Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Blithe Memories of Desert Storm

At five years of age, she did not recall the somber months her family spent in Egypt during the invasion. Her mother rarely speaks of it, probably because most of the memories are infested with cockroaches and the shattering of needles under the girl’s feet whenever she scampered on the dark pavement that encircled their shoddy neighborhood.

Nevertheless, she enjoys her mother’s light tales as she recounts episodes that made her already pink face turn crimson with embarrassment.
“I was with your older sister Jude*,” her mother started, “Oh, and we had just moved into our new apartment…do you remember it?” Her daughter, now a young woman, nodded her head in response.

“Well, we didn’t have an iron, so Jude and I headed out to the nearest store. We walked in and found out that the place was filled with pale-faced Kuwaitis.” She looked down at her daughter’s cotton bed sheets, pressed her lids together before clearing her throat to continue the story.

“We quietly headed to the front desk and asked if they had an ‘ootee.’ The man scratched his tanned, bald head and looked at us, perplexed.”

“Mama, go on!” her daughter pressed, seeming more like the five-year old in the story than a mature, twenty year old woman.

“We suddenly saw his face light up as he loudly exclaimed ‘Aughhh!!! 3ayzeen makawi!!! Na7na 3indena makawi kiteeeeera!’”

The two laughed in unison with that loud, trademarked guffaw her other sisters also share.

“And I am telling you,” her mother carried on, hardly catching her breath, “every single Kuwaiti was staring at us!”

She looked at her daughter tenderly, her warm, loving smile still on her face.“Yallah, good night my darling.” With a sweet kiss, she tucked her daughter in and carefully closed the bedroom door.

at 11:56 AM

23 Comments

  1. Blogger William posted at 2:04 PM  
    Kuwaitis stare at me sometimes too :)

    Cute story. I could just imagine a 20 year old woman with the enthusiasm of a 5 year old hanging in antici....

    pation on the next words to come from her mother's mouth.

    So, what happened in the story? She asked for an iron in gulf arabic and it's something different in egypt?
  2. Blogger Erzulie posted at 2:07 PM  
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  3. Blogger Erzulie posted at 2:13 PM  
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  4. Blogger Erzulie posted at 2:13 PM  
    William: 'Ootee' is the Kuwaiti word for iron. In Egypt, it's 'Makwa,' but it means 'ass' in Kuwait. Basically, the clerk yelled 'Ohhh! You want some asses! We have a lot of asses here!' I should've placed the translation on the original post, but here you have it :)
  5. Blogger 3baid posted at 2:19 PM  
    LOL Erzulie, did you see my recent post with a picture of the Mr. Ooty ad? :P Take a look
  6. Blogger Erzulie posted at 2:25 PM  
    3baid: It would be an even funnier street sign if it was stolen and shipped from Egypt.
  7. Blogger Closet Diva posted at 4:42 PM  
    great writing!
  8. Blogger Erzulie posted at 9:54 PM  
    CD: Greatly appreciated, especially from you :)
  9. Blogger Temetwir posted at 10:11 PM  
    ah, mothers .. ib3idy walla

    we've got a lot of vids for during/after the invasion .. 3arafty the black jumper o FREE KUWAIT a7mar o abyath o akhthar? 24/7 ga3deen fehom o em6aamar

    ayaam.. allah lay3eedha
  10. Blogger Erzulie posted at 10:18 PM  
    Temetwir: Haha :P Well, I was really young then...I don't remember a lot of details, only the apartments we hopped too every once in a while...my older sister, however, was fifteen then and she was affected by it...were you in Kuwait?
  11. Blogger Temetwir posted at 11:41 PM  
    nop, in london
    laje'een 3ala golat elwaaled

    i was 6 .. hence most of il "em6aamar" i remember comes from watching the videos
  12. Blogger Erzulie posted at 12:08 AM  
    Temetwir: Hehe...My mom stitched an apron of the Kuwaiti flag when my school had 'National Day.' I think it's still in our house somewhere...
  13. Blogger LaiaLy_q8 posted at 12:20 AM  
    i don't recall anything from the war :(
  14. Blogger Erzulie posted at 12:37 AM  
    Laialy: Well, we were the same age so ditto. I just remember vague transitions from different neighborhoods...not much though...were you in our out of the country during the invasion?
  15. Blogger Temetwir posted at 3:06 AM  
    erzulie la men sejech, kan sheghel izgert imwaz3eena ehnaak .. am sure lena sameer sa3eed kan ehnaak o weld khalty emsawir ma3aah (yewaz3on bajaat lol)

    itd be aces if i could get a pic, worth looking into lemme see if i get my sis or bro online sometime

    laialyq8 i hear "bayethooha" elq8iyeen, but i also hear that, ever since, the country has been 'degrading' as it were - not that i would know
  16. Blogger Erzulie posted at 4:35 AM  
    Temetwir: Speaking of that (and I assume that was what you were referring too in your last comment) A LOT of Kuwaitis were taking the help they got for granted; cheaper if not free hotel rates, etc. My grandparents were staying at a hotel (Sameeramees, etha mani qal6ana) and the Kuwaitis there were out of control. I just remember listening to one of the '7areem' chats and they discussed this amongst other things...
  17. Blogger Erzulie posted at 4:35 AM  
    Temetwir: Speaking of that (and I assume that was what you were referring too in your last comment) A LOT of Kuwaitis were taking the help they got for granted; cheaper if not free hotel rates, etc. My grandparents were staying at a hotel (Sameeramees, etha mani qal6ana) and the Kuwaitis there were out of control. I just remember listening to one of the '7areem' chats and they discussed this amongst other things...
  18. Blogger LaiaLy_q8 posted at 8:11 AM  
    half in half out :)
  19. Blogger Erzulie posted at 9:26 AM  
    Laialy: Aha...Well, we were on vacation when it started so we were already out when it happened...
  20. Blogger Temetwir posted at 12:20 PM  
    erzulie its like when u say "man, some people..."
    and just leave it at that u know?

    btw did u study there wela ra7at 3alaich sena?
  21. Blogger Erzulie posted at 12:49 PM  
    Temetwir: No. My mother enrolled me in kindergarten there. It's called 'Stepping Stones' and in '95 we stopped by at the place and it was still there!
  22. Blogger D.N.A posted at 1:13 AM  
    man allah y3eenkum fee egypt, all my friends there during the invasion complained of chronic food poisoning? yep definately afghan mine-dog life over kushary poisoning for me...
  23. Blogger Erzulie posted at 10:04 AM  
    DNA: Haha! Well I do remember one thing...I had diarhhea during 3eed and I was forced to drink 7Up the whole day. Crappy day. That's one of the only things I remember. That and the smell of sweet potatoes and pollution.

Post a Comment

« Home