Sunday, January 30, 2011

GOLDEN ROSES

Nighttime trickled in throughout the indigo skies of Cairo, chasing away the blazing orange sunset. The cool winter breeze swept in through the pane-less window, making the flimsy curtains of Nafeesa's humble abode sigh in exasperation. Or was it relief? One would never know. The frayed edges of Tamer's old car bedsheets flapped in the wind, and almost immediately Nafeesa had wished she'd never gifted her new cotton curtains to her newly-wed sister-in-law.
Nafeesa had saved for months, dropping pound after pound into an empty orange juice container, until she had acquired enough money for the beautiful curtains.

She vividly remembers the day she had first seen them in the shop's window, the cream colored cotton intricately woven and embroidered with golden roses. Nafeesa eagerly eyed Haleem, her husband, when the shopkeeper mumbled the price while rummaging through his store catalog. '280 pounds?' she asked herself incredulously, 'That kind of money could feed us for weeks! The curtains will have to wait.'
Haleem squeezed his wife's hand as they shuffled through the Khan Khaleeli marketplace, aware of her disappointment. A wave of guilt crashed over him, making it hard to catch his breath. He loved Nafeesa with every bone in his body; every fiber in his very being. Marrying her was the best decision he has ever made, and he wanted to do anything in his power to make her happy. After all, she cooked delicious meals for him, listened to his mindless chatter, doted on him, and bore his first child, Tamer.
But the curtains were a luxury that they could not afford at that moment in time. Nafeesa had slept that night with a heavy heart; for once, she wanted to have something beautiful displayed in her home. The ratty second-hand furniture passed down from her grandmother and mother has seen better days, and the plastic flowers in the glass vase were graying and weathered. Still, Nafeesa was humble and thankful for all she had, even though it wasn't much. "Alhamdulillah," she sighed into the darkness of their bedroom, and Haleem slipped his arm around her slender waist as they slept, lulled to sleep by Tamer's gurgling.

Now, Tamer had outgrown his car bedsheets, wishing for something a little more tailored to his ever-changing infatuations. First, it was safari animals. Then, it was football. Nafeesa and Haleem had to wallow in their self-disappointment everytime they refused Tamer's pleading cries for new bedsheets, but for the time being, him sleeping on a bare futon would have to suffice. The car bedsheets soon became make-shift curtains. "We will move out of here soon," Haleem assured Nafeesa. "I promise."

The joy painted on Nafeesa's face as she stepped back into the shop months later was indescribable. The curtains were still hanging in the window, and the shopkeeper had recognized her immediately. "Came back for the curtains, hmm?" he'd asked her from the jet black tuft of his mustache. Nafeesa nodded excitedly as Haleem tightened his grip on the old orange juice container. Two hundred and eighty pounds exactly - Nafeesa had counted them at least 5 times before leaving the house. The weight of the container lessened as the shopkeeper cupped handfuls of coins onto the glass counter and slid them to the side, one by one until all 280 coins were counted off.
He gave Nafeesa the gleaming plastic package, it's contents boasting themselves. Two neatly folded drapes, and at least ten plastic hooks to hang them with. Nafeesa gingerly slid her fingers across the top of the package and shot a radiant beam at Haleem. Haleem smiled back and kissed the crown of his wife's head and led her home.

It was only a couple of days later that Nafeesa's sister-in-law sent the wedding invitations. Though Nafeesa was ecstatic for Shareefa, she couldn't help but think of her brand new curtains' fate. They were the nicest thing she owned, still brand new, and they had no money to spare for a gift. Nafeesa's heart crumbled when she gave them to Shareefa, but she would rather die than be known as the stingy sister-in-law who didn't come to the wedding with a gift.
The curtains went, but the yearning for them remained. She was sure that Shareefa would love them and enjoy them as much as she would've, and she could still see them everytime she went to Shareefa's home to visit. The tiny assurances filled her heart with rest, and it was only a matter of days until life went on as it normally had in their household.

-----

The faint chants of the January 25th protests were carried in with the breeze, reminding Nafeesa that the struggle of their poverty, God willing, would soon be over. Oh, what she would give to stand in the face of danger in Tahrir Square! She wanted so desperately to be a soldier fighting for her country's rights along with the thousands of other civilians, but Haleem was having nothing of the sort. "I will not allow my darling to be subjected to danger! Don't you hear the gunshots?! I won't risk losing you and neither will Tamer."
So Nafeesa stood tall and proud in her cramped tiled kitchen, rolling savory dough for their "emshaltat" dinner and chanting with the distant cries. The ivory dough stretched itself thin over the counter top, and Nafeesa wistfully prodded rose designs into the edges, smiling at what could have been her beautiful curtains.

One day, Egypt will be free of it's social and economic shackles, and the luxuries Nafeesa had once dreamed of will be a laughable memory.

** This post is a dedication to our Egyptian brothers and sisters fighting for their rights. To whoever is reading this, please send them your strength and prayers. They are taking a huge step towards a reformation, and they need our support more than ever. God bless. Ta7ya Ma9r! **

25 comments:

doona said...

Such a beautiful post :)
It's greaaat to have you back ;*

Ta7ya ma9r!

desert demons said...

Beautifully written, often the stories that remain untold are the stories of real people and their real lives - Thank you.

Bella said...

Amazing post;*

It made me thank god for all the luxuries we own, and all the safety and security we have in this country.

* L said...

Loved it!
I hope things work out well for Egypt they have lost so much already.

Ankit said...

Nice Post. Visit us for latest orkut scraps and wallpapers.
Get latest Chocolate Day Scraps and Funny Jokes

heaven said...

I'm glad that you're free now, glad that you had a relaxing little break. I didn't have time to read your entire story, just half of it, and from what I read, I hope that you won't hang in mid-air anymore.

You're one unique person. Your writing is authentic . . . and it touches my heart like writings of famous published novelists do.

Amanda Davis said...

http://amandaslikesblog.blogspot.com/

Bak said...

thanks for your sharing! great helpful!!!Louboutin Shoes Christian Louboutin ShoesChristian Louboutin Pumps Wedding Dress ShopsWedding Dress ShopsChristian Louboutin Boots Christian Louboutin PumpsChristian Louboutin Heels Christian Louboutin SandalPigalle Christian Louboutin fur bootschristian louboutin fur bootslouboutin pumpslouboutin fur bootscoyote fur bootschristian louboutin heelssilver strappy sandalschristian louboutin toundraloubitan studded bow peepvintage wedding dresses wedding dressescheap mobile phoneWedding Dresses 2011Wedding Dress ShopsOff the Shoulder Wedding Dressesbridal jacketswedding jacketsbridal jacketshalter neck wedding dressesoff the shoulder wedding dressesvintage wedding dresseswedding dresses with sleeveswedding jackets for the brideSorry for the bother, God bless you.

Nora B. Peevy said...

You have a strong voice. I am a writer as well. I write fantasy and horror.

-Nora
http://norabpeevy.blogspot.com/

Bella said...

Where are you?
I miss your posts :(

zocy said...

It’s a interesting news!
gucci outlet|gucci bags outlet|Gucci Women|Gucci Mens|Gucci Bags|Gucci Hobos|Gucci Totes|Gucci Messenger Bags|Gucci Shoulder Bags|Gucci Top Handles|Gucci Watches|Gucci Wallet|Gucci Shoes|Gucci Belts|Gucci Sunglasses|Gucci Jewelry|oakley sunglasses outlet|oakley sunglasses outlet store|cheap oakley sunglasses for sale

Pramod Negi said...

Wonderful post, really great tips and advice. I was interested by your comment,
cheap flights to Christchurch
Flights to Christchurch
Christchurch Flights

Ash3ari said...

Mashalaaah ur writing blows me awaay , your writing...mm .no word to describe it

mike said...

A considerate viewpoint and concepts I am going to use on my web site. You have obviously invested lots of time on this. Well done! mesa fire systems

World Famous said...

Finally I found your post after a very long time.
Exam Cram

World Famous said...

Finally I found your post after a very long time.
Exam Cram

Brand Narak Shop said...

รองเท้าเดินในบ้าน รองเท้าใส่เดินในบ้าน รองเท้าแตะเดินในบ้าน slipper shoes กรอบโทรศัพท์ กรอบไอโฟน กรอบiPhone4 กรอบiPhone4S กรอบ iPhone 4/4S Case iPhone 4/4S
THX For All

woeddioe said...

Welcome to our shopping site, to their own Christmas gifts, cheap, style number, is your good choice.
Sacs Louis Vuitton
jeans pas cher
sacoche burberry
sacoche chanel
sacoche guess
sacoche chloe
sacoche dior
sacoche dolce gabbana
sacoche ed hardy
sacoche fendi
sacoche gucci
sacoche juicy couture
sacoche louis vuitton
accessoiresnet.com

Junaid Tahir said...

what a lovely subject... Chicken Soup for the Kuwaiti soul :)

Ya Mi said...

For everyday tasks to complex projects and programs, Microsoft Project 2010 combines powerful planning capabilities with advanced collaboration tools to help your agency set realistic expectations - and manage time, personnel, and resources to stay on time and budget.Project 2010 download gives individual users an intuitive, easy way to lay out tasks and timelines

Divorce law matter, Marriage Registration said...

This blog is very impressive and enlarged my knowledge, required information & the things i never imagined. Love Marriage Delhi, Criminal Lawyer Delhi, Divorce Lawyer Delhi

Belkowski Gaylord said...

Wow, nice post,there are many person searching about that now they will find enough resources by your post.Thank you for sharing to us.Please one more post about that.usa football jerseys cheap
jerseys cheap

Asif ali said...

Sell Your Macbook,Ipone,Ipade
macbook pro, sell macbook pro, cash for apple macbooks
http://sellyourmacbookpro.com/
http://sellyourmacbookpro.com/

Sam Gamgee said...

Bel post mi è piaciuto molto!! ;)

Ethan Smith said...

Buy & sell new and used iPhones.
Wide selection of new and used iPhones for sale.
More at web site