Friday, April 17, 2009

Ma Jen

One night I went to a mad inn
I saw a huge tit old maiden
She was like wine 1944 made in
She took my mind and dissolved it in her glass


Al Abouthi'ya is a type of Iraqi poetry written in our slang language which is a mixture of Arabic, ruminants of old languages, and words from different civilizations that lived once, or invaded once, in Iraq like Persian, Turkish, and England. Some few other origins of words also exist like the word "Timman" which we use in Iraq to describe rice and it is of Chinese origin.
Al Abouthi'ya may have its origins from the Sumerian poetry which sometimes use a similar technique. The technique is to use four lines, the first three end in the same word sound which would have a different meaning each time. The last line usually ends more freely and uniting the above three lines in a meaning.

Al Maw'wal, is a way of singing. It is a slow recitation of an Abouthi'ya with the aid of usually only one instrument.
Ya beh…..
Aakh ya ya beh….
Yuba ma jen…..
Ya heefi i3la lyali ib3idan ma jen,
El hamid lallah bjifak el 3akil ma jen
Ana bicheet u min dumo3i jbal ma jen
3ala wlifi il misha w ib3ad 3alaya
Shoon bi'ya…


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Oh father,
Oh brother,
Father MA JEN (a word that was used in the poem to denote three different meanings: didn't come, didn't become crazy, and surged)
What a lost the nights went away and didn't return
Thanks God the mind didn't go away with you
Because of my tears, mountains started surging
Crying on my love who went and left me alone
What to do with myself?

Monday, April 06, 2009

Worth to be Read by All

Novels that teach a lesson of life

One poet said once that he would not write a poem that he will feel he doesn't want his mother, daughter, sister or wife to read.
What is the value of what you write if you will be shy if your mother know about it?
That poet was from Russia and I am not sure that he is "Rassol Hamzatov".

Look at the cover of this book



it seems that the Arabic publication companies are knowing finally how to make a cover. It is so nice. It is the cover of 3 short stories of the Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aitmatov. The second story in entitled "The First Teacher" which is about a teacher called Diochene, who came to his village of origin early in the 20th century to open a school. The villagers didn't understand why that should happen and they did not help. Actually they fought him. He built the school from his salary and convinced the children, sometimes against their parents' will, to come to school. He was walking every morning around the village to collect the children.

Altinai was a girl. She was an orphan raised by her aunt who was abusing her. Altinai loved the school which her aunt was very against. Her aunt, one day, brought a man living in the mountain and promised him that Altinai would be his wife. The next day Altinai was at school when the mountain man came to school and took her. Diochene tried to prevent him but he failed. The mountain man broke the teachers arm. The next day Diochene visited the mountain with two army men for Altinai, the mountain man was imprisoned, Altinai was sent to Moscow to complete her studies.

Altinai became a professor that her village, Korkoryo, became pride of and named a newly opened secondary school after her name. She wanted the name of the school to be Diochene.

This is worth to be read by all.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Novels that make you frown


He took me to 1949 with a novel named "a spit in the face of life" and it was about incest. A father whose desire for his daughter is confusing, while the daughter is not innocent. A mixture that was not easy to read. The deep psychological insight is annoying. Fwad Al Tikarli had made me feel surprised for the existence of such a frankness in Iraqi literature. A thing that I didn't know is existing. "a spit in the face of life" is a short novel with easy language.


"the sand ring" was written in 1990s talking about a young man who decided to make his choice in spite of the traditions of the Iraqi society of marriage. He was threatened to be killed but he was stubborn. Actually he was stupid. Some say that Fwad Al Tikarli is among the first who were affected by the "existentialism" movement in Baghdad and that this novel talks about the choice of the protagonist to "exist". Anyway it left me with some anxiety.

"the no question and the no answer" is another novel written between 2005 and 2006 by Al Tikarli. It is about an Iraqi father living in the 1990s and suffering from poverty. He is a teacher but works in the evening as a taxi driver. He started to have sleepwalking at night with nightmares. He also got some sexual lust to one of his daughters. Actually she is the daughter of his wife from another wife. Another novel that made me anxious when I was reading it.

I cannot say that I don't like Al Tikarli, because it seems that I may read another novel for him to see to where he would take me, but his novels are not novels that made you smile, they are novels that made you frown.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Back to Life



Iraqi satellite channels are so numerous, more in number than any other Arabic country channels. Their quality at beginning was bad, but they did change quickly. Al Hurria (= the freedom) became one of my favorite when I once watched a document on "The Mendaee" religion in 2006. Baghdad was so violent and people were getting more closed to their religions and races and I was sitting in the restaurant of house of doctors watching that document that showed us how our country is antic and how beautiful is its old religions.



I turned the T.V. on last night and I saw Muthafar Al Nwuab chanting his poems. He is known for his frankness, and for saying some frank insults in his poems. His poems were not allowed to inter Iraq before 2003. I suspect that any Arabic channel can play some parts of his bold poems talking about religion, politics, and love.
I felt proud that I was able to see Muthafar Al Nwuab on an Iraqi T.V. channel.

Next day was Friday. I felt that I should go the next day to Al Mutanabbee street for a walk. To see my Baghdad hoping that I would enjoy my day.









Friday in old religions is linked to love. Its name came from the name of the Scandinavian goddess Freya, the goddess of love, beauty and fertility. Friday was a dangerous day in Baghdad during 2005 till the end of 2007. The government ordered a complete car ban, sometime even pedestrian ban, at Fridays. Al Mutannabee street Friday festivals stopped. An explosion in the same street tried to made it forgotten.
Today I went there just for a walk. I already have many books waiting to read.


I heard a song of a makam coming from Al Mada library. I went up stairs and I saw a crowd around a Chalghi musical group, two lectures talking one after the other about Al Qubanchie, and between their talks a Reader of a Makam would Read (=sing) a certain makam. The crowd was so happy. I felt so happy to a degree that I made some effort to prevent my tears from flowing.







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The young girl standing in front of me was so happy and was the first to start the applauding after every piece of music ends. The lecturer ended his lecture saying: "you are the stars of this small lovely festival, thank you for coming"

Thank you for Al Mada library for making us proud of our Iraq.

the song you can hear in this post is sang by "Abbas Al Bayati" and it is a very famous Iraqi Makam song.