Last week we had the pleasure of traveling to Cleveland to attend the engagement of one of my wife cousins, actually Iyad is the son of my mother in laws uncle, Marwan Mazhar. While Cleveland will remain Cleveland like so may ill planned and ill designed American cities, the engagement was just terrific. It was held in the main hall of the old court house, a very majestic place and of course the beautiful setting was made more beautiful by the mother of Iyad fiancé’ who added her touch to every thing in the place, turning the place to a very beautiful court of justice.
Well, Marwan who attend and graduated from LSU back in 1953 and perhaps was the first Arab and Muslim to hit the shores of Louisiana was there and as we sat in the hotel he was as his usual self, full of life and full of stories about his wonderful experience with the people in Louisiana and how he kept in touch with so many of them all these years. I even suggested he should publish a letter in one of the major Louisiana journal. I was in Louisiana in the army, basic training and the only thing I remember is Fort Polk and its swampy environed. But Marwan had great stories to tell including his stories as a deck hand on the Great Mississippi.
I loved one of his stories of a Lebanese woman, living in London who placed an order for some household item from that great store in London, Harrods. The woman fed up with the delay and went to the manager and said “after” meaning “Ba’edin” in Arabic.
Well, one has to appreciate the real meaning of “Ba’edin” which means so many things, and it’s mentioned most often when people are fed up or “lose it” with something. It is almost similar in meaning with TOZ, that Arabic word which is full of so many meaning. I thought it was so beautiful and so original from this woman to walk in to Harrods and say “ After” “ Ba’edin” enough is enough. I guess the same goes to the Palestinian Authority and one has to say to both Fatah and Hamas, “Ba’edin” every one is fed up with the situation in the Occupied Territories, fed up with a useless government and fed up with useless and “rudless” leadership who are more interested in their own self interests than taking care of the people. Perhaps it time to let go of the greed and incompetence that kept the Palestinian Authority alive for so many years without ever having any positive impact on the Palestinians. We all should know by now that Oslo was nothing but a private deal between Rabin and Arafat, where Arafat became a subcontractor to Rabin to quash the First Intifada with financing for Arafat and his 4,000 thieves coming from Europe and the US.
Yes, Marwan, we very much enjoyed your visit to our home in Virginia and we hope you enjoyed our company, and as promised I am publishing this note on “After- Ba’edin” for your laugh. Keep in mind that the most telling expression I ever heard any one use the word “TOZ” was Shafiq Alhout, who was the PLO representative in Lebanon, when asked about the Israeli plans to bring more Russian Jews to Palestine, he said “ TOZ”. The Palestinians will always catch up with the Israelis even if Israel brings Jews from Indian and Japan.
Marwan, you have to keep your promise and write all your friends in Louisiana a ‘thank you note” I am sure they will all appreciate hearing from you. Yes, American is not what it used to be, but there are whole lots of so many great, honest, loving and caring people that will compensate for what George Bush and his gangs are doing to America.