A Relic...


There is a warm desert wind blowing...

From where I am seated, I can see a full crescent moon and next to it, a bright shining star...There are a few palm trees swinging in the hot breeze...so are the Ramadan lanterns, giving off a steady, quiet, golden glow.
Not too far, I hear a fountain and in between the trunks of the palm trees, I see more light reflected in the water...

For a few instants, I was totally lost in this idyllic moment, where everything was a perfect as can be...I only wished I could stretch it all the way to Iraq and beyond ...So they too, can embrace this quietude, these seeming temporary moments of peace.

Since yesterday's post, I have not stopped crying.
I cried myself to sleep and when I woke up and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I burst out in tears again...
During the day, I tried distracting myself with "things"...but every now and then , I would catch a few ones rolling down one cheek. I would discreetly wipe them away, pretending I had a grain of sand or some dust in my eyes...

I guess you can understand by now, that the fleeting peacefulness of this evening, is something of a present, a wondrous gift I have just received...

I was reflecting during this time, why all those tears, suddenly gushing forth like this fountain not too far from me.

Of course, there are many "objective" reasons, but Iraqis are known to be quite stoic or at least pretend to be...Besides I have been doing nothing but grieve since " our freedom ", so why those tears ? They definitely had a different taste to them.

Something about the last piece of writing maybe ? Something about the Past or from the Past ? A memory relic ?

It is all coming back now...

During " Desert Storm ", sorry I meant during " Operation Freedom ", when bombs were raining down on Baghdad like millions of fire drops...
When families were huddled together in one room, either hugging each other and saying their final goodbyes or praying in unison for safety from this air raid or the following one or the one after...
I had only one obsession, one fixed wish, actually two, that kept assailing my mind.

I know you will find what I am about to tell you very strange in view of the circumstances then. But if you think about it again, you will find that it is not that strange after all...

My first obsession was the Iraqi Museum and the Ancient Sites. And my second was an orphanage I knew.

I kept repeating it : " Please God, don't let them..."
Don't let them attack the museum, don't let them destroy the ancient sites...
And my second obsession was : " Please God, protect this orphanage, You and I know why..."
Needless to remind you that God did not listen to my obsessive prayer. I guess I was the only one making this kind of a prayer...everyone else was busy praying for survival...But so was I.

I ardently wanted the History of Iraq - Uruk to survive. I wanted its past to live on and remain the manifested symbol of the " cradle of civilization " and to remind the barbarians that they had none...
And I also desperately wanted the orphanage and the orphans inside of it to survive and live on, because I had secretly hoped that the " crucified boy " I had seen in my dream was an orphan and that he would become the Messiah of Iraq, the Savior of Uruk...

The ancient sites and the museum are devastated today and the orphanage was bombed and is in ruins, releasing a few hundred kids into the wilderness of the streets...
Some of them were kidnapped and trafficked as sex slave commodities and the others joined the ever growing bulk of Iraqi orphaned children.
Little did I know then, that the few hundreds of orphans would be multiplied by one million...

As I delved further into my thoughts and beyond 2003, I realized there was more to it...

At some period of my life, I was going through a very rough patch, not that it has dramatically changed since...

I remember a doctor friend of mine who was also an avid archeologist. We would occasionally meet and talk. One day, sensing my state, he brought a picture of an old Sumerian statuette. He said to me : " Look at her well, look at her eyes, look at her body, look closely..." And I did.
He added : " This is where you came from Layla...You two look alike. You know your roots, look how far back they go...Keep this picture with you and everytime you go through turmoil, look at it and remember how immemorial she is and how transient your state is..." And I did.

That statuette disappeared like so many others...And all I have is a photocopy of a picture. And a faint memory of the feeling that surged inside of me when he uttered those words to me.

And as I kept reflecting, more memories flooded me and my inexplicable tears started making sense.

I remember when I was a little girl, my parents would take me to those ancient sites and to the museum. They called it " educational expeditions "...And when we travelled abroad, they made it a point to take me to other ancient sites and I loved those " educational expeditions. "

I remember sitting by the ruins for hours and touching them...caressing them and in my little girl's mind, I used to imagine what it was like living there during these ancient distant eras...
My mother would tell me : " Layla are you done with caressing those ruins or not yet ? Yalla we have to go now..." and I would beg for more time, hoping that they would give away their secrets to me like a key to some mysterious door and that I would be the only one to possess the secret knowledge that they imparted me with and no one else. Just a little girl's flight into fantasy, Harry Potter - Iraqi version.


And as I was tying all those memory threads from 2003 and back...and everything was falling into meaning, finally giving my " emotional state " some sense, a young boy not older than 13, came towards me and placed a replica of an ancient relic, some ancient city, on the table where I was seated.

He looked straight into my eyes, which were glistening with tears and with the memories and said:
" This is for you. "
I was stunned. I blurted, totally dazed : " Are you selling this ? "
" No, this is a present from me to you. " And he turned his back and walked away...


Painting : Iraqi artist, Rafa Al-Nasiri.

Comments

Charles said…
beautiful.. and very sad. i feel like guilty to encourage yo to keep it up cause it seems to be it really hurts u... maybe this is the only way u could release a very little piece of all the anger u have... i know i cant understand completely all the pain and suffer u have.. i wish i could.. but im sure the americans are going to pay.. either in this life or in the other... but im sure the will pay.. thanks for your words.. yours are the only truly news i got from irak... none of the media says the truth... thanks again..
Alan the Red said…
A song for you Layla Anwar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV-HlBCmnDY

The "mad bugger" is god!

Another song for you Layla Anwar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtjVUVjXKCQ

There was a garden,
In the beginning,
Before the fall,
Before Genesis.

There was a tree there,
A tree of knowledge.
Sophia would insist,
You must eat of this.

Original sin?
No, I don't think so;
Original sinsuality.
Original sin?
No, it should be;
Original sinsuality.
Original sin?
No, I don't think so,
Original sinsuality.

Yaldaboath,
Saklas,
I'm calling you.
Samael,
You are not alone.
I say,
You are not alone,
In your darkness.
You are not alone.
Baby,
You are not alone.

Poor Yaldaboath, in the darkness, behind his wall, the blind leader of the blind.

And yes, I do care, which is why I keep trying to make you see.
Angel said…
My tears flow along side yours.

You know how I feel, and I know how you feel.

There are no words...you know this.

No-one is listening, they have been struck deaf and dumb.
YoUnicorn said…
My Dearest Layla

My tears too !
I dont have words
I dont have words anymore.
Since yesterday I have been reading your blog and dont find an answer or an explanation, trying
to post and I delete, and delete over and over.
What to say ?
Thank you for sharing with us
your beautiful words, your pain, your sadnes. Your words
remain in our hearts and in the history of your/our Beloved Iraq.
Will not be forgotten !
will not be forgiven !
Shame on the perverted dark occupiers, shame on the evil coallition, shame on the silence of humanity !

My love and solidarity always
:-(((
Iraqi Mojo said…
"Little did I know then, that the few hundreds of orphans would be multiplied by one million..."

Leave the maths to someone else. You are a good writer but a shit mathematician.
Anonymous said…
Can you expound on the 'ancient relic'? Was it a human bone? An old hunting tool or stone? What exactly was it? This is important.

Ancient earthly relics have the power to cause destruction and madness. There could be millions of relics releasing their anger at the Iraqi people. I think you're on to something! This is really spooky.

layla-your mission is to find all the relics and burn them with sunflowers.
LostHere said…
While in the land of the "mighty" dollar there is a new tourist destination...
A bathroom stall in an airport (the historical site where Senator Larry Craig was caught with some sexual shenanigans)...

Should we say any more?
YoUnicorn said…
Dear Layla

A link :-((

http://www.archive.org/details/ddtvshock6


Much love
Anonymous said…
hello again layla.....i wud ask if things were a tiny bit better since last time but reading your posts i guess not....

a very poignant piece though n a good ending.....i hope u got a good look at the little kid cos i have a sneaky feeling u cud have been looking at the future messiah of iraq......providing of course jesus doesnt return first
Anonymous said…
At some period of my life, I was going through a very rough patch

--

yeah me 2......though mine was just rough/mildy turbulent....i am expecting heavy turbulence in the near future though
Anonymous said…
i'm listening
bARABie said…
maybe u havent stopped crying because your sub conscious has realized that even you are a sell out. tfou on Iraqis, no wonder the dumb fucks are copping it, they deserve it.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
Angel, some hear. Most don't.
Layla, I learned something today. You will think I am so dumb, but I did not realise that Iraq WAS Uruk. Believe it or not, that knowledge is precious to me. I will say it now as I read Uruk.

Sometimes just the living in such a blind and self oriented country is almost more than I can bear. I want out, but there's no "out" except death. A very dear friend died last week, and I will miss her. However, she is now OUT. No more pain for what our leaders are doing to your country.

And I agree with you. We get the leaders we deserve, and the majority of the west fits that very well. When you truly understand, as Angel does, then you are so alone amongst all these people who are your family, your friends and all that. You carry a pain that nobody really cares about.

And Layla, I know you won't care what I say, but at least I'm putting it down, because it's so real to me.

I was told today that this is a world of deception and we should not be a part of that. Live in love and peace??? I wish these people would walk in your shoes and then see if they can really believe this.

I don't always get to read you daily lately. But I always catch up and my heart always breaks. And then I feel so much anger for what we are doing to you.

URUK is fighting back. I have no idea how, but these fighters for freedom must win. Or we are all lost forever.
Anonymous said…
JR IS BACK !

LONG LIVE JR !
Anonymous said…
lord cerne dipshit u numbnut what the fuck is wrong with u?????
Anonymous said…
barabie did your 2nd thought occur 6 hours after your 1st one???
Anonymous said…
fuck off rex.......and take your pathetic comedy routine with u......stupid prick
Anonymous said…
hello layla!!.......how r u??
Anonymous said…
Barabie

re : tfou on Iraqis, no wonder the dumb fucks are copping it, they deserve it.
This comment can only come from a Palestinian. What is your problem? Are you upset now that you have to share the sympathy of the world with the unfortunate Iraqis whose tragedy was literally was imposed on them - while yours was self inflicted? The Iraqis will rebuild and revive once this nightmare is over - unlike you who have been whining and crying for 60 years.Get over it!
Also your tfous are all over the Arab blogs. How about just spitting into your keffiya - the one that seems to be so fashionable at the moment.
Anonymous said…
daphne
you are pathetic. take your self defeatist attitude and crawl under a rock.
Angel said…
Layla, you said 'caressing' the ruins.

That struck a chord, a reminder from my own childhood. Both my Mother and my Uncle used to give me books on archaeology. They fascinated me then, as now.

I had always planned to become an archaeologist, and return to my roots.

Is it all gone?
Anonymous said…
The blogger called "Barabie" is:

a) stupid

b) mad

c) israeli arab jew posing as palestinian
Anonymous said…
Barabie,

How dare you "tfou" on the only people on earth who ever truly cared about your Palestinian cause AND PREFERRED TO BE DESTROYED RATHER THAN BETRAY IT ???

"Tfou" and SHAME on YOU !
Layla Anwar said…
Hello Charles. I have not seen any comments from you in the past and I assume you are new to this blog.
Thank you for your words of solidarity. I am not sure I will ever stop being angry as long as Iraq and Iraqis are under a dual occupation.
Layla Anwar said…
Hello Charles. I have not seen any comments from you in the past and I assume you are new to this blog.
Thank you for your words of solidarity. I am not sure I will ever stop being angry as long as Iraq and Iraqis are under a dual occupation.
Layla Anwar said…
Hello Angel, hope you are well.
I guess you know exactly what I mean when I talked about the ruins. Nice to realize that someone else understands your language. Take care.
Layla Anwar said…
Dear Yolla, Salam to you and thank you for sharing so candidly.
Lots of love.
Layla Anwar said…
Hello Daphne,
Please don't want out, stay around, people like yourself are needed. Thank you for the solidarity.
Layla Anwar said…
L.Colombo, I recognize you.:-)
How are you?
Try to be nice to my friends...
Deal?
Anonymous said…
ok layla u got yourself a deal....though sum of these "friends" of yours r pretty thick to say the least
Anonymous said…
re : tfou on Iraqis, no wonder the dumb fucks are copping it, they deserve it.
......
Also your tfous are all over the Arab blogs. How about just spitting into your keffiya - the one that seems to be so fashionable at the moment.

The blogger called "Barabie" is:
a) stupid
b) mad
c) israeli arab jew posing as palestinian

--

will u morons plz calm down........this is barabie.....the other blogger is bARABie....can u plz try engaging your brains b4 getting all over emotional n throwing a fit
Anonymous said…
JR PRESIDENT OF IRAQ !
Anonymous said…
lc aka jr aka the king of the morons is again here with his moronic blahblah ...
Anonymous said…
jolly
take your nose out of my ass. I realize shit is your business since it's all you spout. you're worse than a hemorroid.
Anonymous said…
"jolly"

No, sad to death.

"take your nose out of my ass."

I thought your ass was taken up with Negroponte's cock ?

"I realize shit is your business"

You mean SH IT ..

"you're worse than an hemorroid."

Yes, an hemorroid in the traitors' asses.

OPEN YOUR EYES, SLEEPYHEAD !
Anonymous said…
shut up the pair of u
Señora Layla Anwar, soy venezolano y soy un asiduo lector de sus artìculos reproducidos en Rebeliòn. He buscado el significado de su nombre en àrabe y lamentablemente no lo consigo. Serìa Ud. tan amable y decirme que significa? Se lo agradecerê. Quiero que sepa que el pueblo venezolano se solidariza con el pueblo iraquì en sus horas aciagas de dolor. Estoy seguro que la resistencia del pueblo iraquì serà ejemplo en la lucha de liberaciòn de los pueblos del mundo contra el imperialismo norteamericano. Quiero que tambien sepa que sus làgrimas por su patria amada, son nuestras làgrimas. Que su dolor es nuestro dolor. Su desesperaciòn tambien es nuestra. Valor señora mìa. Valor. Y Dios quiera que el sufrimiento de su pueblo pueda ser calmado con la fèrrea resistencia que el pueblo iraquì enfrenta a la agresiòn. Viva Irak. Vivan los pueblos libres del mundo. Dios me la cuide y le de larga vida señora mìa.
Anonymous said…
oats...

RFLMAO
Anonymous said…
Dreamer,

Laughing your ass off does not change the fact that you made both a soulless robot and a Zionist pawn out of yourself for no reason in this world but hopelessness - which is NOT a good one.

Be proud of it ..

Regards.
Anonymous said…
can u all plz shut your stupid gobs.....no one has a clue what the fuck ure wittering on abt

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