Saturday, May 24, 2014

Turtles Can Fly in Kerbala

Days were separating us from the elections. Politicians were doing their propaganda. Streets were filled with pictures of them. The Minster of Higher Education, who was also a nominee in the coming elections, was on his way to our university in Kerbala. He was to raise one of the biggest Iraqi flags, in a monument that was built lately in the university. We were working that day and the orders come to us to leave or job and go to welcome him. My colleague told me that we are supposed to dress formally. I felt nauseated. I told him that I will not go. I went to the market to kill the time till Hana’a Edward would reach Kerbala. 

 It is for the first time in Kerbala that I see a lady not wearing a veil. Her hair is grey and short. I liked her much. In Kerbala Book Club she talked to us about the role of non-governmental organizations in Iraq, including their role in scrutinizing the election process. When one of her colleagues, at the end of the lecture, narrated to us his memories with her when she came to Kerbala in a rainy winter in the 60s or 70s, I cannot remember precisely, his voice shivered from emotions. She came back then as a member of the forbidden communist party. She was risking her life. He harbored her in his home. He said that and his voice was so emotional. When he finished narrating, Hana’a Edward rose up and headed towards him. He rose up. They shake hands. They kissed each others’ cheeks. We applauded. Tears were withheld difficultly inside my eyes. With these people human have a value. I will keep coming here.
 I was told later that night that the Minster of Higher Education was welcomed with songs that praise him. Anyway.

The other day Shurooq Al- Abayatchi came to the Book Club. She told us about her work in water engineering. A subject that was new to me. 

 The elections came and I voted for them. Even that that Minster of Higher Education had won a seat in the Iraqi Parliament, Shurooq Al-Abayatchi had won another. I was relieved a little. I can take a breath.

We gathered again in Kerbala Book Club after the elections and this time to watch a movie entitled: “Turtles Can Fly”. 
The method used to show the film was primitive: a laptop linked to a datashow which projects to a small white board. The film was not clear. The image was not clear, nor the sound. But the idea is that we were trying to do some kind of a cinema in Kerbala. Oh yes, turtles can fly!


Kaliki said...

Sami, Are you OK? I have been watching the news all weekend and worrying about you, with all the violence going on. Please tell your fans you are OK.

saminkie said...

Thank you Kaliki for asking. I am fine. You encourage me to write, thank you. Take care.