I dreamt I was in what looked like a pleasant place, as if pausing on a journey.
I was sitting eating ice cream and enjoying it. (I do not like sweets by the way.)
Next to me came three very well dressed ladies, looking very refined. They were westerners. Their jewelery shined and sparked under the pale sun and it was a cloudy day. They sat very close to me, on the same table. Too close for comfort.
They ordered a lot of food but kept eyeing and vying my little scoop of ice cream.
I tried ignoring them and remained civil which I usually do in such cases.
One of these very sophisticated women, simply reached out and took my little bowl of ice cream and started eating from it, as if I was not there, as if I was invisible.
I told her: " Why are you doing this. You have plenty of food in front of you. This is my little plate."
She retorted waving her hand brushing me away: "I do what I want".
I continued : " But this is my food. Who are you to take it that way, without even asking me." To which she replied sarcastically :" We are just tasting your food. We do not need your permission for that."
In the dream my voice got louder and louder and I ended up screaming at her: " I will sue all of you." She laughed and continued eating away from my little plate. Ignoring the ample food served in front of her and ignoring me.
Then, the dream took me to what looked like a huge concrete building. I was galloping on a horse and was surrounded by cars that kept honking at me. That building was the U.N. As I approached the gate, I saw packs of wild animals preying and attacking smaller ones, carrying their carcasses and hiding them in obscure modern places.
I saws wild leopards attacking antelopes and gazelles. I saw hyenas pouncing on smaller creatures. I was not able to enter the gates of the U.N.
Then the dream took me to yet another place. An old woman received me. I was in turmoil. She hugged me. I said to her: " Iman has died and I have no one to tell."
She held me for what seemed like a long time and I broke down in tears...I cried and cried and cried.
She said: " I will tell you a secret that Saddam Hussein knew and I want you to do the same. Hold on to the Palm tree like he held on to them.
Spirits, jins and protectors live in each single one of them. He knew that and held on. You hold on too."
Then I saw myself literally hugging, holding a Palm tree. And as I held it I cried even more. They were tears like torrents in a valley. A valley of sorrow and grief.
And I kept holding on tighter and tighter.
When I woke up, I saw myself invisibly hugging something, soaked in tears and I cried some more. And I still cannot stop crying.
I cried for all those gone and all those left behind.
I cried for Iman, Nabil, Hassan, Omar, Khalid, Suhair, Kamel, Radhee, Raouf, Randa, Maysoon, Nadia, Salam, Zakaria, Sarkis, Ann, Madeleine, Nasser, Ali, Bakr, Alia, Othman, Fawziaa, Sameera, Badiaa, my mother, my self...
I cried for my family, my relatives, my friends, those I know and those I do not know, my neighborhood, my town, my city, my country...
And I am still crying holding on...Holding on to that Palm tree, a Palm tree in a valley of devastation, tears and sorrow.
P.S: I learned that Iman 30's passed way. She had a brain heamorrhage. Too many checkpoints, barricades and detours. By the time, they made it to the hospital or what looked like a hospital. She was already gone. And am holding on...
Painting: Iraqi female artist, Nadya Mussawi. "A Rain symphony".