mardi 30 juillet 2013

Daily Reflections

That moment when you feel at loss, torn between two dear things to your heart. I am torn between what I want and what my parents want. I am so because it is my life am leading not theirs. They had the opportunity to lead the life they wanted, nobody chose for them; nobody forced them; nobody advised them. And as I can see, they did quite good. Why don’t they let me do so. Why always making things harder? Why always leaving me with the same tremendous complex one-wayed choice: them or me.  Allah or me.

I was invited to a cultural event. Though am a grown up, I’ve always asked permission to do this or that. as usual I went to ask permission from my father. His answers was: “you stay where you are, settle down a little bit, all you know is going out and having fun, you better mind your studies and training.” And he went out.

His words slapped me; settle down, all I know is going out, mind my studies and training. I who stopped meeting my friends, I who have been away for the whole school year, I who since I started my training know only one direction: home-training, training-home, as a robot. I didn’t complain, because I promised him to keep on going in the training. I who, unlike my sister, after I break the fast, I go upstairs and sleep, instead of going out with my girlfriends, after all that I have to settle down and mind my studies and training.

His behavior gave me the impression that I was a 5 or 6 year old little girl; when asking permission, she got a simple No and that’s all. I am no little girl. If asking permission would be a No, I guess am way old to deserve the No-reason. Why No? a rational reason.

As I said am a grown up, I can easily do whatever I want whenever I want; but I can’t. I just cannot. I want to do things with the blessings of my parents. So no cultural event,, I better settle down, and mind my own studies and training.

dimanche 14 juillet 2013

Ramadan (4)

Today I am really grateful and happy. My father called and told me that I should get to my grandpa’s house. Youpiiii, we goona breakfast at my granny. I am sadly happy. I did my best not to go there the couple of weeks ago. I hesitated to go and wish my grandmother and my two aunties a Ramadan Moubarak. I call then instead of visiting; for my grandpa died 4 months ago. I really don’t know how it is going to be, all I know is that I should be there, as always, as each Ramadan, as when my grandpa was still alive.
I was the first to get there. I found my granny in her white clouds, pale faced, tired looking; my two other aunties in the kitchen. Their smiles were a reward, my reward. I saw in their eyes the effect of my visit. They told me that the two days of Ramadan were hard, speaking not of hunger and thirst, but speaking of the one only person they've lost. I knew that.
I was their little spoilt niece, each asking me what I would like to eat for breakfast. One of them remembered that we had a bet, so she decided that was the time to pay the bet: A traditional Moroccan Tajine with chicken, olives and lemon. They told me that my father visited them in the morning but they didn't say that my father told them anything about all of my little family breakfasting with them, so I was at loss: whether to tell them or keep my mouth shut. I opted for the last option. I played the role.

Ramadan (3)

Yesterday while getting home, I witnessed a fight between taxi drivers; taxi driver shouting and screaming, a halleluiah of people around them watching, honks, agitation of hands, insults,… I didn’t need to stay more than few seconds to get disgusted. I am a woman of peace. I don’t like fighting, I don’t like watching a fight and I don’t like being involved in a fight.
Today again a fight nearly broke in front of my eyes. I was in a taxi. Everything happened too fast. The taxi at the right side of the road, as I’ve been taught during my drive license courses, it is the normal way. Another car on the left side trying to do something I don’t know what it is. It wants to overpass the taxi where I was at any cost and to end up in front of it. The road was crowded. How would it do so, God knows!
Impatiently the other car kept moving fast so that it would overpass the taxi, and stubbornly the taxi speeded up not to let him do so. As if in a butterfly dance, they kept coming closer and departing. Honks started; agitation of hands, insults carried out with the wind, screech of brakes and speed and the scene was over.
Why so careless? Why so irrational?
It’s true that this behavior happens all the time, be it in Ramadan or not. But the difference in here is that we are in Ramadan; the month of patience, of peace and of tolerance. Why letting anger take control over the mind?

jeudi 11 juillet 2013

Ramadan (2)

Today I am less energetic than yesterday. I can barely walk. So I am going to mediate on something, better than fooling around in the streets.
The thing that pitched my curiosity today is that Why on earth some people don’t say or respond to Salam Alaikom while others do with a large smile on their faces? I don’t think that saluting one another or responding to a salute is taxed in this country, or is it?
Since I had to go and take the taxi to get to work, I saluted people who were queuing: Transportation between Rabat and Salé is another subject matter. Anyway, I saluted them but nobody answered. Why? Are they fasting? Oh! maybe because I am a woman and they are fasting?!
As I’ve been taught, Saluting is a right due to one another. And fasting is about not eating from dawn till sunset, praising Allah, praying a lot, giving charity, visiting relatives, no sexual activities, lowering gaze, and also saluting people. So why conforming to some rules only?
Let’s get out from the Islam frame, and look at foreigners. Have you ever seen a foreigner getting into a place and meeting people without saying their famous “Bonjour”, with a large smile on their faces? Why them and not us?

mercredi 10 juillet 2013

1st day of Ramadan

I woke up at 3.15 am, went downstairs to grab something to eat. I opened the fridge, nothing pleased my appetite. I took a yogurt and a handful of dates. Still, nothing pleased my appetite. So I turned around the kitchen and found a watermelon still intact. I took a large knife and cut it into two. It isn’t cold. I took a part of it and put it in the fridge. In my mind, I was planning to eat the yogurt and dates till the watermelon get cold. So was what I did. After eating them, I looked at the clock and found it's 3.30 A.M. I woke  my dad up to Shour but he didn’t want to. It was the turn of watermelon, I took it off the fridge and brought some bread and started to eat. And then it happened, the Adhan started. I shouted at my father: is it the Adhan? I didn’t drink water. I am still hungry. I only took two bits of the watermelon. Damn it.” he told me I can drink a sip of water. That’s all. The Adhan means no more food, no more water.
I went upstairs and I heard my sister laughing at me; she and my aunt got up earlier than me and ate as much as they wanted. I went to my room, prayed and got back to sleep.
I woke up at 7.30; got dressed and went to the taxi station. On my way, I figured out I wasn’t angry because I didn’t eat. It’s the 1st day of Ramadan. I was pleased and happy, for people are minding their own business: men and women; Men lowering their gaze, and women covering themselves, no sexual harassment, and they would do so for the next 28 days or so. I can’t ask for much.
I arrived early to the office where I get trained, so I decided to go for a walk on the old medina; I entered from Bab Biba. First thing to hit me, the shops where Bastila paper was made and sold were the first to be opened. The oven was hot and the baker was the white substance on an iron plate under the eyes of a crowd waiting to buy some of that thing; as if Ramadan was all about Bastila. I continued my walk down the street to find a bunch of people, two policemen, a soldier and numerous civilians peering at something, when I stepped closer, the sweet mouth-watering smell filled my nostrils; in fact they were queuing in front of a Chebakia shop and at 8.30 in the morning. I turned rightward; the entire street leading to Souk Assabat (Shoe market) was empty. A vacuum. All the shops closed. The street sounded dumb and mute. I only knew them shouting the prices of things, their quality and where they were made. Now there isn’t any material for sale, neither buyers nor sellers. Few people walking that street. Actually, I’d never had the opportunity to contemplate the houses above the shops. Now I see beautiful houses, old and grotesque but picturesque. I turned backward to the entry of Lagza, same thing, again. The street is swept. Where are the Rasta-men, the stylish boys with their faded hippy clothes, unique as they are; where their products are: US made clothes, unfamiliar and rare pieces and special jewelries often picked up from flea markets, as I’ve heard, but sold at an expensive price. I guess that’s all for today. I am back to office now.
I miss my last week training days. I had the tendency to bring water, orange juice, chocolate and some cake to breakfast in the office, but now!! I chewed gum while translating texts. I was entitled to a one hour break to lunch, but now!! Even my instructor told me you can to lunch, as if he knew that I missed the Shour!!
Now, it is 13 P.M and my stomach is playing Mozart. My body is weary. My head hurt. My mouth is so dry that I forget its existence. My breath is disgusting. My mind fools around meals and food.
Still, 7 more hours to go.

After I left the office, I went straight home. I found my sister in the kitchen; she’d just finished preparing some Briwate. I opened the fridge nothing else was prepared. From my experience, I know that my father would keep nagging and nagging because of the “empty table”. He would go like: “I’ve been fasting all day, and at the end, to break my fast with this. Are you serious? What have you been doing all day long?” his voice getting higher and higher and his eyes about to pop out of their place. I can’t blame him, that’s the effect of diabetes and 18 hours of fasting. I myself think that the table is in fact “empty”, so I figured out that I would cook some Tortilla, and make some beet juice and serve the table.
My mom got back home. She herself decided to prepare some salad, she’s addicted to salad whether it be summer or winter. I asked her to prepare one with lettuce and orange. So she did.
After serving the table, moving fro and to the kitchen to the living room, I was literally beat. I threw myself in one of the Sdader, and admired the table. That made me so damn hungry. In my mind, I was making a plan, with which to start, what would come next, and next and next.
My father and mother were used to fasting Mondays and Thursdays. For them, fasting is a piece of cake. So, they started making jokes of their hungry kids: my sister and me. My father, teasing, suggested that he would perform the call of prayer just to please his beloved daughter. Me. Whereas my mother told me that I can eat now and then the following day I would continue the fast from where I broke it and she will sew the two days to make one fasting day from dawn to sunset. Yes, my parents though.
Hungry as I were, I couldn’t eat after the Adhan of El Maghreb. With all the plans in my head, and all the mouth-watering meals, all I did was filling my stomach with water and water and juice. To be frank, I was at loss. I didn’t know with which to start. Normally, as our prophet, peace be upon him, did, to break the fast is to start with milk and dates. So did I: Lot of dates and one sip of milk (I don’t like milk), and then water, water, water! The more I drunk the thirstier I was.