Ramadan Amreeky

Kitchen :Haven of the Bitchy Outbursts:
Delicately she slices the two cloves of garlic into thin oval shapes. Scraping them aside on the cutting board she takes the wet parsley shaking it vigorously, loving the droplets that look like diamonds being flung all over the kitchen. Giving one last shake she gathers the leaves into one tight mass, methodically cutting them into little strips. Scraping the blade on the towel hanging over her shoulder she peers at her pot sitting among the masses of other pots that are filling the kitchen with a sedative aroma. Satisfied with the golden hue of her onions she slowly feeds into the pot ground beef. Placing the lid she turns to stare over her shoulder.

– 3awara bas… ya3ny 7anantazir la*3yt bookra?

Turning her back to the oven she sticks her tongue out at her oldest sister. Just as she was about to give a retort their mother walks into the kitchen, her eyes widening.

– dash no daaaa?????

Both sisters stare depressingly at each other.

– Wakt al iftar garab wa inty lisa3 ya bit! 3amla feeha Chef… bit sooty fishino aslan?

Giving an exasperated sigh the youngest of the two walks to her mother. She drops a kiss on her shoulder then rests her head by hers.

– ma.. Stop being a hater
– bala Hater bala….
-Control Freak
-Goolty shino?
-Relaaaaaax mama… Chill… just chiillllllllll
-bit 3awira! Zi7y kida!

Both are kicked out of the kitchen, left standing to glumly stare at the decked table with all the china their mother has collected over the decades.

– It’s all about timing damn it! She’s going to put my parsley and garlic when the beef is still cooking.. It needs to be put in the end, so its fresh and crispy…
– Walad da!!
– I got the skill, infact… you should start watching me so that husband of yours can fully appreciate the woman he’s married
– huh….. I give my condolences to whoever Sudanese man will marry you. ‘Healthy’ is not a term we use in our cooking

Giving a wicked grin she wiggles her eyebrows at her older sister.

– Who said I’m marrying a Sudanese?
– Kaman? You gonna share this bit of news with our bros tonight?
– Hell y…

A loud bang is given from within the kitchen followed by profuse cursing.

– That’s our cue.. She better not have touched my beef…
– Your joking right?
– huh?
– About the not marrying Sudanese.. .

Pausing outside the kitchen doors she considers her sisters question.

– Like you said… woe any Sudanese man who tries getting with me..
– …
– …because I’m just toooooo HOT to handle WOOP WOOP!!!

Smacking her youngest sister on the head she walks in laughing and suddenly choking from her mothers murderous glare. Still standing near the doors the youngest does not notice the comical spectacle but wears instead an expression of sadness that she cant even begin to describe let alone admit.

Living Room :Throne Room of Baba:
– Allahu Akbar!!

Hurriedly she wraps the toub clumsily as she squeezes in between her mother and sister-in-law. Painfully she is poked at the ribs by her mother.

– da3eefa! Bigeety zay al haykal!
– Bismillahi al’ra7man…

In response the daughter screws her eyes to make them cross eyed. Pursing her lips her mother turns away. In content the daughter listens to her fathers smooth recitation of the Koran. As the prayer progressed the youngest sibling could not help but stare with complete adoration at the ever expanding family. Shoulder to shoulder they stood, all carrying the same blood, yet so different in every thought and matter. Her gaze was fixed on only one figure though… her fathers. His voice was not as strong as it used to be, nor his body as sturdy. Yet every movement, every slight gesture was done the same way as it had always been;
The way he’d start with a small cough before reading a surah, the way he would tuck his feet under his body coming into the rak3a, the way he leaned his head to right, his prayer cap sitting slightly askew. All these she watched, remembered, finding solace in them.

Suddenly she thinks back to the past Ramadans, when after prayer her father would sit alone with his prayer beads. She a little girl would sleep on his lap, being at peace with the ticking of the beads and melodic voice of her father as he spoke Allah’s blessed names and stroked her hair. Now she was a woman, running from one place to the next, a proclaimed busybody.

– … Assalamu 3alaykom wa ra7matol Allah….

Everyone leaves to the main living room, except for the youngest sibling and their father. Standing she approaches his back only to hesitate, unsure what to do. Feeling useless she turns to leave.

He calls her name.

Softly patting the floor next to him he beckons her. As she sits her father brings her head down to his lap and strokes her hair as if she were that same little girl. Reciting with his prayer beads his daughter could only smile and does not even bother to wipe away the tears.

Garage :Rebels Hideout:
Trying to be discreet she tiptoes towards the back door. Wild laughter breaks from the living room in which she swiftly opens the door to step outside into the chilly air. Hugging her arms to her side she walks on the tips of her bare feet towards her older brother who is lounging at the entrance of the open garage. Absent mindedly he stares at her approaching figure, pulling out a match to light the cigarette hanging loosely on his lips.

– SH*T!!! wyyyyyy its’ soooo Cold.. arghhhhh!!!!

Closing his eyes he takes an unhurried drag, releasing the smoke into the freezing air.

– You should be inside with the family sis…
– Man… if I have to hear one more ‘bigeety zay al haykal’….

She shakes a fist at the open air that has become somber and dark.

– You look anorexic
– yaaa.. I’m hoping to become the next poster child for ‘Feed Africa’.. Gotta get that mal-nutritioned look down… just waiting for the belly to swell

Dancing from side to side she chuckles to herself. Pausing she steps further into the drive way, lifting her head towards the cloudless skies.

– Would you look at that… Looks like we’re gonna have ourselves a white Ramadan!

Little wisps of snow flakes began falling, shaping the air into a frenzy of intricate designs descending endlessly to cling on her loose hair, wetting her eyelashes and exposed throat. With a wild grin she throws back her head with her mouth wide open catching each flake, all the while giggling. Releasing another cloud of smoke her brother shakes his head.

– Your such a kid
– Hell Ya I am
– Sis…
– hmm?

Staring at the burning end of his cigarette her brother hesitates.

– have I… changed?
– How so?
– I don’t know… just changed?
– Who said so?
– No one..
– Oh

Giving her full attention to her brother she stands with her hands behind her back, taking her time in formulating an answer.

– nope… same dumbass to me
– Bitc…
– I hardly see you anymore

Looking away he gives a flick to his cigarette and watches the ashes mingle with the falling snow.

– Frankly… I don’t know… but.. I sense a change In you
– ya?

Walking up to him she calmly takes the cigarette and chucks it at the snow. Before he could utter a word she reaches for him and embraces him. Hiding her face below his shoulder she tightens her grip.

– I’m proud of you bro

Startled he awkwardly places both of his arms around her, patting her head gingerly. Giving a bashful grin he pecks a kiss on her forehead.

– Love you too freak