Saturday, January 26, 2008

I remember Baghdad

I remember Baghdad. It was the early 80's, I was five, and the country was at war with Iran. I remember my mum taking my sister and me to the Iraq Museum, where I saw a small, exquisite and moving statue (Nippur, 2700/2600 BC) that my mum bought a copy of, and that adorns my desk today as I type away. I remember the moon glowing over the city, and the muezzin's morning call. I remember the sandstorm that kept us indoors and crushed my mum's exquisite rose garden. I remember going to Samara on Fridays, or to Babylon, and wondering why we weren't allowed into the mysterious mosques. I remember people affectionately tugging at my oh so foreign blonde hair. I remember going with some Syrian friends to visit a relative of theirs who, upon learning who my father was, gave me an apple from a basket in his kitchen; an apple! in war-torn Iraq, were fresh produce was hardly ever seen, this was a regal present, and all the way back home, in the car, I held the apple on my knees like a treasure. I remember the air strikes and my dark fear, as my family cuddled in the bathroom at night. I remember going to buy pungent spices in the souk's tiny, dark shops glittering with silverware, and then going for intoxicating rides on little speed boats on the Tigris river. I remember our driver Bani, a Tunisian with a fondness for obnoxious little girls, spoiling my sister and me with candy and sweet dates. I remember going trick-or-treating for Halloween dressed as Scheherazade, my favorite heroine, she who told stories to save her life.

15 comments:

artycho said...

Hello, thank you for passing by! feel free to come whenever you feel like it! I see beautiful pictures in here and I will have to come back with more time to read you! And I do love anemones...

Liivia said...

Thank you for your visit in my blog! Your blog is charming, I'll come back here!

hannna said...

hei, thanks for visiting. exciting memories. i want to look up that book your reading, on Cage, Cunningham etc.

marie said...

magical! im sure you'll never forget your time there!

artycho said...

I came back to read your memories of Baghdad, and it felt that I could see and feel what you lived, beautiful description!

Norman said...

Antagonist feelings, childhood memories, beautifully written.

lily said...

That is beautifully written
:)

andrea tachezy said...

Thank you for nice comments. I am glad you like my animal friends.

pia jane bijkerk said...

beautiful piece on bagdad. thank you for the birthday wishes and lovely comment, you are a sweetheart!

andrea tachezy said...

Hi Mary - Laure, I just tagged you and I hope you will go on.

Gigibird said...

Your memories of your Baghdad childhood are so vivid and quite lovely.
I love anemones and hats too:)

pierre said...

You're a great story teller. go on! we're waiting !

Anonymous said...

Waiting for a new post to illuminate my day ...

designdna said...

lovely. all places mentioned here i would love to see.

Imelda Matt said...

I might be fashionably late but I'm last to (be asked) leave..lol

I was with you in the souk, on the Tigris and picturing the apple...more! You've got me hooked!