Monday, December 31, 2012

"So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief"

It has been a fictional year to the say the least, so fictional that even writing about it seems hard at a time when I myself find difficulty in convincing my mind that what I went through was real, not a wild segment of my imagination, nor a chapter drafted by Pamuk, or Plath. 

A year that included but was not exclusive to: being stranded, almost homeless in a city so cold, a city I once called home. 

A year that included but was not exclusive to: first times, last times and repeated disappointments. 

A year that included but was not exclusive to: rejections, shattered dreams and loss of meaning. 

2012 was indeed a fictional year for me. I should have taken a hint at how it started, with serious negotiations with the self, and God. Endless meaningless conversations about existence, and futile attempts to lure the evil into the good side,  and rest the binaries between the colors white, and black. I should have understood in January last year that this year was not going to be good. But I don't give up, I am one of those that survive against their own will, persevere against all odds, and stand up when all they want to do, is fall apart. 
I should have known that night by the river Thames when I laughed so hard, that temporary happiness is no happiness at all. It bears the consequences of sad tomorrows, and constructed, often exaggerated memories of an otherwise, mundane moment. 

I should have known in February when my attempts at performing an Iraqi identity, a feminine approach to Baghdad and what I believed then was its manifestations, failed. I should have known that 2012 was alarming when I was left stranded in an island, alone, with pieces of torn paper and a dry pen. 
I should  have known..

March comes, and with it leaves Spring, in a perfect harmony with my withered heart then. I come back to Dubai to find its skies white, its air heavy and its people sad that the good weather was gone. A weather I missed, stranded in England and its cold brutal weather. 

Applications flooded, pleas for support, attempts to be recognized in any geography in the world, a passport so banal yet powerful enough to take over my dreams, make them impossible. Pieces of paper, stapled together, flavored by never-ending colonial powers, stamped by puppet governments; an Iraqi nationality that is divorced from any sense of noble nationalism, or loyalty. That was April for me, a month where a milestone was supposedly achieved, just because it happens that I was born that month. 

I should have known when May came with another set of questions, that have no answer, with pain that is unfathomed, and disappointments that left my mind wondering; now what? 
I should have known it was not going to be ok, or perhaps It would: lets rise again Maryam. 

Summer comes and goes, with stolen moments of laughter and joy as I walk down the aisles of SOAS, celebrating my success and the friends I made along the way. I think to myself, this is a good day, not a good year, but a very good day. Hamdula..

The year begins to end, and my heart flutters at the possibility of new chapters, or perhaps a new book, let's throw this one behind. No lets keep it, it is because of these moments that I have become. Or is this what I try to tell myself? Could it be that suffering is useless?

2 months ago, I stood alone looking at a broken watch in my hand, an actual watch that belonged to another restless wrist, and laughed a little on the irony of it all. There I was, standing still while the whole of Dubai moved around me, the breeze was just getting to change to acceptable, and the burdens were about to get lighter. There were random walks on the beach during sunrise, echoing laughter on familiar balconies, and that watch, left on my palm, remind me yet harshly again that those moments of pure joy, were indeed, out of time. I now keep this watch in a museum I built, mimicking Pamuk's museum of innocence, but mine is not innocent at all. 

I should have known, but even if I did, I wouldn't have changed a thing. I left this year with a faith that إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا  (So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief). 2013 must be the year that challenges this one, a year that counters all the performances of identity that failed and the attempts of reconciliation that bears witness to my own shortcomings. 

Facebook's year in retrospect displays my images smiling, graduating, laughing, and posing in front of Galata bridge in Istanbul, and SOAS in London. It does not however display the written above, because Facebook is funny this way; we select the moments we want to share with Zuckerberg, the world and the secret services, and they are often constructed notions of  a life we would like ourselves to believe we lead. 

At the end of this year, I am reminded of an old Iraqi song,"ماكو عتاب و لوم .. بس السلام يدومThere is no blame after all, let the peace last..

happy 2013, I know for me - ارتاحت الروح - my soul is at peace. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Notes on the Iraqi Spring, and the last day(s) of 2012

Below are some of my notes and observations on the recent uprisings in Iraq, in what is now being called the #iraqispring. I believe it is important to document these observations so that they allow for revisited posts analysing in details the changes in the political in Iraq. 

30th December- : Today marks the 7 year anniversary of the death of Saddam Hussein, Iraqi leader. Today also marks the day before the last of the year 2012, and the 9th day of the ongoing protests in Iraq against the rule of Al Maliki, the current Iraqi prime minster. 

Today is indeed an interesting day to be monitoring social media platforms and view the dynamics of posting and commenting from Iraqis world wide, who are either engaging in hot debates about the nature and causes of the recent uprisings in Al Anbar, the largest province in Iraq , or commenting on the plight of Iraqis  after the death of Saddam Hussein. There are those also contesting the idolization of the former president taking shape in Facebook posts and  twitter hashtags that celebrate his life, and mourn his death.  

Many posts on Iraq found on twitter and Facebook are linking directly between the protests happening nowadays to the death of Saddam Hussein, and trying to create a narrative that sees both events as cause-effect. This is deducted from posts that argue that 7 years after his execution, Iraq has become worse, hence the protests are a natural result of the deteriorating conditions of Iraqis both inside and outside Iraq. 

These protests that Iraq is witnessing are proving to be quite different from the previous attempts by Iraqis to contest the status quo. I have written before that in 2011, and inspired by the events that took place in Egypt, Tunisia, and other countries in the Middle East, a Facebook page was created to encourage Iraqis to revolt against the current regime, and abhor immediately all of its attempts to divide the country on basis of sect and religion. The Facebook page "The Iraqi revolution" kept encouraging protests and civil disobedience, and recording all the incidents where number of Iraqis were seen protesting in Baghdad, Mosul and recently Al Anbar. 

At times that did not witness any civil protests per say, the page kept posting about the government's wrong doings, and encouraging participation online in discussing and contesting the political situation in Iraq. The page also mimicked the famous solidarity campaign with Palestinian prisoners, to show support to Iraqi prisoners that are suffering from inhumane conditions and unlawful trials. 

Two weeks ago, and with the recent government's tactics in attacking Sunni parliament members, and the news on the conditions of Iraqi women in prisons, the page started calling again for a revolution, specifically calling on the honour, and chivalry of Iraqi men in light of the violations against women in prisons; rape, torture and unlawful imprisonment. 

The revolution became a necessity to protect the honour of Iraqi women, Iraq's narrative itself changed from protesting the status quo, to defending the lost honour of iraqis worldwide. 

In the context of the East, more specifically the Middle East and Iraq, toying with words like Honour, and integrity can be quite daring to say the least. It poses a threat on the broadly-defined masculinity, and invites serious 'protection' of the allegedly forsaken honour. The posts in the Iraqi groups encouraging the protests were all inviting 'men' to protect their 'sisters' and 'daughters' from the government's injustice, posting photos of the tortured and raped victims and posing the rhetorical question of : " what if she was your sister?". 

This is arguably intended to provoke a sense of anger and entitlement to Iraq's women, creating what I contend is a community imagined just like Benedict Anderson theorised,  where the Iraqi man is obliged to protect the honour of all Iraqi women, like they were his sisters, and daughters. The Iraqi woman in this context became one of the symbols of the uprisings; saving her consequently means saving Iraq. 

It is also interesting that at these times that call for the protection of the 'woman' in Iraq, India sees its own version of the protests, in light of the Delhi rape victim that died recently. Social media platforms were flooding with posts about the status of women worldwide, and the rape that took place in India provoked serious questioning of plight of women world wide. However, and from my own personal observation of the reactions recorded on new media, there was an ideal missed opportunity to link those two events together, almost denying the significance of the feminist discourse in the political; Both India and Iraq revolted for women worldwide. 

The Iraqi Spring as the protestors and online activists are calling it, is proving to be quite detrimental in contemporary Iraqi politics. Many are attributing its success to the fact that global news channels are actually covering the events, contrary to previous attempts by Iraqis that did not make it to headline news. One of the activists messaged me on twitter citing his excitement that Al Jazeera channel finally decided to " interrupt their continuos coverage of Egypt, and shed light on the protests ongoing in Al Anbar." 

This reliance on media for the success of any protest and attempted coup poses serious questions about the 'imagined' role of old and new media in the Middle East, and invite serious investigation of the uses of media worldwide. 

Iraqi news channels were also celebrated on social media platforms for covering the events and offering a platform for the activists to voice their opinions outside the 'online realm'. Channels such as Al Baghdadiya, Al Rafidayn and Al Mosoliya are amongst the channels leading in covering the uprisings in Iraq. Al Sharqiya channel, most popular amongst Iraqis worldwide is now condemned by activists that are calling for its boycott for failing to cover the protests. Facebook posts are calling on Al Bazzaz, owner of Al Sharqiya to explain the lack of media coverage on the events. 

This is indeed an interesting moment in Iraq's contemporary history, where the extension of the political contestation from the online to the offline has actually started to echo globally. The role of media in creating the narrative of the protests is crucial, and a serious understanding of its dynamics is needed to fully absorb the changes in the political and social spheres. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Googling Ramadan

Edgware Road, London

It was warm, the kind of warm you'd appreciate after living in London for a while, a warm long july day in 2011, which was also the first day of Ramadan, and my first ramadan away from the east.

I remember all the conversations that led to that day about what seemed to be the impossibility of fasting the long hours of the day; not accustomed to the European summer, I found it difficult at first to grasp the idea that fasting 17 hours a day would be possible.

I didn't think of the fact that life during Ramadan in London would resume as normal, and how the smell of coffee, cigarettes and bread would be hovering in the air I breath. I forgot that in London, unlike other cities I've witnessed Ramadan in, the majority would not be fasting, I forgot.

I also did not think that when it was time to break the fast, I wouldn't have my TV turned on Sharjah TV channel with their famous iftar ritual every year, in fact, I forgot I didn't own a TV and that my fasting would break with me googling the time of Maghrib and comparing and contrasting the different timings between the different time-zones of the city.

It did not feel special at first.

I remember situating myself in front of my laptop with some strawberries and water since I had no dates and yogurt, and searching on youtube for the Adhan that most resembles home. The moment I'd break my fast, I'd pray and then call my friends and socialise a little with them before it was time to catch the last tube back to my apartment.

It was difficult the first couple of days, until I decided that googling Ramadan in London, was probably not the best way to spend the holy month in a city that was slowly becoming home. And so began my journey in trying to ease the binaries that rested within me about the East and the West, slowly by taking short walks around my neighborhood and trying to spy with my little eye fellow muslims. As soon as I reached the bus stop in my beautiful islington neighborhood, a woman too busy reading her novel and twirling her hair smiled at me, and said Ramadan Mubarak. At that moment, I couldn't tell if she fasted as well, or if she was indeed a  'fellow Muslim', in fact, I ridiculed my very attempt of trying to 'type' her as any kind but a fellow human being. And there it was, the bus journey that took me to the centre of what was then my universe showed me a sense of collectivity in a society that is often dubbed as individualistic. I found myself seeking that sense of closeness that I often reject priding myself that I belong to the 'I' alone, and nothing else. I found myself walking to Edgware road, the famous Arab street that always offers the best and the worst of what it means to be an Arab. I actually found myself looking for the commonalities rather than the differences I usually feed on, That Ramadan,  I became very collective.

It was difficult at times to feel the spirituality of fasting, when the coffee smell from the neighboring cafe is almost blinding to all my senses, or when the parade of the teenage drunks starts marching on my street on friday night, indeed it was very difficult to the point that I wanted badly to go back to Dubai for just a while, just to feel the presence of God again. But then I found my solace in the words written by Him that tell us, and told me that day that "To GOD belongs the east and the west; wherever you go there will be the presence of GOD. GOD is Omnipresent, Omniscient. (2:115)"

Ramadan is beautiful in London this year as well, and though I stopped looking for commonalities between me and this city, I find solace in knowing that He is here, like He is there, without the need to keep googling Him.

This post was written for Art Dubai's Blog, as part of their "Posting Ramadan" Series. Original Post can be found here:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Say Hello and Wave Goodbye

The death of the heart is the saddest thing that can happen to you. -Chinese Proverb

I have a certain fascination with suspended spaces and time(s), such as airports, train stations and in some instances hotel rooms. There is a lure to the revisited places that often witness pleasures, pains and heightened potentials, well at least for me there is. 

I have always been attracted to such spaces, every time I travel, and God knows I've had my share in the last two years ( I've traveled through airports more than 40 times), and yet every time I do, I make sure I go at least 4 hours before my flight departs so that I'd spend some time in a terminal filled with people either welcoming new stories, or ending long ones. I'd always sit on a chair either with a book that often masks my curious looks, or a notebook where I jolt down stories i'd imagine happening in the wandering minds of fellow travelers. 

Yes, I often also spend some time imagining or at times pushing visual images away in hotel rooms the moment I start occupying them, trying to understand what stories the walls have to tell, and what shames or pleasures the white clean sheets had to witness. 

Train stations however remained foreign to me because of the nature of transportation in the city I lived in most of my life, that was until I moved to London, and they became central to my life. My last recollected memory of a train station was in Baghdad, I don't remember the name of the station, but I was probably 7 years old, excited about having our private cabin with bunk-beds to share with my siblings on our trip to Kirkuk where my Aunt ( may she rest in peace) once lived. Was there a big clock in the station? That's how I remember it, but also that's how they are portrayed in hollywood films, so perhaps my memory is tainted with western stereotypes, and romantic associations with the industrial revolution as it is portrayed in books and films I read and watched growing up. 

Until I started traveling outside what was once the locus of my universe, I began observing train stations and my fascination with them grew even more. 

I've spent some ample time in stations during my time in London, sometimes in passing as means of commuting, and others saying my hello's and goodbyes. I always looked for the odd couple that fought before one of them boarded a train away, or the ones that did not cry but laughed trying to ease the separation. I was in love with my selections, and often imagined that I would also reclaim the space when the time came to say my goodbyes, and create a counter-argument to the usual tears shed while departing. 

But that never happened, instead I saw myself narrating in my head instances when I had to say goodbye to loved ones while it was happening! It was too intense, I'd hear a voice-over in my head describing the teary eyes, the shaking hands, and the embrace that truly suspends time. My mind also directs the whole scene where people move in time-lapse, while I am standing still feeling with every passing second, a life-time slipping away. My narrative in fact, became the most dramatic of them all. 

A week ago, I revisited a station that I hate and love by chance, not intended, I found myself somehow forced to take it to reach a hotel-room I then called home. I walked in with so much caution, pretending I was a horse, that I only saw what was in front of me, and that my human eyes could not comprehend the sideways. I wanted to avoid that seat outside the station where I sat not so long ago crying because I had to live that un-coveted goodbye. I avoided the gateway which saw both the arrival of my solace, and the farewell to the arms. I tried to avoid looking at the station I was now walking through so much, that I actually missed both my gate and the train. 

And then I looked behind, and saw that clock I have always imagined in the train station in Baghdad, and saw my little self crying because her daddy then could not travel with her to Kirkuk. I also saw that with every goodbye I said in the train stations of my life, I always shed rivers of tears because in their essence, farewells are hated by me. I stopped blaming myself for my overt sense of sensitivity, and accepted that my vulnerability to separation is rooted deep in losses I've lived through in my childhood and adult-life. I accepted then only that my sadness and fascination with train stations, airports and hotel rooms, comes from my continuous struggle with the temporality of it all: of life, moments, happiness and love. 

I waited for the next train on a bench close to the one that I avoided, and I saw me sitting there crying genuinely as I said goodbye there once, and It did not bother me, in fact, I smiled at me and prayed that I will never stop crying for those who matter, but then leave. I also closed my eyes a little and prayed that the next time I am here, I am saying hello not waving goodbye.

*Title of this post is a the title of David Gray's Song found here: 
* Photographs are part of my collection of captured memories. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On Brothers, Cousins and Strangers

Image of Iraqi car plate, with Kuwait listed as a city in Iraq. Image circulating heavily on facebook. 

Amidst the traffic of all the drama series competing for audience attention during Ramadan, couple of productions managed to catch, if not ignite the attention of Arabs and Muslims around the world. The famous Omar that narrates the historical significance of one of the most prominent figures in the Islamic history; Omar ibn AlKhattab, and another Kuwaiti series titled, ‘Saher Al Leil’ which takes place in Kuwait, during the Iraq-Kuwait war in 1990. 

Much has been written about Omar that I feel the only thing I want to say about it is that I am indeed watching it. It is interesting how the debate itself on the series has rested within two fixed positions, or rather statements: 
  • I watch Omar 
  • I don’t watch Omar
You can read statements as such on both twitter and facebook, with some offering explanations and others just sharing their decision; the main concern being the depiction of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh).

In the specificity of Iraqi online groups on Facebook that I have been monitoring lately, the debate on Omar took a different shape given the nature of the sectarian sensitivities within the Iraqi community. Some of the members of the different Iraqi groups were posting images of the series, especially scenes in which the character of Omar Ibn AlKhattab and Ali ibn Abe Taleb are together, either to bring awareness to the desired unity between Sunni and Shia Muslim Iraqis, or sometimes even to poke fun at one sect. Some of the expressed views in the groups I monitored about Omar were in fact suggesting that watching the series is indeed a ‘strong’ political statement against the status quo in Iraq nowadays. 

I apologise to the non-informed reader about the nature of the dispute between the different sects in Islam, and the symbolism of both Omar Ibn AlKhattab and Ali ibn Abe Taleb to the sectarian politics, I wish not to indulge in such details in this post. I just wanted to share some of my observations on the initial reactions in both the Arab public sphere ( I use the term loosely here) and the Iraqi one. 

meme found in facebook page. 

Very interesting observations were made as well in regards to the Kuwaiti series Saher Al Leil which depicts life in Kuwait during the Invasion of Iraq in 1990. I have not watched the series, and so will not offer my opinion on what the show is about. However, what I believe is fascinating is the sense of unity this series has provided amongst Iraqis from different sects, ethnicities, and political backgrounds. I myself have received emails and facebook messages from different Iraqis I know, that hold very different political, religious and social views all critising the series, and bringing back a rhetoric that has not surfaced for almost 22 years now; images of Iraqi Car plates, with Kuwait listed as a city, and images mocking the borders between the two countries. In fact, the same groups that had very conflicting opinions on Omar Ibn AlKhattab’s role in Islam shared almost the same views against what they described as a false and unfair depiction of Iraq in the series. It actually reminded me of the famous Arab proverb أنا وأخي علي ابن عمي وأنا وأبن عمي علي الغريب
which roughly translates to: My brother and I against my cousin, and my cousin and I against the stranger. 

I have included images I found on facebook, published here for illustration purposes only.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Accidental Seeds

No known Copyright Restrictions 

12 years ago, i said something: one sentence, a reactionary statement to a loved one that I probably did not even mean, or maybe I did. That 5-word sentence shaped both of our lives drastically. Good and bad changes came along on the different paths we led, but the truth is, it was that sentence that shifted the realms; sliding doors you can call it.

I never forgot that day, although i forgot everything and everyone that led me to it. It was a seed that I planted unknowingly in a distant past that I reap the fruits of today, and tomorrow. I had a conversation with my friend recently about those seeds we 'accidentally' plant and live/witness their bearings later on. I did not speak of the intentional actions we take in our lives to foolishly attempt to design a planned future we have no control of, but seeds that we sporadically scatter around, not aware of what consequences they bear.

Well that 12-years old statement that I take full responsibility of, is what led me 11 years later to research and examine the meaning of diaspora, and take interest in the dislocated. A sentence that I did not understand back then, led me, Maryam, to continue my education examining the meaning of being diasporic, and continue my search for the meaning of home. 

I wish not to indulge you in the private meandring of my mind, but I couldn't help but wonder today in the midst of all the unnecessary errands I was running, what seeds was I planting? What have I said and done that will ultimately decide how my tomorrow will look like? You see, I am a firm believer that we do not meet by accident, and that we each hold significant roles in each other's lives that will ultimately change our paths, or direct us to new ones that we are not aware of. This belief, agree or disagree with it, has led me to examine closely my relationships with people and events around me. I examine them with awe and wonder, mainly questioning the role(s) they played, or will eventually play in the shaping of my coming days. 

I recently met that person, who was kind enough to remind me about what I said 12 years ago, but with a hint of sarcasm and humor. He assured me that it was indeed part of a forgotten past, and that it had no bearings on any of us. But I knew then like I know now that this polite reminder was nothing but an attempt to shed light on the power of our words and actions, and how one slip of a tongue can possibly alter destinies.

I could write so much about this topic, about all the random things I've done or said in the last couple of years that led me where I am now. Perhaps I will, soon. But right now, I must admit that it is 
both scary and exciting to think of those accidental seeds. What might they be? Was it that book I just started reading, the email I decided to send today to an old friend, the smile I generously offered a stranger at the gas station this morning, or this very blog post I decided to write this late hour of the night?

Accidental seeds, indeed they are. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

An Idle Sunday

Photo found in Dr. El Sadek's memorial page. 

Death is a funny business, indeed it is. At some point it becomes less about the 'loss' of the deceased and more about how 'we' feel about the space he/she leaves behind. We keep thinking about how 'we' are going to survive the next minute, day or even year without him/her,how we will be able to champion our next smile, hold back the tears, and go on with our daily pursuits of happiness and eternal greatness.

Death indeed is a funny business. 

Yesterday, I and I can only speak about myself with such certainty lost the possibility of walking into the office of a man I've always respected and loved. I lost the chance of engaging with him in a conversation about education in the Middle East and what I, the once scared, almost-crying student that walked into his office in 2001, think of the world post-graduation. 
I, lost a potential of a good conversation and a warm smile that could have possibly renewed my faith in the education system. 

Like the university's buildings, and strong concrete pillars, I've taken Dr. El Sadek's presence for granted, at the back of my head, there he was with my friends and loved one. Granted! That's what he was, yes I did plan to go see him again once I am done with my crazy schedule, perhaps this week, or the week after. Or maybe, I wanted to visit AUS again during the fall, when the weather was more tolerable. 

Yes, I planned to visit Dr. El Sadek at some point in the near future, without even considering for a spilt of a second that this plan might not fall through. 

Death is a funny business because it remains to be the one uncontested truth in our lives, everything else seems to be debatable, even GOD is debatable nowadays amongst the enlightened  elites, but death is never argued, not for, and not against. 

Death, the one constant in our lives, the truth that never changes, never evolves, is always denied and ignored. We have a beautiful and scary way of ignoring this truth, striving hard to achieve immortality, be it through our words, our photographs or our work, we all ignore death so well that when the news of one of us passing 'away' comes, it shakes us to the core. 

I have been blessed and cursed with the daily reminder of this truth through personal losses of my own that have shaped my whole being. Every night I sleep scared that I would wake up to a quit(er) house, a phone number that is no longer in use, and a Facebook page that is no longer active. Every day I wake up naively rushing to the living room to make sure that both my parents are healthy and awake, and that my phone is buzzing with messages and missed calls from siblings and friends.

But in the midst of all this traffic of ideas and fears, I forget to worry about a person or two, and then comes an idle sunday when you wake up on the news of their passing. 

No matter how good I think I am in preparing myself, Death comes and reminds me that we are indeed, never really prepared. 

So here is to my naiveity, and to all the people I lost along the way. 

And here is to Dr. El Sadek, may you rest in peace and forgive me for forgetting to worry about losing you as well. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

on kitkats, Kirkuk and the meaning of Iraqiness

Speaking on my complicated relationship with kitkats, and Iraqiness. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

on sound bytes, baghdad and first times

Below, is my first attempt at speaking my own words. I am quite new at this 'embedding' thing, but here goes everything.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Poet & The Scientist 1.1

They left their foreign cities, and forged digital alliances to meet in the epicenter of their colonised past. She packed the innocence of her scarred life, the poetry of her ancestral belonging, and he traveled light, burdened with his manufactured convictions.

He came with numbers and diamonds, and she welcomed him with extremes of veiled chocolates, cigarettes, and her words.
In the express train, there it was: collisions of shock and anticipated pleasures as they waited to reach the centre of what they once both called home. The conversation was just about to start, but the debates were silenced, the binaries were resting, and the potentials heightened.
The conversation continued, and foreign music played in the background to remind them once again, that it was indeed all foreign, all but their coveted explosion.

Laughter, tears and music all seemed wordless at a moment when her words were silenced and his numbers were subtracted to zero. Musky scents of occupied pasts in a room that witnessed the death of poetry and the abortion of science.
He tasted pleasure, she suppressed pain and both surrendered to a moment they knew will last for as long as… a moment does.

He watched her words fall asleep, and her defenses fall as his lips stretched with a small victory that he concurred her lands, and claimed them his. She slept to dream of her words again.
Outside the small window was the remains of an empire that insisted on stealing their belonging. They denied it with the smell of coffee, fresh bread and cigarettes stealing with pleasure moments of their lives. Outside that window, was the empire, but inside the room was Baghdad.

Baghdad: loved, hated and coveted stood uncontested in her eyes, Tigris flowing signaling him to taste home, and begging her to quench her thirst.. They both swallowed home to the point of rejection.
In Baghdad, the explosions went silent too, and the unfamiliar sound of peace alarmed them that it was too, coming to an end.

The music faded away, and the conversation rested to give space for a debate that mocked the rivers and the sweaty palms. His numbers increased, as her poetry resurrected: Words he tried to erase, and softness that suffocated his resistance. He screamed for proofs, as she scribbled words on sheets that witnessed her demise.

She wore her contradictions and he fixed his emptiness as they left for the train. Quite they were, but the silence has left them. He took a glance back at the building that welcomed their wreckage, while she held his hands preparing to let them go.
She was the poet, and he was the scientist.