Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Red and Yellow Bicycle

I may have not mentioned before that I have two sweet Daughters, I’ll name them S. and R. due to security reasons.

S’s seven years old and R’s four, S’s the type of child that daydreams and a bit shy, she also gets agitated quickly, she mostly watches satellite cartoon channels like Spacetoon, ART teenz, Channel 3 and the Disney channel, she also likes her Red and Yellow bicycle and flowers trees and what she thinks are picnics, R on the other hand is the family joker she’s funny asks funny questions and socially courageous, her main interest is playing Barbie software on this computer I’m trying to use ignoring sticky chocolate smudges on the keyboard.

The following was between them when they had one of their serious discussions while they were sitting in the garden having a make believe picnic and my wife K overheard them, R asked S if there are any ponds or gardens in Iraq, simple question right?
The answer from S was “No! R“what are you talking about there are no such things in Iraq we don’t have ponds Gardens Rivers, mountains and lakes in Iraq! You can’t find these things in Iraq! You silly baby! You don’t know anything! If you want to see these things you have to go to Jordan.

Now, how do you explain a thing like that to a kid? Here goes..

After the garden picnic I was taking the Girls to their Grandmas home while I was stopping in an intersection S was looking through the windows then she turned and whispered in K’s ear, “Mummy are there any rivers in Iraq?” K told her yes, then she asked her if there are any mountains, lakes, parks, Gardens, Zoo’s etc.. K’s answer was yes in all the cases, S began to sob and screamed “I’m so sad about my beloved country I’m so sad that you cant take me to these places, why is Jordan so clean and beautiful, and Baghdad so dirty and Smokey and dark?

What can I answer a seven year old?, how can I remind her when she was four and we used to take here every Thursday to this small and nice playground? How do we remind her about her Kindergarten plays and graduation parties?

When we “used to” go to Jordan after 2003 S & R stay most of the time at the Fast-food restaurants playgrounds, they love the Happy meals and small gifts they get with them and love to have their faces drawn so they look like clowns.
During my childhood I remember my dear mother and father “god rest his soul” taking me everywhere Parks playground Zoo’s I’ve seen Safari’s did fishing in Shat-al-Arab river, lived on a ship seen place been places..

But what I can I do now to my children, I don’t dare take them now to a playground or a park and the Tigris River is out of the question.

P.S. S loves her bicycle but I can’t let her out on the street, so she just keeps it in the small garden behind the house and keeps it clean and shiny.

Another P.S. a week ago a kid at school was doing some Magic tricks in front of S, he showed the children the disappearing egg trick, S, asked him if he can turn her into a Dog, a teacher overheard this and asked her why she wanted to turn into a Dog? Her answer was “so I can be free to play in the street without anybody hurting me”

Let’s blame Newman,



dancewater said...

Your stories are so sad.

All I can say is I hope it gets better.

Faisal ... said...

Hello again Zappy

When your daughters will grow up, they will see how much you really loved them by protecting them.

Morbid Smile said...

Hello Zappy! I was guided to your blog from Najma's blog. I liked your posts alot and read them all in one sit now! I live in Baghdad but I'm heading to the U.S.A. in July for my postgraduate study. I felt so sad when I read about how your dream of studying abroad was turned down. We all knew that it was impossible to get to the States during Saddam's time, but you had a great courage and determination to go on for your dreams. Maybe you have a better chance to filfull that dream as there are some fully funded scholarships to the U.S., I got the Fulbright Scholarship myself :)

I hope you don't mind me linking to your blog from mine.

God bless...