Monthly Archives: January 2017

Home/2017/January

The Coming Messiah – Part I

As a family we were all longing and expecting a victorious birth of a son to come into our lives, to satisfy our needs and fulfill our dreams. The child who would bring hope and joy, and give us a purposeful life, as Jesus did for all humanity. The birth of a son into Arabic culture brought with it the expectations of a “savior”, the one who would protect, carry on the family name and provide for our needs. In the summer of 1979, my mom was expecting to give birth to her sixth child. She was feeling extremely different this time. She was positive that she would have a boy. Her doctor, however, could not confirm her feeling of being pregnant with a boy, even though, Baghdad was the best place for people to have access to modern technology. But still, the sonar device to detect the sex of the fetus had not been invented yet. Wouldn’t it be great for my mom and many other women at that time, to be able to know for sure the gender of their babies previously? The colors of my mother’s feelings had to stay neutral just as it was for her baby’s clothes colors, all also neutral. Although she had plenty of pink colored clothes, she dreamed of buying clothes in blue colors, just for one time in her life. My mom had to preserve her hopes and the excitement of having a boy to herself [...]

By |2017-01-27T23:36:54-05:00January 27th, 2017|English Posts, Short Story|Comments Off on The Coming Messiah – Part I

Five Daughters & No Son – Part II

The political situation in northern Iraq was not stable. Tension between the Iraqi government and the Kurds was increasing. Kurds wanted their own independence apart from Iraq. They showed this by being rebellious against the government, which only created a chaotic environment and made it hard for my family to have an appropriate and safe life. Even though my dad was earning a good living, still he couldn’t risk the unpredictability of the political situation any more. He needed to think big. Nothing seemed bigger than moving to Baghdad, the capital, where he could give his family a better life. Bagdad in the late seventies was flourishing in every aspect. There were a lot of opportunities to work in better schools and that is what happened for my father later on. With every baby girl came additional burdens. The burdens were a combination of different feelings of fear, anxiety, shame and loneliness. My parents are the most kind and loving people you can ever imagine. That is not just how all of my siblings and myself view them, but also everyone who has met them and knows them personally, including their sons and daughter in law. The culture, however, and the environment they grew up in was very harsh. Culture and traditional expectations have been rooted deeply for hundreds of years and it is so hard to change or even modify them. Honoring and keeping the cultural traditions that we inherited without questioning could easily [...]

By |2017-01-27T23:39:43-05:00January 25th, 2017|English Posts, Short Story|Comments Off on Five Daughters & No Son – Part II

Five Daughters & No Son – Part I

Arab families are generally patriarchal so having five daughters in a row was a continuing pressure on my parents for many years. With every pregnancy, my mother would pray and even fast to become pregnant with a boy. She actually had her first baby boy after having two girls, and my mother felt great relief. She could relax now and be confident again of her ability to give birth to a boy. She could plan a party and almost everybody in the village would be invited. Well, in reality, whoever heard about the great news of Kamoura’s could join the party and celebrate without waiting for the invitation. Unfortunately, the joy my parents experienced did not last for long. In the early seventies, Iraq had very limited resources to cure and fight disease, so my little brother died when he was a few months old and my parent’s dream of having a son died with him. My mother was in deep sorrow. The entire village came to pay their respects to my parents. Believe me, as harsh as this sounds, if one of my sisters had passed away, not many would feel obligated to come and be with my parents to comfort them. Why? Because most simply felt and also said, “It is okay. Don’t be sad. You have other girls," as if mothers could determine or regulate their emotions based on the gender of their child. After my brother died, it was my turn [...]

By |2017-01-27T23:39:52-05:00January 8th, 2017|English Posts, Short Story|Comments Off on Five Daughters & No Son – Part I