Wednesday, 31 December 2008

My Father Abu Mariam

Yesterday, thousands of people met in the Capital Manama to remember the cruel martyrdm of Imam Husain, his family and companions. It is very nice to see so many people gathering for the same reason. Yesterday hundreds of people men and woman including my best friend and I stood on the street whispering prayers for the poor and sick, all whispers put togeher it was strong, the atmosphere was simply beautiful.

The nights start of lectures about religion and remembering the story of Karbala. Then the men go out of the streets to show that they haven't forgotten what happened. This goes on till 4 am in the morning. Men, woman, boys, girls of all ages are roaming the streets for one cause, it's refreshing in contrast to the many wars and fighting all over the world. Horror movies are shown on TV at the moment 24/7, and I hate horror movies.

Well, a different topic which is more pleasant. Yesterday, while going around on the streets I heard people calling each other "mother of Ahemd" here and "father of Sarah" there. It came to my mind to share with you an Arab custom. Arabs call the mothers and fathers as to the name of their first born, if the first born was a boy the name for the parents doesn't change ever, but if it was a girl and then they had a boy later they would be called after him. This is not because the Arabs are sexist but in the time of my grandparents girls are considered so precious that they even keep her names safe. Now that is nonsense but it is an old custom that is kept. For example, Husain and Fatima got a baby called Ali, they would be called "mother of Ali and father of Ali" in Arabic it would sound like this "Um Ail" for the mother and "Abu Ali" for the father. Their real names are still used of course but here it makes the parents proud to be called by their child's name.

My mom and dad are called "Um Mariam and Abu Mariam" because I am the first born, even though I have a younger brother. When my brother was born people started calling my parents by my brother, who is called Ahmed by the way, but they wouldn't respond as my parents thought they were calling someone different since they got used to be called after me for 8 years, so the people got back to calling them by my name. 1:0 for me against my brother. He he he.

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