A Forbidden Love.

Have you ever been in Love?

Do you remember those moments when you were willing to cross oceans to meet your lover?
Or when you drove miles just to see her?
Or the anticipation of meeting her and your heart pounding away, flying out of your chest and your mind getting foggy and you just could not wait to hold her in your arms again?
Do you remember your longings and your yearnings? Do you remember how everything seemed tasteless, so bland without her?
Do you remember being stuck in memories of your togetherness, replaying every single instant over and over and how eager you were to relive them in full intensity?
Do you remember how every minute in the waiting felt like an eternity and the relief when the waiting was over and you finally saw each other and you felt brand new all over again?

Well, Nayla and Sami are terribly in Love.
They met in 2004 in Baghdad. She is a sunni, he a shia. That was never an issue for either nor for their respective families.
They are both young adults and knew that this is "It". The search is over.
They got engaged and were eagerly looking forward to their wedding, their final union.

Sami needed a little more time. He needed to sort himself out financially so he can start a family and Nayla was willing to wait a little longer.
The important thing is that they are together, so they thought.

In early 2006, Nayla's family received several death threats and were forced to leave Baghdad. Her father an ex-government employee understood that he was targeted.
He decided he was not willing to turn his wife into a widow. They packed some of their belongings, took the little savings he had put aside for his daughter's wedding and escaped to Amman.

Nayla was devastated being far from Sami, so was he. But he promised he would join her later on that year. Nothing was going to stand in their way, so they believed.

They kept in touch, through phone calls, text messages and emails.
Their love just grew with the distance and Sami could not wait for the day to be with Nayla again in Amman.

About a month ago, Sami decided he could no longer bear being away.
And true to his words, he took leave without pay from his work, bundled a few things in a suitcase, hired a cab and headed to Amman. It was going to a be surprise for Nayla. Her wedding gift, the only thing he could afford.

He finally made it to the Jordanian border after a long and hazardous drive.
Stuck at the Jordanian border for 5 hours - passport control.

No restaurant, no restroom, crowds and endless number of men, women and children waiting to cross that line and Sami is one of them.
Patience, he said to himself, it will soon be over and he will feel brand new again the minute he sees Nayla.

His turn finally came. The passport controller looked at his passport, stared at him, looked at the passport again, shook his head and said in a stern voice "No entry".
"What, why?" exclaimed Sami, "this passport was issued in 2005, it's brand new. I have a clean record. Here is a letter from my employer, this is my I.D, this is where I will be staying in Amman...."
"I said No entry, it is not possible, yalla next!"
"No, wait. What do you mean it is not possible, I have been travelling for 11 hours and waiting in line for over 4 hours...please don't do this to me".
"I said it is forbidden. Orders."
"What orders? What are you talking about?"
" Forbidden, means no entry...yalla next!"
"But please, understand..."
"Don't make me lose my temper, your passport is an M category. Your goverment gave us clear orders that no M category gets in. Only passports issued in 2006 are valid. Government regulations...next"
" But..."
" I said NEXT or you will be held up for interrogation!"

Sami's world crumbled. His hopes, his longing, his yearning, every single moment of anticipation in joy, evaporated.
He called Nayla. Explained to her what happened and how sorry he was to spoil the surprise for her...But he promised her he will return to Baghdad and head to Syria the following day.
And this is exactly what he did. There was no time to issue a new passport, the waiting list was too long. He hired another cab and headed to Damascus.

Finally after another long drive and another wait at the borders, they stamped his passport and he was in ....and now it was a question of days before he could meet Nayla. She had decided to meet him in Damascus since he was not allowed entry into Jordan. He calls her. They are both ecstatic.They will be reunited again soon.

She has everything ready, tomorrow she is taking a cab and heading to Syria to meet the man she adores, the man soon to become her husband.
"There is hope" she thought to herself "life is good after all". "I will feel brand new again when I see him, my weariness from distances and separation will soon be over, it's only a matter of hours."

With this strong belief and a firm faith in their Love and in Life, she embarks on a 5 hours ride to the Syrian border.
Again, the same scene repeats itself, endless queues and she waits and waits...
Finally it's her turn.

The passport controller flips through her passport, looks at her, flips again, looks at her again and says "Sorry no entry."
"What? Why? All my documents are in order. Please..."
"No, sorry, no entry, forbidden. Next!"
"Please, please ...why...tell me why?" Nayla is tears.
"Government regulations" he replies abruptly "Next!"
"What regulations? I have a valid passport"
"Don't make me lose my patience" he snapped back "Your passport was issued in 2004, it is no longer valid"
"But it is valid, look at the date"
His voice grew louder "I said it is no longer valid.Government orders. Next!"
"But please, I beg of you."
"NEXT or else..."

Nayla returns to the car sobbing. "Take me back to Amman" she says to the taxi driver.
She calls Sami and breaks the news. A short exchange of words, followed by a long silence...then a parting sentence and they both said: "Inshallah, maybe one day"

Love was denied entry, prohibited, forbidden and all it needed was a stamp.
But Love remained stuck at the borders, unable to take root anywhere, unable to flower, unable to reach its ultimate destination.
A Love under occupation, a stolen love...a reflection of the land it emanated from.
Each of the lovers returned to their prisons, away from each other, feeling old and used, with broken dreams and hopes, as broken and as hopeless as the "new" Iraq.

PS: An article appeared confirming this new "government order".
PSS: By the way you have not answered my question. Have you ever been in Love? Yes? Lucky you, you are not an Iraqi. It's forbidden. Next!

Painting: Iraqi female artist Betool Fekeiki


Anonymous said…
I remember two accounts of my own love experiences.
The first being a 5 year "puppy love" relationship from high school and the other being a darling young lady from Moldova.

Like the stamps which prevented the lovers you wrote of from being together, money became my only obstacle.
I became disabled and thusly lost any productive income and that ended our dream of being together.

I had met her in California while working there in 2000 and she had to return to Moldava to care for her parents.
I was going to go there to be with her and most likely not return to USA as I was already aware of the deteriorating conditions of America.
She left for her home land and soon after I became disabled.
Anyway, after 2 years of trying to get to her, we both decided it was not going to be possible.

Heart break is more painful than being physically broken.
I would have gladly had both legs broken if it meant I could have went to be with my darling "seagull".

But enough about my story.

I wanted to post this news flash.
I researched it and it does have a ring of truth to it.
It is certainly something that will NEVER be seen on ANY main stream media coverage.

Apparently there was an attempt to arrest Dick Chaney while he was in Sydney Australia.

Check this link for more info.


My god what a blessing it would be if this is really true.
The American military does,by law, have the right to resist orders and to conduct affairs accordingly if deemed in the better interest of the country.

Let's hope this is real.

And thats a beautiful but sad story Layla.
Broken dreams are a cancer to the soul..

Stay safe dear Layla.
God bless.
Anonymous said…
Heartbreak is more painful than death. I know, because I have been stabbed, and I have experienced that shattering of emotion into sadness, into darkness. The pain of seperation is more than any physical pain you can ever find in all corners of this Earth. Those few lucky enough not to experience that second when the heart doesn't beat, followed by the sinking of all it's little pieces, have no idea just HOW lucky they are.

Maybe Nayla and Sami will be reunited in time. I hope they are. Noone deserves to have love stripped from them, ever.
Anonymous said…

I wonder if Bush had a visa to enter Iraq when he "surprized" Malki in Baghdad or if Blair did so or Gates or any of the endless thousands of foriegners who are stomping about in Iraq raping and killing its people have ever even been asked for their passport let alone a visa.

It is pathetic on a global level what is happeneing to Iraq and to Iraqis...

However, the solution is not to plead or beg or ask for anyones help. The solution is for people to carry arms and terminate all these invading hordes as well as their puppets and collabortators (that includes the entire puppet government).

The alternative is to simply continue living in shame and humilation and oppression.

Layla Anwar said…
Salam Layth,

Good point about Bush asking for a visa...made me laugh.
I don't know if you are aware but the so called iraqi govt changes the laws concerning the passports issuing every 6 months or so..which means that passports are no longer valid and that is one of the main reasons that refugees are turned back at the borders.
It is in fact a deliberate policy to force people to stay in Iraq.
Oh God how I hate them!!
Anonymous said…
Interestingly when in days gone by travel was restricted in the 1980s, or passports not issued it was deemed illegal by the UN, in 1991 it was one of the aggreements signed at the end of the war that the Iraqi govt would allow iraqis to travel, the rulers change and the rules change, only those trapped by them do not change.
Anonymous said…
Know this. Iraqis are also raping Iraqis, other than the Americans, mostly Iraqis are raping iraqis, killng iraqis, they have turned against one another, lets get out of this romantic belief that Iraqis are united as one facing the horible occupiers, if that was the case the occupation could not last one single day!!!!
Layla Anwar said…
Magda, am not sure I got your point.
Would you care to elaborate, it came across as ambivalent to me.
Layla Anwar said…
anonymous above, Iraqis were not killing Iraqis prior to the occupation....
And yes some iraqis are united maybe you have not come across them...sectarianism maybe?
Alan the Red said…
Yes Layla Anwar, I have been in love, with a woman who has now been dead of cancer these past eight years, thanks to American nuclear bomb testing in the south Pacific.

I have no forgiveness for America. I only live for the day I see America totally destroyed. They are cowards and scum.

Here is a song for your friends.


Iraqi Mojo said…
Hey Layla, it has been a while since we chatted, how are you? Hope you are well, things are still a bit shaky here but maybe they will get back to normal this week (sorta normal).

Anyway love the story, it brought back SO MANY memories (thank you, i think :)), the main memory was of, you wouldn't believe it, a yank. Yes there are some Americans but the majority are yanks.

Take care for now and hopefully will chat soon.
Anonymous said…
dear layla,

thanks for keeping people informed, in a way that no media agecy is capable of doing.

When my British mother moved to Iraq in the 1970's, no one ever asked if people were shiite or sunni, christian or any of this.

She also felt safe walking the streets of Iraq, with my father who is Iraqi and lived in Thawra, or go out shopping with his sisters, mother or brother.

Growing up, during the 1980's people never asked what "sect" or "tribe" you belonged to, some would ask (if brave enough) what you thought of Saddam and even many in the Iraqi opposition before the Allawis and Chalabi's arrived (to "save their people") never put what was happening in Iraq down to ethnic or sectarian strife.

Even after the Gulf War, no one ever said that Saddam was "Evil" because he was "sunni" and he went around oppressing the "shiite" and "kurds" because they were "shiite" and "kurds".

Coming from a family, that was actively opposed to Saddam but in no way supporting Sanctions, war or the occupation sees what is going on as being "rogue baathists" and "sectarian strife".

It is pure and simple, Iraqi's do not go around raping Iraqi's, Iraqi's do not go around "oppressing women because of some religious duty", Iraqi's are not divided by internal religious difference but what has been imposed along with the occupation is difference.

Until the invasion, myself and all Iraqi's were Iraqi's, now the USA, UK and puppet government see us all as "shiite", "Sunni", "Kurds".

We are all "Muslims", in their world of ignorant racism, where all "Paki's look alike" and we are all "terrorists" for wanting Iraqi children to have a free education, an independent government, a functional health service and a welfare state.

In their eyes, Iraqi women would only be "free" if they accept second rate conditions, a puppet government and the acceptence of foreign companies taking over Iraqi resources.

The only oppression in this world, is in the West, where children shoot children in schools, the elderly die of cold and governments dress lies up in a rhetoric of "freedom" and "democracy".

People used to say, why did the Iraqi's never get rid of Saddam the dictator? Why do people not get rid of those, who they put in power via the "democratic" ballot box?
Layla Anwar said…
Lord Abbas,
I am sorry to hear about your friend's death. I have no forgiveness in my heart either and am not sure I like that way but sorry, for now can't help it at all. The destruction is humongous. Thanks for the song, will pass it on.
Layla Anwar said…
"The only oppression in this world, is in the West, where children shoot children in schools, the elderly die of cold and governments dress lies up in a rhetoric of "freedom" and "democracy".

People used to say, why did the Iraqi's never get rid of Saddam the dictator? Why do people not get rid of those, who they put in power via the "democratic" ballot box?"

These two paragraphs are very powerful...thank you for sharing.
Even though I do not agree with your description of the resistance as "rogue baathists".
Sectarian "strife" definitely came with the occupier and Iran had a part in it too.
In my family, it was literally shameful to ask anyone about their sect or religion. These were lines people then did not cross. And your being an Iraqi, you also know that intermarriage was frequent between sunnis and shias - and I have ample examples in my family.
However, what saddens me most, is that this allegiance to the sect must have been buried deep inside the iraqi psyche because it managed to flare up with the incitment. Had it not been there in the first place, I don't think we would have seen it erupt the way it did.
Anonymous said…
how come the 1st passport controller said "yalla next!" and the other just "next!"??????????
Layla Anwar said…
jr, this is a very important existential question....I have no answer to that one...
You really make me laugh..lol
Alan the Red said…
You didn't ask the obvious question, Layla; How do I know America will be destroyed?

Do you know what a Geomagnetic Reversal is? The one the earth is currently undergoing began shortly after the U.S.A. came into existence.

During the last one, the earth's magnetic field was swinging through 15 degrees a minute. Where is the north magnetic pole now? Imagine it when it is swinging wildly all over north America and imagine the effect upon every electrical conductor within that gyrating magnetic field. Now ask yourself what the average American will do when his TV suddenly stops pumping 200 channels of garbage into his brain, and his car refuses to start. How will their supply chain continue to function without computers?

The Earth Goddess is all powerful and will remove the cancer from Her body. They are no more "special" than the dinosaurs were. Their god will not be able to protect them. They are already on borrowed time.
iamnasra said…
Very sad stroy about how love end seprated by the fate and rules..remaining just longing for one another...

Thats how fate plays ..Thas how fate plays

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