an obsession with wearing dishdashat, and this post emphasised the humbleness and culture of the dishdasha. :)
Thank you.

Sandybelle said...

Very nice Sami, the word dishdasha is thanks so much.

saminkie said...

Hi Touta and Sandybelle. Thank you for the visit and for the nice words. Yes Sandybelle the word is funny or me too.

Thank you for both of you

Khalid from said...


I love Al Dishdasha and may be there is a psychic-link between your post and what I told Don Cox, just three days ago:

To wear a Dishdasha does n't mean the Iraqi people live in the 14t century. Al Dishdasha is specially advented by our grandfathers to suit our hot weather. Also, because of its practicality, the Iraqis wear it in the farm. You know we have two rivers and we are a nation of farmers since the time of Sumerians and Babylonians who succeed wearing the Iraqi Dishdasha to build the first well-established civilisation in the history of man kind .

Thank you Sami for remembering our Dishdasha,

saminkie said...

Hi Khalid, whether the Iraqis are living few centuries before or not is something that I am not sure about it but I do sometimes thing that way. The beautiful Dishdasha got nothing to do with it. It is just a dress for the hot weather. And I am starting to like it.

Thanks for the comment Khalid.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Shorts work in hot weather, too. ;)

saminkie said...

Yes sure Lynnette but I don't know why we are so shy from wearing them. We, us a nation, are so much inhibitted with a harsh sadistic superego who is yelling at me in this hot summer: "Do not Everr Neverr think about wearing Shorts!!"..

Silly, isn't it?

Thank you Lynnette for the visit.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Silly, isn't it?

Ahh, no, not really. Everyone should be comfortable in their clothes. :)

Thank you Lynnette for the visit.

You're welcome. I have stopped by before, just never commented. You have a nice blog.

saminkie said...

Thank you Lynnette.

Margaret said...

Great post, Sami. Luscious, like the watermelon, and daring, like the woman.

Hope all is well.


saminkie said...

Thank you Margaret.

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