عكازي حبيبي.. لم أتركه يوما دون عناية به، منذ أن اشتريته قبل عقدين ونيف من الزمن؛ فهو المعين الوحيد لي في شبابي، وأحفظه لشيخوختي عندما أصبح وحيدة بابتعاد الجميع عني؛ واهتمامهم بحياتهم كل بما شاء الله له من عمل.
ظل يرافقني في تنقلاتي في البيت وخارجه لا لعجز بي لا سمح الله؛ ولكن لمحبتي له، ولحرصي على المحافظة عليه من الضياع، فهو أملي المستقبلي. أخبرت الجميع بحبي له فسروا لسروري.
عكازي الحبيب؛ ظل لي رفيقا مخلصا أبثه أفراحي وأحزاني، ألعب معه في أوقات فراغي.. لم يكن ليبدي ضجرا مني رغم تثاقلي عليه في بعض الأوقات، فكنت أضربه، وأعنفه وهو لا يتكلم.. أخاله يضحك سعيدا لأنني أفرغ شحنات غضبي بضربه، وكأنه يقول: أحبك.
مرت الأيام وما زال معي في زمن أصبحتُ فيه بحاجة ماسة له بعد أن أرهق تقدمي بالسن صحتي، وضعفت قوتي وبات بي المسير صعبا دون عكاز.
ذات يوم وأنا أمشي به في طريق صعب العبور باتجاه حلم جميل أبنيه لي وله ولمن حولنا.. دارت بي الدنيا على غير عادتها.. شعرت بالدوار.. حاولت مساعدة نفسي بالاستناد على عكازي الحبيب، فاليوم سيظهر لي مدى حبه لي بعد الذي قدمته له سابقا، فإذا به يخذلني، وصوت طقطقة يخرج منه يصمُّ أُذنَيَّ..
أحسستُ بالخوف مما أسمع.. نظرتُ إليه برجاء، ذهلتُ مما أرى.. وجدته يتفتت بشكل أفزعني، والدود يتدفق منه، وأنا مرمية فوق الأرض لا أحد حولي يبعد الدود عني.
I stood with the others to bid you farewell before you went out to the departure lounge. 0
You were leaving the country that allowed us to meet. 0
How the world paled into insignificance then! how I had forsaken it! 0
I felt my pulse race with every call from the loud speaker announcing the arrival of an airplane or inviting the travelers to proceed to the departure lounge. 0
My grandmother held me tenderly to her heart, 0
showering me with her warm consoling kisses, 0 while you stood enveloped in your husband’s cautious embrace. 0
I reached out to touch you every now and again, 0
hoping to replenish my reserve of contentedness, 0 before you leave, 0 and before I return to my father’s house and to his wife;0
away from your sweet warm-tenderness, O’ mother!0
I tried to paint a smile on my lips to distance the feelings that were burning my heart and my mind away from your thoughts. 0
I looked into your eyes, they were bathed in tears. 0
I was amazed at how torment could be blended with joy, 0 and how fear could be mingled with patience!0
Leave your anguish at the airport; I will fight it alone,0 while I scoop the laments of my soul from my deprivation.
Translated by Mona Helal
ترجمة منى هلال
وقفتُ مع المودعين بانتظار دخولِكِ قاعة المسافرين، لمغادرة البلد الذي عشنا فيه تحت رحمة إذن لقائِنا. تضاءلت الدنيا في عينيَّ، فزهدتُ بها،بينما ظلَّ خفق قلبي يزداد سرعة كلما علا صوت مذيعة المطار، معلنًة عن وصول طائرة، أو دعوة المسافرين لمغادرة قاعة المودعين. كانت جدتي تضمني إلى صدرها بحنان، تقبلني بمواساة دافئة، بينما تحيطكِ ذراعا زوجك بحذرشديد، كنتُ التصقُ بك بين وقتٍ وآخر تزوّدًا بشيء من طمأنينة قبل الفراق، وعودتي إلى بيت أبي وزوجته بعيدًا عن عطفكِ ياأمي. حاولت رسم ابتسامة فوق شفتَيَّ تبعدُ عنك التفكير بما يكويني قلبًا وفكرًا، نظرتُ في عينيك فوجدتهما مغرورقتين بالدموع، عجبتُ كيف يتَّحِدُ الحزن بالفرح والخوف بالصبر! دعي حزنكِ في المطار سأقاومُه وحدي، وأنا أغرف من حرماني أنينَ الروح.
They say I’m still young. Yes, I am that. Well, I’m only nine, and this is young if you compare it to their ages. They also say that I’m very smart and that I understand everything they say, even if they allude to it. I heard them say once: “be careful what you say in front of Sahab, she is very sharp; she doesn’t miss a thing; she knows the hidden meanings”.0 Yes, they’re right. How I wished I weren’t like that! Their words hurt my feelings and cause me a lot of pain especially when they talk about my divorced mother and her family. This also happens when they want me out of the way and revert to some stupid tricks and excuses which don’t fool me one little bit.0 They sometimes say that I inherited my genes from my mother and her family who are known for their intelligence and intellect. 0 On the other hand, if you ask me about my father and his family, I’d say they are semi-educated. I won’t say they are ignorant. 0 There is one thing they have plenty of though and that is cunning. This leads them to make mistakes that don’t usually work in their favour. They nevertheless always think it’s the right thing to do, especially
One day, I was watching TV with my sister Soha in the living room. My stepmother was breastfeeding my baby brother Sameh. My sister Hoda was playing with her doll, which her uncle Saeed had given her for her birthday the day before last. Soha and I were watching a TV presenter talking to a little girl who had red satin ribbons in her hair and was wearing a beautiful dress with lots of colours and lovely flowers. I was so entranced by the scene that I thought I could smell the scent of the flowers coming through the screen and into our small living room. Oh, how I wished I had a dress like that! I felt a teardrop about to fall on my cheek which burned by the agony in my heart, but I managed to hold it between my eyelids. I could see from the corner of my eye how my stepmother was looking at me in a very strange way. A moment of silence passed which felt like ages. My stepmother asked me to turn the TV off and go to my room with Soha to help her with her lessons. Her excuse was that I was older than Soha and was ahead of her in the school by one year. I obeyed; catching a falling teardrop in the palm of my hand as I silently got up and walked to my room. I waited for Soha for a long time, but she never came. I heard the sounds coming back from the TV, louder and louder. The girl with the colourful dress was singing a song that made my tears pour hot and fast. I couldn’t hold them back; they flowed unchecked in turbulent sadness and pain. They ran thick and fast and I could taste their saltiness in my mouth; they burned the cracks on my lips and ignited the agony of my soul. It was then that I decided to write my memoirs in my diary the same way my friend Tala did.0
At night, after I made sure everyone was asleep, I took out a small notebook from my schoolbag. My teacher told us to write some notes about our lessons at home and at school. There were still lots of blank pages in it. I decided to use the second half. This won’t interfere with my school notes; besides the school year was nearly over anyway.0
I turned the dim light in my room on, and sat at the edge of my bed. I was careful not to make any noise. I was so worried Soha might wake up crying and my stepmother would wake up and scold me.0
I started thinking about everything that happened to me since I started making sense of what’s around me. I was living with my paternal grandmother. They had taken me away from my mother when her family refused to send her back to my father. She was divorced when I was still inside her tummy.0
My heart is beating faster now!0
What if my stepmother woke up now and saw me writing in my diary?0
I don’t even know what a diary is, but my friend Tala told me how she writes everything in her diary for the future.0
I liked the idea; and here I am writing in my own diary when everyone is asleep.0
Frankly what made me start writing today was my stepmother’s reaction when I was watching that girl with the colorful dress on TV. I felt heart-broken. If she were my own mother, she wouldn’t have done this. She would’ve left me to watch that girl for as long as I wanted to. She would’ve even bought me that same beautiful dress and satin ribbons too. I would wear them and look beautiful just like that girl. I would stand in front of the screen, dance to the music and my mother would clap with happiness.0
Oh, mother! Why did you leave me to my stepmother?0
Why did you and father use me as punishment to inflict on each other?0
Here I am alone with no one to feel my pain … my grandmother was much kinder than my stepmother. Well, at least she was afraid of my dad. She knew how much he loved me, and how he would get angry if someone upset me. In spite of all that, I cared too much for him to tell him about the things that used to upset me during his absence.0
I will sleep now because my heart is aching and my eyes are burning from want of sleep.