Mohammad Mahmud Ahmad
A ship had passed turning over its sail in the midst of the sea loading nearly thousand tons of iron and carried about fifty men over its deck, all of them were old, excepted one young man was wrapping his neck with a piece of azure-colored cloth, while his blackish eyes were glowing with bizarre sharp glances..
One of the sailors came near to him saying:
It is the time of sleeping Ahmad and you may go bed now.
You should have a well rest due to an additional work still waiting us, and perhaps we will postpone it for another day until the storm calms then we shall unload the ship cargo in the harbour, which it is nearly tow hours, if we proceed our way in a less speed of yesterday.
However, let us spend the night in the midst of this sea then we shall have the taste of fresh French fish with a little of what we had saved of parsley and pea soup.
The time was about half past eleven p.m. according to Atlantic Time.
The young man gave back the packet to his pocket after more than twenty times frequently had he opened per a day, saying in a faint voice:
Why do we sell our goods to those riffraff people?
Didn’t we have additional time to search for new customers?
My son, still you have raw experience, still more matters you will see in the next days, yet you have only one year in this job, and it maybe you shall wait six years over until you become the lowest adviser to us.
The expert old man of seventy years old replied to the young man.
The young man sluggishly said:
By God, what had you to do?
Vainly you kill the time; you are just dotard old men have spent their days lazily without thinking but only to save a bit of bread you buy it, from the furnace of Abu- Abbad, which its front, was burned five times in the past yea.
A baker who did not sell you breads unless you bought from him some of singed loaves of bread...
Ah! Abu Abbad, the sluggish man of paunchy front abdomen!
Many times, I wished to pierce his round paunch and to save the world from his fierce behaviour; but this man has a beautiful daughter who still helps him in his furnace even if she is growing up…
Therefore, who passed by would steal a glance attractively enjoying his eyes.
Moreover, her father forbids her from going school and from marriage, saying:
She may help him in handing loaves of bread for customers and let her doing for me advantages in gaining two dinars not to spend one dinar.
The young man replied to the old man saying:
Abu Abbad is a man who came from
Ahvaz dwelling in
one year and before a few months ago. Basra
Abu Abbad is uncourteous man doesn’t communicate others and as soon as he finishes his work he goes immediately to the café close to his furnace, and always he carries a rosary between his hands which its price is more than twenty rials, someone had brought it to him from Khorramshahr….
Due to his malicious temper, no one would sit close to him; therefore, this rosary is the only amusing device to him and the only friend to his is the humpbacked man of thick eyebrows who works with him as a partner in the furnace since he dwelled here…
What is about the orchard then? The old man asked!
Which orchard is it?
The young man replies to him with a piercing confusion!
The orchard your father possesses it in al- Zuber!
Oh, don’t remind me in my father name, he hated my mother and usually has cursed her then he got another wife although my mother was one of his close relative and indeed she is her cousin. He left us early since we were small children….
Won't he send her money? The old man asked again…
No, no, don’t poke your nose in others personal affairs, and this matter must not be mentioning again…
Let's gonna sleep, and stop chattering, in morning we shall have an arduous hours….
What a gossipy old man you are!
You don’t cease from your embarrassing question unless you poke your nose in!
The old man went snorting in deep sleeping as if he did not sleep from several months ago…
Ugh! Ya old man, wake up! The sun is rising, the sailors start to operate the engines, and we shall be in the harbour past two hours not more…
Hurry up and wash your face, the breakfast is ready….
The old man got up and after a while, they were busy in eating over a single table was setting up between heaps of dried straws slowly inclined from the deck…
Look! No one thinks to remove this heap of straws out…
No, it has a benefit for us… the old man replied
What is the benefit it has, mercy of Allah upon thee?
It is just dried straw and perhaps taking a fire from elsewhere causing a wildfire…
This straw, and the old man kept in silence in order to swallow a big piece of grilled fish was been hindered between his jaws…
After he gulped a glass of water he took the other piece of fish stayed laying on the table and swallowed it, as if he ate nothing, then he turned to the young man, making himself didn’t hear the question saying to him "repeat what you said"…
I said to you that the baker, who we spoke about yesterday, was poisonously died two days before and left this poor girl working in the furnace alone suffering the noisy of customers and many of them would be deploring to her…
She has been left alone, however her big sister was married from a trader of horses living in
Esfahan, and hardly she came to
visit her and even if she came, she would depart early after three days of her visiting…
Oh, I am sorrowful to the pity girl, she is overcome by her circumstances!
Had her father left to her any heritage other than this furnace?
The old man asked…
No, her father sold a half of the furnace to his partner the humpbacked man so that he could pay his old dues before he settled there in this area…
Now the partner and his young son of sixteen years old are working together in the furnace with the daughter of the deceased man…
The girl will work only until the noontime according to the agreement set between them, and it was said that the partner- the hunchback man the only friend to her father- now wants her to be the wife of his son who has hemiplegia in both his jaws….
And what is about the girl?
It was said that she got shock and left the work about two weeks ago, and her purpose is only to gather enough money perhaps she can leave to her native country in
Esfahan or perhaps she will prefer
to live with her elder sister…. That's her decision…
The old man turned amazingly to the young man after he enjoyed his eyes in looking to the swarm of water birds, which come near to the shore and go back again….
Why don’t you marry her? You have a lot of money since you are the son of the chief of the traders.
No, no the matter is not so, I am very merciful about her, and never have I thought in marrying her…
She is wretched girl and nothing is to say more…
The old man starts into wiping his glasses and kept in a horrible silence, then he suddenly stood up and said:
Many years ago, I have spent my life among sea waves considering life is mere a peculiar haphazardly occasion, but I discovered that life is not so and it is not an amassed delusion.
Moreover, I did not have the taste of these moments before, and many times ago, vainly I sought for money since in each voyage I finished I came back frustrated, but let me tell you something after we unload the ship…
My father was….but he keeps silent once again and never has he opened his mouth….
The young man was put in perplexing moment since the old man was suddenly died.
Three days after unloading the ship, all sailors were present in the funeral ceremony of the dead man their friend the old sailor who has left behind four daughters and small boy yet does not reach his tenth age …
While they were sitting in the home of the dead friend, the wife of the dead man who was garbing in black clothes asked them if she could know something about the reasons of her husband death.
At a dinnertime, there was a big banquet has been set up inside the twisted lanes for many crowded people coming to the habitual order of the funeral ceremony.
According to the customs of al-Basra citizens in olden days, neighbours would be gathering in sorrow and in joy occasions and from all direction accompanying with their sons and wives
Ahmad's door has been knocked; and soon he went to open the door, but somehow he felt drowsily so he went to wash his face with cold water so that to be more conscious.
Ahmad usually had put his toothbrushes on the table against a mirror that was fixed in the hall, in which another entrance will start its gap to be down the ground in order to be as a secret refuge.
Who knocks the door? Ahmad asked…
The answerer was one of the recently dead man daughters whose name is
My mother calls you to be in our home now… the knocker asks
Ahmad put on his white robe, his old turban that his father left it for him and followed the girl to her house….
Would you sit down Ahmad for a while because
wants to know the secret of the story, which her dead father did not tell her?
Hum, he didn’t say anything but the only thing I found in his pocket before we buried him, was just a paper mentioning the name of his friend sailor who was associating him during an old voyage in al-Adriatic sea and I consider it just an ordinary voyage…
However, I shall investigate about the name of the sailor perhaps I can find new news has advantages about the purpose.
Ahmad stood up hurriedly after he was drinking a cup of coffee in the house of Fatima the coddled daughter of the old dead man sailor…
Ahmad disappeared and being hidden himself from
eyes for two weeks and again for two months …
Accidentally, and in one hot day of July days, a group of old men sat in a summery café nearby the public garden.
The café owner has rented a half of dunam from the municipality of the city intending to make from it a courtyard, but lately in the next year, he decided to take a part from it to be as a night casino.
In addition to the tea, which was made over the firewood, he decided to prepare grilled fish slices and mutton slices so that dozen of people gathered to his casino from everywhere especially after noticing his good reception and the good taste of his grilling meat.
Because of their pleasure, they would like to stay after a midnight hours especially at a summer time…
Ahmad sat at that place, sipping small a cup of tea and inasmuch as he heard the crackling of saucers, he would like to call again for another cup. Meanwhile of that he eavesdropped to the laughters that controlled on the night calmness….
When Ahmad heard someone talks about the sea, he approached to be near to him perhaps he could hear new news, until he was satisfied that those old men have nothing to speak but only to talk about the sea….
In the second day, Ahmad sat near to their table seeing five men totally worn by time.
Ahmad noticed that one of the five men; while he talks, he shakes his stick randomly as if it refers to someone in the past …
After the man finished his speech, Ahmad closely approached to him….
Don’t you hear my uncle by a name like this?
Like what! The old man wondered!
'Timur' is my uncle…
The man was astonished when he heard the name Timur and it is as if a thunderbolt strikes down!
The man whom this fellow was asking about was absent for ten years ago, and since then the news about him totally was discontinued!
After a while, the old man sailor adjusted on his place and carefully gazed the young man who was still sitting near to him and said:
Perhaps, you are one of his relatives, due to your appearance, which reveals that you are a sailor, but I shall tell you the truth if you frankly tell me, who you are….
Are you not the son of Master (Faris Harmoot) the wealth man?
Yes, I am whom you meant my uncle indeed! I am the son of the wealth man and I work in a ship carrying the goods…
In that case, I shall tell you what I know about the man perhaps I can help you in your mission … the old man sailor said.
He is a man of a middling tall, in his face and under his chin, there is an old scar caused by a knife when they wanted to cut his neck one day but he was miraculously survived by the will of God.
Rightly he was of supernatural intelligence, he has lived in Ankara in a quarter is called Seraphim of Ahmad Sergeant, and never I think he has departed the place since he lives among his relatives and his cousins in this area which it is considered as a closed place for them…but
I would ask you, what do want from him?
I think the man still keeps his friendly relationship to me; moreover, you may inform him my salutation and take with you this rosary as a gift from me to him if you actually decide to go in your mission.
Again, you may remember to tell him that the rosary is from his old friend sailor whose name is "Abu Abd"…the Hajji Abu Abd the sailor.
The old man sailor whose name now Abu Abd gives the rosary to Ahmad.
May Allah bless you my uncle, I am very glad that I met you, and about Timur there is another one who asks about him,.
Ahmad replied to the friend associated sailor didn’t say anything about the secret of the story…
However, Ahmad felt that it is as if dream he has seen one night as it methinks to him a vision flashing back to an olden warriors of
Empire but nothing was unfolding this story in books or through
It is as if an unreal story has been mentioned that an Iraqi man became very rich while he fought with the
army before British invaded
in 1914, but the remains of that memory as if it was put over an old shelf! Iraq
Ahmad surrendered to the sleepless that was controlling on his profound thoughts until the next morning in his bed….
In the second day, Ahmad traveled to
looking for Timur… Ankara
After he arrived, he started to search in the area in which he can find the man or just news about him whether alive or dead…
After one day or two days, he could grasp on the first trace of hope about the lost man and the hope turned nearer when he heard someone mentioned the name he searched for it.
After Ahmad approached from a group of thronged men were about to do their prayer of past evening, he prayed with them and when they went out of the mosque he entered in the midst of them and went on.
In the last moment, he heard one of them said:
Let's visit Timur!
The man who mentioned the name of Timur was a tall man, white face with spots of paleness around his eyes and it is obvious from his visage that he is a man of influence….
Ahmad approached to the man to be close more, and overtly he whispered in his ears saying some words in Turkish language not free from some mistakes since he has learned a few of it though listening…
My uncle, I am from
and I have brought letter to a man, his name is Timur, and I think he is the
man who you mentioned his name some minutes before…. Iraq
Please lead me to him because I am in a very significant duty to find him and to ask about his news….
After the Turkish tall man was sure from Ahmad, he took his hand accompanying together with the whole throng to the house of Timur. However, before he knocked the door, he remembered that Timur was in a worse health, so he asked Ahmad to postpone the visit urging him to be his guest, and in the next morning, he will guide him for Timur house…
Ahmad was shocked in a little embarrassment, but he remembered that he was in a very fast duty and it is unable to be delayed, so he replied to the man in great politeness thanking him for his kindness saying to him:
My uncle, I am in a very urgent obligation, in addition, tomorrow morning I shall return home, and he handled the message along with the rosy rosary…
After a while, they reached Timur's house but as son as they entered the house they saw a crowd of people assembling there, the man controlled on himself not to speak any word until he would know the fact of what has been happened!
The man whom they came to ask about was an old tiring man in the last stage of his autumn age, his family and his close relatives had put around him and under him, many pads and other restful services in order to be in a good position.
Behind all of these unusual means of services, a visage of a pale face, tall beard, thick eyebrows of an old man was worn out by years in many wrinkles clearly had been seen above his face and his neck…
As a result of the old man was affected by cancer, he resorted to stay in bed for a long time…
However, when he heard the noises as soon he asked about the lately visitor, so the attendants around him when they saw him was urging to know, they told him the truth and gave him the message of Abu Abd- his old friend the Iraqi sailor.
At once, the very sick man stood up in his bed in spite of his severe pains and his exhausted body to welcome the arrival guest but hardly can he speak, due to the cancer, which consumed his body…
Welcome uncle… Ahmad welcomed him with a pitiful voice; meanwhile they read upon him the message ….
He didn’t deny the reality of the circumstance because he knew Abu Abd very well as he still remembering the long years he wasted useless wandering in a spaceless life and the memory gave him back to the time when they spent night after night between the sea waves …
He remembered all of that time as a twinkling of an eye and when he picked up the rosary of the rosy beads between his hands the memory cleverly came up to his mind …
He remembered in exact details when he himself granted the old sailor Abu Abd this rosary as a present forty years before….
Yes, the story is too long; they worked together in a wood trading about a quarter century of time….
Yes, many time they passed by Anatolia,
and many time they have spent their nights in the homes and cottages of farmers
they passed by. Izmir
Still he is on the memorized -day when they were taken suddenly by a cover of dense mist then reluctantly they sailed toward Malta in the time fierce civil war was about to breakout there…
Indeed that sailor is close friend to me, yes, I am indebted to him, yet I am keeping to him an important trust, but because of the news about him was totally discontinued, I did not know what to do….
The man traveled and settled in
for many years and bad news had reached me that the man confronted his fate in
a quarrel targeting him, and he was lost as that lost priceless pearl… Russia
O, misters and noble men I am indebted to the man with four hundred thousand Francs as a trust, I have invested all the trust in one of the largest wood companies in Ankara, and now its profits are more than million Francs, I am in what you trusted me misters! Few seconds passes and he kept in silence for a moment but the only thing he did he waved with a slight gesture from the tip of his eyebrow referring to the old documents and instruments over the shelf to be brought ….
These evidential papers held my name and the name of Hajji Jargess Omar Rashid, you may witness on that…
O, misters you should be witnesses that indeed, I do pay the trust to their owners and indeed, I did my obligation, as it is almost debt…
Come in and sign thy signatures …. The moribund man requested them and pushed the papers to the young man who came to ask about the debts…
O, my son this is the trust, from now you who are responsible about it, the trust from now is in your shoulder…
O, misters, you may witness in what you have seen, and no more few seconds and he departed the life in a pleasant eye….
After three days and after the funeral ceremony has been finished, Ahmad went ahead to the certain company associated with him all of the trusted documents and he handed them immediately to the authorized deputy in front of the lawyer of registration and inheritances, all deputies there have signed on papers according to the rules…
A few seconds and the recognition of the company is declared overtly that nine thousand Francs are put in the current account, but they said, you cannot receive the money as cash, but we shall transfer it for you if you confirm to us that you have opened a dependable bank account in your country….
Ahmad returned home empty- handed deciding to open an account in one of
banks and if not
that, he will consult the notary public and the legal authority in his country… Basra
In the evening before the day of returning, he went to visit the shipbuilding place, which it is situated nearby
bay, to see whether he can make utilities. In his way, he noticed an Iraqi
visitor came to the same purpose and it is a good occasion to be acquainted
with one another… Izmir
In evening, they had a dinner together in a luxuriant hotel overlooking on the sea, and they spent a good time in listening to some dancing musical phrases, since obviously a big party by chance has been held by a great character farmer who visited the city for his personal duty…
The warm sound of the music controlled upon the place and upon the views of the street, which always it has a bit of calmness, if not the nosey sound of the fireworks, which were sent up from time to time…
The two strangers said; as still we have a waste of time, let us taking on the occasion to save for ourselves such amusement and to share those celebrated people even in our attending….
They approached near and near to the noisy place until they are about to hear the whispering of chests arousing the cordial space in how much the place was charged with delight and happiness…
Ahmad was a handsome young man, of two clear-eyed, wearing a fitting black suit…
There amid the party of the thronged attendants, a blond girl has put a green shawl fitting her body to her feet, occasionally she threw her glances to see if three is a new comer between the attendants would admire her…
Ahmad didn’t know for what she looked and he thought perhaps the girl has lost something or perhaps she waited a fellow may come after. The matter is to him nothing but he noticed the girl talking with a strange European accent and nothing motived him in the occasion only this curiosity to know more…
The girl was in a large scale of gracefulness; her smiling face had to enforce the hearts to thrill in happiness…
Ahmad approached to her foot after foot and talked with her in the same accent asking her if he could offer her at least simple services he could do.
The girl soon answered him, with a wide smile, which it knocked him down at once, leading him to be more close to her until he felt that his body was totally rubbed against her and said to her, "we are altogether strange people here and as it was said "strange to strange is a partner."
Indeed, the girl was cunning girl; but Ahmad has not anything to be fearful about, since he will tomorrow go back to his country.
Moreover, he considered the matter is just transient memory never will be prolonged; but the thing that draws his attention, is the girl from time to time sent her gestures to someone was there in the party, therefore, his curiosity motivated him to know the reason, but he did not touch any thread of hope.
After a while, he saw the girl was kissing an old woman, he thought she was the girl's mother or someone is close relatives to her….
Just a few seconds had been passed, someone asked her to dance with him, and she winked Ahmad by her two eyes and went on dances….
The real story of this girl is that she was affiliated to a big gang of human organs smuggling and through attracting youth people for a certain place then to benumb them and lastly is to pulling out their bodies the desirable organ they want.
In the next trip he did, he was sure enough about the imagined story he thought about because he saw the girl's picture was published over a famous magazine cover.
The party was finished and Ahmad might leave now to be ready for his going back trip since he set his order in advance for going back…
Ten days after, Ahmad was in Basra streets walking amongst his fellows, who congratulated him for his safely coming back, because they are quite aware about the road risks achieving by ways- robbers and the gangs of mountains….
Ahmad did not forget the visiting of Abu Abd the sailor to thank him…
While Ahmad was worry- minded to open an account, at once the news came to him to be ready for a new voyage this time to
Therefore, Ahmad could not set any commercial advertisement in an official newspaper because he was suddenly overtaken by the event and the round trip- voyage to
will last exactly thirty days, meantime Ahmad did not stop from prying to God
to return him well so that he can give back the trust to their owners… Bombay
Instantly had he arrived, he began seeking virtually in finding a commercial agent against certain fee payment then he will draw the entire sum of the trust in three stages…
All these arrangement Ahmad planed without informing the family of Hajji Jargess Omar Rashid, and he just planned that the matter will be gone as sudden good news; but the news reached the family of Hajji Jargess in advance by Hajji Abu Abd before Ahmad telling them…
When they felt that Ahmad did not come back, the family of Hajji Jargess went directly to sue against Ahmad accusing him that he betrayed them and he stole their money….
The prosecutors did not believe the news firstly saying:
"It is just invalid accusation because truly we know this person never will deceive and he is the son of a wealthy family and never will he seek to distort his fame since he made from himself a messenger of charity going abroad exposing himself to risks mere to ask about the money of those poor people"…
"Ahmad needs to be ready at once for the new voyage"!
Due to many petitions, the judge was obliged to summon Ahmad, and he imprisoned him four days according to the investigation lawsuit, but after the court was sure from his sayings and from the truthful receipts, he brought, the court complied with him carefully, and discharged him according to the bail set before the court by one of Ahmad's relatives….
Two days after, the family of the dead man whose money was trusted in the Turkey Company expressed sorrowfully about their apology saying, "We haven’t any doubt into ye Ahmad"
After this occasion gone peacefully, Ahmad decided would not give the money back, but after the court urging and the requests of some witnesses attended there, Ahmad reluctantly has agreed…
Ahmed went out the Supreme Court, which it is situated in the right side of the city, and he was obliged to pass through the narrow lanes that led to the shrines of some righteous men wishing to spend some money for the sake of Allah to the poor families dwelled nearby the shrines….
The first man Ahmad met him was an old man wearing shabby clothes in sixty six of his age often he gained his livelihood from the heap of junks almost to gather the empty soft metallic and plastic discarded cans and after carefully washing the junks he sold them for the scrap- dealer.
The old man of shabby clothes who Ahmad met has a wife whose name is Blakes so most she is an old wretched woman of a merciless sharp tongue whom she always used to annoy her neighbour.
Moreover, her whimsical behavior leads her to conduct bizarre conducts, such as to opposite children who came in front of her house especially when she saw a child wearing new attire, she suddenly approaching him cutting a small piece from the lower part of his dishdasha…
She gathered two middle sacks from these unusual haphazard things, and when people asked her:
What do you do with these pieces?
She replied sarcastically, I make trouser to my small son!
What son does the miserable have?
One of them replied in coolness, yes, misters, it was said that she had a son!
It was said that her son when his age was fifteen years was swallowed by a blue whale, which came near the sea margin, while he was fishing.
Others said that he was killed, and some others have said once he felt disgustingly from his poverty, he opened his father purse picking one dinar from it and moved to Baghdad, until now he does not return, and from ten years ago, the wretched woman still waits her lost son considering him is still alive….
Ahmad seriously had to think about his second trip for the Turkey Wood Company as he decided before but to postpone it for the end of the fifth month, since the weather yet is cold in
moreover, he has severe pains in his joints. Turkey
Therefore, he had often to wait perhaps the snows would be melted, and the clod days of winter going to be finished, knowing that sometimes the days of winter prolong to the end of May especially in Turkey…
The means of transportation seemed uncomfortable in those bygone years in the early years of twentieth century thus the traveling was too much difficult, since the feature of snow in that time was familiar everywhere even in the deserted far away areas.
Ahmad waited his trip day after day and in meanwhile of his waiting days, he spent his time in going to the seashore accompanying with his fellows in order to spend some cordial evening times.
One day while they played near the shore, they saw a boat was rocking between the sea waves, they waited for several moments perhaps the waves pushed the boat for the edge….
One of them encouraged himself climbing over the boat to see what it is carried, and as soon as he looked down, he saw a man was injured having some stabs on his body, yet he considered the man is still alive, therefore he called his fellows for consulting whether they could save the man life or not…
Some of them said, let us throw him in the sea, others said let us go allowing the fate does its willing, but Ahmad didn’t accept them the opinion and said, we must relive him….
While they were busy to get the man down from the boat a seashore- patrol came suddenly to the place and when they saw the young men were busy, immediately the patrol moved toward them to see what has happened…
As the petrol was about to reach them, one of Ahmad's fellows hurried and shouted, "I am not the killer", therefore the petrol mistrusted in them going to arresting all the attendants including the injured and took them forcedly to the police-headquarter to be jailed until the injured man would be cured….
A moth after the injured man was recovered and he confessed in front of the police that no one of those is his enemy so they were discharged at once….
Past the aftermath of that misshapen event, Ahmad decided not to thrust himself again inside adventures but he found a new amusing job such as selling rosaries and other smallest stuffs in the market and he said with himself, let me wasting the time in this craft until the appointment of my travel had to be.
One day when Ahmad was busy in his new job, the humpbacked man-the partner of Abu Abaad, the baker- came to his place and as soon as he saw him, he mocked at him saying:
Is it to be believed the son of a well-known trader now selling the rosaries?
Ahmad didn’t pay him any attention because he was busy in arranging one of his loosened rosaries, but when was prolonged in his stooping, Ahmad requested him to sit down, but immediately something sprang forth into his mind to ask him about the dead baker's daughter whether she traveled for Isfahan to her sister or not.
Oh! Why do you ask about her? I see that you are in love with her!
No, no, do not construe the matters into its black corners!
She is mere miserable poor girl…
What had she committed?
What had she committed? The humpbacked repeated the question!
She stole me and fled! She stole all what I have gained from gold, jewels, amethysts, and all ornamented clothes I had brought to her in the might of wedding…
Ugh! If only…, and he kept silent for a while, hardly has he drawn his breathing…. Ah if only I were her husband for one night!
Ahmad understood the man feeling who forced the poor girl in marrying from the humpbacked himself this time and not from his son, as it is previous stated, and only God would know what threat had he compelled her to be his wife… I know how she is clever witty girl, it is impossible to be overcome easily…, and he secretly laughed into himself saying to the humpbacked man:
You are worthy to!
For what thing I am to!
Yes, you would deserve a cup of hot tea!
Ahmad used to come frequently to the bazaar until he was familiar to all people had visited the place, moreover many prestigious men would come there such as the heads of tribes so he became in high confidence level to many of them.
In addition, he would say to himself, let's look! It maybe this craft is better to me than to confront the risks of sailing and its dark way inside the seas until he was about to forget the appointment of his trip…
Before his trip appointment, Ahmad shall be in readiness for at least two weeks before in order to determine the way direction he might to choose, therefore Ahmad had asked many question if there was any ship would sail, but when he did not find such voyage across the gulf he decided to go across the terrestrial way.
When the appointment had come, Ahmad traveled to the northern part of
Iraq and from there he will pass the borders
with the caravans he finds there and it maybe he will not depart the Iraqi
borders for a month after of his arrival…. Turkey
Ahmad meets one of his fellows in Abraham al-Khalil- the border Iraqi city from
and he stayed in his friend home for a week with a good hospitality until one
caravan was ready to go. The caravan consisted of seven men and two women they
had arrived from different places and they decided to pass the borders secretly
then they had to ask about their relatives in the adjacent area perhaps to find
shelter and help, and then they ought to continue their way as they want…. Turkey
They stayed in a village not far away more than two miles from the borders and at the early hours of the third night they had to continue the way..
All of them had spoken the Kurdish language, knowing no Arabic letter, except Hajji Abdullah who talked with Ahmad from time to time, in order not to be weary, and for several times he would say to him:
I shall marry you Ahmad from one of those beautiful girls since you are handsome therefore your lovers might be too much!
Ahmad would laugh at each occasion he passed and nothing rather laugh could console himself to forget his sorrow inasmuch the travel consumes his body organs and much as his life turned so much difficult …
Oh, Ahmad what life hides to thee? It is full of with traveling and tiring days. If only you had got wife and you had family and sons!
It maybe now your children growing up and could help thee…if only you had married your uncle daughter who was engaged with you before ten years ago, but when your uncle noticed that you are not in love with her, he wedded her to a strange man from living at al-Kuwait….
O, time, how merciless and gloomy you are!
Ahmad still in his deep profound though, until he faintly heard someone called in his name….
Don’t you eat Ahmad? The meal is ready, and the sound this time came from the blond short figure Kurdish woman calling him in Kurdish language, but he understood, yes, he understood well, he is just a straw in this loss! However, the warm voice turns him homesick…. He stood up to do his ablution before he ate….
Let us my brothers doing our prayer in a group….
One of the two women was astonished when she saw Ahmad hid a red pouch under the lower lining of his shirt containing pictures of his family and something of his personal requirements and a special picture belongs to his sister the dentist….
He answered the wonder of the woman by his colloquial language that this picture is to his sister, whom they had grown together as a twin, and she was the sister who always brought the delight to his soul and always would she say:
I fear that one day comes and I miss you Ahmad! She said that saying when she was in the sixth class of her primary school.
However, what shall I do to time?
What are about you Ahmad? I see that you are wiping out your tears!
It seems as if you are sad! … The short blond woman bends to him asking pitifully what he had!
Do you want me helping you to get marriage? Hajji Abdullah this time is the speaker…
Come on and bring the food I think Ahmad got hunger!
Hajji Abdullah calls….
Every time Ahmad raises the spoon up to his mouth as if he sees the vision of his sister in the spoon waving to him….
Yes, that is the picture of my beloved sister! She is the sister who was beaten and deceived by life misfortunes indeed….
She was died through a sorrowful accident in the night of her wedding to a doctor from al- Bahrain who was one of her classmate-graduated- student from the same college she already had studied in
Yes, she was died in a car accident and who run over her by his car is her cousin – the son of Sheikh Agag, and 'I didn’t know whether the events always come accidentally or were written before we saw the light of this life'!
The caravan all together was very cordial that made him forgetting his griefs and his strangeness…
In the twenty-six of May, they arrived and Ahmad shall depart now alone….
He thanks them for their good company and for their kindness…
Hajji Abdullah replied to him; don’t terminate your news to us at all, and I wish you came every summer to visit us and if you didn’t find wife, I shall marry you from one of these women….
Hajji Abdullah anyhow wants to joke with Ahmad to enjoy him!
After the fourth day of continuing travel, Ahmad reached the shores of
Izmir and immediately he dwelled in one of the hotels in a
city adjacent to the … gulf
Yet Ahmad remembered that Hajji Abdullah has a close relative in a city not far away from his hotel and if he walked on his feet, he will reach it in four hours not more.
In the next morning, although Ahmad still was tired, he woke up early, went ahead to the cafeteria, and drank a cup of milk...
After he sat in the garden, which it is not too far from the cafeteria, some youthful workers passed by the place and shouted to him thinking that he was their fellow sat there waiting them near the roadbed but in mistake…
O, lazy boy, stand up, come on, you make thyself foolish and joking with us ….one of the workers shouted to him.
When Ahmad sat silent without replying one of them approached to him and hit him by the shovel shakingly he held in his hands, but the event made them put in sudden confusion when the man replied to them in Arabic language and they were sure he was not their friend….
They said, "We are sorry" and we think that you are our fiend and by mistake we did that, repeatedly they apologized expressing their sorrow again....
In addition they were more surprising, when Ahmad told them he was looking for a man -is one of the relative of Hajji Abdullah- whose name is Mullah Abd al Rahman, who is a man is familiar to them….
If the matter is so, we shall help you and now you can accompany with us and we shall guide you to the place since our way has the same direction.
When they reached the certain city, they guided him to the near mark not far away from the certain man house who Ahmad asked about then they again apologized, saying we are workers and if we delay we will miss the work and without working no bread shall we eat…
Ahmad thanked them and went on his way until he reached the grocery woman owner, which they told him about, and from that grocery, he knew the certain place he looked for, but the man whom he asked about was not in his house in that time because he traveled and would not return home for several days.
When Ahmad knocked the door, the sons of that man allowed him to be their guest since they felt it is disgrace and shame upon them if their father came back knowing that his sons didn’t offer the guest a good hospitality, moreover, he is strange man, and it is awful matter to be annoyed….
After Ahmad took the dinner with them, he asked them if they allowed him to leave back saying to them, the only thing I want is to find someone can guarantee me in the court of the district about the case I seek for and perhaps it is not necessary then I need nothing…
When the sons of that man- the relative of Hajji Abdullah- heard what Ahmad said, two of them escorted him to the court…
Ahmad entered the court and all of the confident authorized papers and documents to him from the family of the dead man "Timur" were ready to be seen by the court, moreover all papers were signed and sealed by the Iraqi legal authority according to the law….
Now he would tell the court how the company of wood dilatorily treated him against all of these truthful documents…
He would tell them how the company rejected to hand him the money unless in transferring method, and it is as if the company of wood tried to save additional time perhaps it could invest the money for a long period.
The court dealt carefully with him after the two witnesses are ready there and it is necessary to bring witnesses according to the judiciary- procedures in
especially with foreigner's lawsuit. Turkey
Ahmad finished his complaining to the court that was responsible and undertook on its shoulder all juridical disputes in the area including the wood company, and when the judge examined the case, he sent his order to the wood company to be notified….
The dispatching order is clear to give the right for the Iraqi man and if not that, the wood company will be responsible about the delay and will be submitted to the court verdict…
Ahmad stood up thanking them to their good judgment and after four day, he informed the wood company about his new place, and within one week, the company sent to him for his place one of its deputies to settle the case …
Now they resumed the negotiation without any stipulations saying to him now you can change the account of the trust to your name and whenever you want, the disposal right is under your behalf…
Ahmad in this time agreed on the new stipulations when he saw all the cheques could be converted into his name without problems.
As Ahmad found himself was free from his burdens he went directly to the place of shipbuilding, which it is about four miles far from the hotel, he dwelled in, and he ordered them to build for him a new ship as his desire….
The design of Ahmad's ship was going to be terminating as far as possible in a few months since he encouraged the workers that he will give them a good reward…
Ahmad had related many stories to the family of Mullah Abd al Rahman in many times he had visited the family before….
Always he would tell them about her personal affairs and about his country, such as he told them one day he was the son of a well-known trader in
and the chief of his tribe so his
relation with those Turkish people developed to be in a well relationship… Basra
Inasmuch as Ahmad related to those Turkish people his stories about Iraq and the shrines of the righteous men and about the ancient historical landmarks in Iraq such as: Babylon, Ur and Nineveh; those people turn excited to visit Iraq until the friend of Hajji Abdullah the Mullah Abd al-Rahman said to him:
"My family will escort you when your ship is completed"….
Moreover, they spoke about their yearning to see
Baghdad and other Iraqi cities and about the
visiting of the sacred religious places such as the shrine of Yunus Prophet in … Nineveh
Always they would express their astonishment in each time Ahmad was ready to answer their questions about the motivating stories he related to them about
Iraq cities since map always is ready in his
memory especially the Iraqi cities that are adjacent to the rivers…. Iraq
However, when they asked him if he was married or not and whether he has sons or not, he kept speechless while his eyes were drown with tears, they only thing he could reply, it is a matter of fate and the time did not give him any occasion to find the desired prestige woman he sought for…
In an evening, a knock was heard at the door and in fact, he was the Hajji Abdullah – the friend of Mullah Abd-al Rahman family who came this time to be their guest…
All of them have welcomed him, the first question he asked is about Ahmad, and they told him that Ahmad tomorrow would be here….
The second night witnessed a joy never has been seen reunifying all of the friends in the same time and all of them would gladly cuddle his fellow and their gathering witnessed very thrilling stories, and of course Hajji Abdullah always would like to repeat the same question:
Don’t you marry yet?
All of them would drown in laughter from the excitement moment.
Not a long time they sat down and Hajji Abdullah said to Ahmad:
I would marry you Ahmad from one of my relative and you should not flee from our hands this time since you are the good husband we wished to be for our girls….
Ahmad replied, my uncle; I am the man who his passion always is within sea and who is in love with sea never will love women …
Sea has a widespread cover and its charms exceeds the woman charms, and if I decide to marry, I shall not travel and I shall stay at home and this glad aspect I will loose, furthermore I am accustomed for a long traveling period and to be out of home for one year or two years.
. Thus, woman cannot wait her absent husband more than two months
Hajji Abdullah replied to him with a smile whispering:
We shall find to thee the suitable solution!
After a few days, the ship was ready to sail, all its machines successfully were working, and it looks as a princess in her better charming look…
Immediately Ahmad sought for sailors by the help of Hajji Abdullah and the Mullah Abd al-Rahman…
In the twenty-six of September he went on his sailing across the ocean returning to Basra accompanying with the family of Mullah Abd al-Rahman after they had accomplished all their legally documents of travel….
The chances agreed to be an Iraqi trader there was looking for a ship to load his goods toward Basra harbour; therefore, the voyage has a good auspicious occasion Ahmad did not expect at all….
When the voyage reached the
, Ahmad looked
around while a teardrop was shed out of his eyes saying: Gibraltar
If only we burnt our ships not to burn our borders!