To my dear daughter – River of Heaven [Archives:2008/1209/Community]
By: Samira Ali BinDaair
(These lines are devoted to my daughter Kawthar)
In the fervent hope of seeing you climb all the mountains ourneys I can no longer take,I plodded you on
For I am like a caged lion in a jungle with no order defeated by crawlers
I tried to wash away disillusionment with the wanton ways of the world ,as I lived in your great dreams for humanity
Trailing behind your daring tread into kingdoms of hope and youthful triumphs;
I hid my tears taking joy in your crystal clear face and your joy and laughter,I dared not tell you all that my heart holds in store, about all the battles he victories and the losses..but with your probing mind you knew reading the lines on my face and wordlessly giving comfort as you wiped my forhead;
As I held your little hand watching you grow,with pride mixed with fear in the Mirror of Time I saw the reflection of Myself and the same lines of strife on your tender brow.
Your sadness sometimes went beyond the childish tears of the loss of a precious toy. Oh, the endless whys and why nots s oftentimes you asked “Why do we put birds in cages while God meant them to sing songs of Freedom on beautiful trees” would smile and remember the words of the Caliph Omar who asked why we enslave people who were born free to their mothers. 'why did the little girl on the street wander on her own with torn clothes while you had plenty
Why were the Sook Hamidiya and Ummayad Mosque only a shadow of Salahaddin and the dreary streets of Damascus seemed to weep for loss of glory and knowledge why are the streets of Cairo full of people who no longer remembered lost causes in their feverish search for bread;” as with tears clouding your beautiful eyes,you talk to the little girl in Khan Akhalily and the desparate painter who monotonously repeated the sweep of his brushes on the dead canvas;
I took your hand in hope of leading you to greener pastures but .you walked on relentlessly searching for days gone by in the` dark streets of Sayyida Zeinab in vain searching for Aisha,Fatma,Safia and Umalkher. As we sipped Sahlab in AlFishawy I saw your gaze go beyond the crowds searching through the timeworn walls for Najeeb Mahfoodh,Tewfiq AlHakeem and Taha Hussein. You looked at the old woman next to us, and I knew you were thinking of “Kandeel UmHashim” while she was` discussing the rising price of food opefully you looked at the` old man who wore the round cap of the old literary saloons, alas! .talking about the latest film on “Melody Aflam”. Did Syed Kuttub Mohamed Abdo ever come here to drink Sahlab and Karkade Did Jamal Abdulnasser come here as he planned to nationalize the suez canal id he ever pray in AlHussein Mosque where is everyone gone you silently asked yourself.
I could see your pain I could read the pain of loss of something you never really knew as I tried to buffer you from the discovery as you suddenly said to me, “I don't want to live in this world anymore its empty and shallow”. I told you then,”the loss of a romantic dream is the price paid for wisdom gained”.I have watched your desparate search for a clear identity in your obsessive love for Yemen writing lines and lines stories of humanity caught in the struggles of life;.hoping to find and give meaning to a world you no longer understood;
I sit here remembering the many evenings we watched the Sunset as together we weaved dreams of a better world; I have watched you in turn joyously listen to the refrain of Fairooz and Umkalthum or stand with raised hands to heaven on your prayer mat, fervently praying for the downtrodden asking God for forgiveness for having more than you need and to make the world a better place for them;
You and I always had an unspoken language of understanding for we are kindred souls;
I always fear for you,dear daughter,and the` spirit that knows no bounds and in panic I tried to rechart the journey of your life, and give you a new map but Alas! Who can change destiny ho can stop the river from flowing or arrest the` cycle of Life?
Even as the Seas separate us I can` feel your heartbeats with all its messages of love for humanity as I remember the little girl who once` said Mama you are` my best friend” when friends let you down .and I wiped away your tears pointing to the` silver lining in every cloud in the sky.
Now all I have left are my incessant prayers for you to go forth dear child as God intended .for I know He will always be with you and even when I am gone my spirit will still live on in you.