I have entered Iraq exactly before 20 days. No single day I was free. Cleaning lodgment and winter clothes, dealing with water and electricity shortage, travelling back and forth to Karbala to arrange my new job application's papers, and going to that "poop" department for the sake of my family who still abroad since years.
My "TO DO" list also contained some pleasure activities classified as duties: visiting a family member or a friend, or reading a novel.
Yesterday, I came back from Karbala after giving that "Competence Lecture" that I must succeed at to continue my application for the new job. It was about Conversion Disorder and especially about the development of the concept with references to Anna O, and the case of Dora. Before the lecture was to start I was advised by a friend who loves and respects me to not use my surname when introducing myself and to use instead my tripartite name (my name followed by the name of my father followed by the name of my paternal grandfather). I felt estranged but thankful to my friend for reminding me of that. The second thing that shocked me was when I ended my lecture, a long beard professor asked me in a tone that I felt as if blaming: "Do you read Koran?"
I answered "Yes!" He said: "Read some". From the waiting that followed I knew that I was supposed to read some. So I said just to be sure: "Now? Here?" I got the sense that that question was entitled to me especially. But when he pointed to a nearby Koran and said: "Open that Koran and chose from it". The idea of the presence of a Koran in the lecturer's table told me that that question was entitled to all who came to pass this test. I said to myself that they might want to hear how I can spell Arabic letters, or if I have an extremist view against Koran, and our culture. So I was about to pick the Koran when somebody said: "Just read us something from your memory". Another man said: "Yes please just chose a verse from your memory and read it to us". I put the Koran back and started reading that verse that says there is only one God, and he was not born, nor will give birth to anybody.
I went back home. Turned off my mobile phone and had a dinner. At 8 P.M. I went to bed and fall into deep long sleep. I woke up before two hours (8 A.M.). I have influenza. The skies are gray. I am thinking about my mom. Next to my pillow lies "Snow", and my hand writing of a part of it from page 269:
"I'm remembering how we were standing at the window one winter night, looking out at the snow, and she ran her hands through my hair."
I headed to the kitchen and found that I have no more coffee. I headed to the hall and found Dona Maar beautiful face. They say that this face is supposed to be sad. I don't find it sad at all. I went after some sneezing to clear my nose. I felt so relaxed and at home. I went back to Dona Maar. I thought of my mom. She got a beautiful face like a fruit, a pomegranate or a pear or both. I wondered whether I was dreaming about my mom, or about the Mediterranean sea. My eyes keep relaxing on contemplating Dona Maar.