The Journey Back

So my seven days leave from work is over and I had to go through the thing I hate most, which is going through the day before my departure, a day I really despise and it have always made me feel as a death-row inmate waiting for the electric chair… But at least I got my last meal, they made one of my favorite; puff pastry chicken. My youngest brother is in Canada doing his masters in mechanical engineering, which means I am now the youngest one available… Which also means I am the family’s Geisha. So they decided to take advantage of me on my last day. Got to get my nephew from his kindergarten, which was cool, I always enjoy riding with him.

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I look like a fly… I always go tropical on vacations

I was on my very early flight, and midway through my boring trip, I looked up as I sighed… You know… One of those “I’m getting too old for this…. Stuff” kind of sighs?… When I came across this…

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Hmmm… If I was crashing, I would be glad to know where that vest is… So why would they put that up where I can’t see it?? I know they always show us those instructions video… But I was too tired, I slept through the take off. Also, I was sitting next to the emergency exit, so the vest must be available on the spot, because I don’t want to be the first one to drown… No… That would be embarrassing.
A thought came at the time… Maybe it is the right place to tell us where the vest is… No, let explain!! You see… You are falling… Fast, wishing you sat next to someone named Jack (those who watched Lost and understood me… Gracias) feeling your cheeks meeting with each other behind your back (and I’m not saying which cheeks I’m talking about) you would look up and say ‘oh god oh god oh god’… Then suddenly… A sign… Life vest under your seat. So?? Pretty convincing. I glanced in front of me and saw that the same was written but it was in Arabic and not like the one above me… The same scenario replayed but with a different ending.
‘Oh god oh god oh god’ looks up.. Can’t read Arabic ‘no no.. I meant Allah…’ Pooof… Plane explodes for no reason. 🙂
What if it was made from China and it was written in Chinese?? Well if it was made in China then it won’t matter… I am just kidding, I have the greatest respect for every culture… But you have no idea how boring my flight was.

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Does that makes me a Wing-man?

Now I am back, working again on my third novel, waiting for the cover design for the second book in my series and still in the search for an agent. My book will hopefully be out in the summer. My intern is almost at its end. So starting from tomorrow, I will be back in the clinics.
I hope you enjoyed my bit on how my journey ends, and how another starts. Wish me luck… I can never get enough of it.

~ A. H. Amin

Hidden histories unraveled… Ur’s civilization and Ibraham’s house

Today I arrived home after having a journey back through time. I was in Iraq for two weeks. It took me some time to get a permit from the governor so I can visit these two historical land marks. The place revived the kid in me, it was inspiring how much curious that place made me feel about the Sumerian life and the life of Ibraham himself. Knowing that you are standing in the place where ancient kings stood daily to worship the moon and being inside the hall of the house of a man mentioned in the Torah, Bible and the Quran sent jolts of excitements that revived whatever was sleeping inside me.
And now you will get to see what I have seen myself.
Keep in mind that the last expedition was in 1963.

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Witness the Temple of Ur. This place was originally made so that the king Ur-Nammu can get closer to his god, the moon. It used to be two floors higher, but time can decay what is left with no one to attend to its needs.

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That’s me walking on the path of the king. That day was really windy so don’t judge me from my hair.

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That’s me with my cousin, who is a history enthusiast just like me, he is explaining to me how this place has nothing but mud inside it to hold it together and that the place was protected by a draining system which I’ll be revealing later on.

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That’s part of it, but where will it lead??
We’ll find out later.

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A. H. Amin Jones

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This would be one of two side stairs added to the place. I guess they thought ‘Why settle with only a front stair?’

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Me standing right in front of the side wall. As you can see, the place is big, and if wasn’t for time, the place would have been higher.

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Remember that draining system added for the rain I was talking about? Well if you just arrived or barely listened then I would suggest you scroll up then go down again so you won’t hurt my feelings, that’s how it goes, rain comes from the heaven ( or for Ur-Nammu’s knowledge, the moon’s tears maybe?), then goes out through what you are witnessing so it won’t hurt the structure that much.

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I can’t help it, this place revived the kid within.

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Can you dig it?!!

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The back wall and an aunt… Wait a second, that’s me!!

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I said goodbye with one last picture.

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This picture may appear normal somehow, but actually it’s not.
I am standing under the oldest known archway in history. Yes, I know… Mind blowing.

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This is what is left from Shulgi’s castle. Time was really aggressive with it, it didn’t stand a chance.

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Now this is the tombs of kings, I walked their path, now I’ll get to see where did that path led them to.

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This is where Ur-Nammu is lying. In front of us is his tomb and behind me you will find the tombs of the servants. They believed in the afterlife so much that they sealed the servants right there after the king has died, while they were alive, which is similar to ancient Chinese rituals… May they rest in peace.

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Me and my two cousins

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The king used to lie here.

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I couldn’t get a clear picture, too dusty. So forgive me, but I couldn’t get the photos from the inside.

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Here is where the poor servants laid to an uncomfortable rest.

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Anyone reads Sumerian?? I found this stone while I was looking around.

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Now here’s a sight for the sore and mummified eyes. The house of Ibraham.

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Ibraham’s crib

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I love this one… This is the kitchen with the shelves on the left. Amazing!! Here’s where Ibraham gets his food. Yes!! It is a big deal to me.

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This is the rest room.

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This is the hall of Ibraham’s house. What is it for? If only I knew.

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This is a draining system for the house. I threw a rock and I couldn’t hear anything, it was really deep. As deep as the secrets our world is still concealing from us.
So I hope you enjoyed the little I have shared from our world. As for me, I feel really blessed to be there and to be able to share those places with all of you.

~A. H. Amin

Still no permit, so…

So here I am, in a hotel in Iraq and still waiting for the permit to visit Ur’s ruins. I was the first one to greet the morning after an interrupting sleep; for me, new bed requires new habits of sleeping, which is hard to break. My schedule is not clear yet, our visit came suddenly, so we have no sure plans to go with. Me and my brother decided to go to my aunt’s house for lunch and that’s where I saw a couple of things to share. We took a taxi cab which was really fancy… Too fancy for the bad roads they have over here.

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My brother is here on business, so he left me with mom for a while. I decided to check out my aunt’s library and suddenly I found this book.

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It is a novel written by my father. So now you know where my writing genes come from, even though I published in English and he did so in our native tongue. The book is named (a bird in narrow sky). It is a collection of true stories about how the new and revolutionary political parties had affected so many lives of those who stand in between each fired up groups. The first story for example… It talks about a coffee place where all writers and poets gather to talk about art. The place was very important because it was a place that united all the parties and they all became friends who just talk about what they love. The only argument allowed was about art and artists. Other than that the owner will simply raise the sound of the radio which played the songs of Zohoor (which means Roses). Everyone falls silent for her sad voice, but not always, sometimes arguments lead to disturbance. That coffee place was a symbol of unity non the less… Which was a reason why the old corrupt government tore it down, I think in the 90’s. It was replaced by shopping stores now.

I found this painting later that day.

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This painting was drawn by my late grandfather, it is at least older than 50 years. I never saw him before, he died before I was born. So this piece of him haunted me. I really wish I could tell him how brilliant he was. All his works are somewhere else.
Today I tag along with my old brother, he has more business in another city. But that’s not all.
Until then, enjoy these views.

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The beginning of a two weeks stay in Iraq

Yesterday I packed my bags to be my mother’s companion for two weeks. Our destination is another twighlight zone, so different from where I live right now and only known from what you see on the news. We started our journey to Iraq where we will be staying for two weeks.

Fate provided us with the same border, making it easier for Cupid to aim his bow, thus we share our families. We will be staying each day in a different place. Right now I am writing this post in bed with my i-phone.
There was some strange aura that I felt the moment I entered the country, everything became strange and unfamiliar. Whenever I find myself in a traffic I feel tense. Then I remembered that media is a business, they show what attracts reviewers, an explosion is a sure hit. I relaxed a bit, but the road seemed endless, it took us 2 and a half hour to reach to the city of my origin, where my father started as a farmer, who’s now one of Kuwait’s top engineers.
At the borders of the province I read two lines. The first was roughly translated (respect and you will be respected). The second meant (abandon your hatred before you enter). I felt at peace.
It was filled with people who only offer the little they have, with hearts as big as a recently born baby. A taxi driver refused to take money when he found out that I was a guest in their province.
The place was at a cliff hang from civilization, electricity was a major problem, they come and go. They stay longer in winters because they do not use air conditioning during that season, thus less load. Our family have backup generators just in case.
In my first day I went to a funeral of a friend of the family members, at night we visited a woman who gave birth to a beautiful girl. Everyone here shares almost every event, they come together in sadness to support the sad, and they celebrate when life arrives, it was a beautiful community, one I’m proud to belong to.
They know who I am and they call me mawlaye, which means my lord. It makes me uncomfortable, but they insist on doing so, not because I’m a guest, but because of my bloodline.
Yesterday I spent my night at my aunt’s house, today I’m in a hotel with my brother who just joined me from Qatar. He snores… 🙂
I will be sharing more soon. I’m waiting for my permit from the governor so I can go visit Ur’s ruin… I heard it’s epic, it is older than 7000 years. Abraham was there. I think the pope will be visiting but they haven’t set a date yet.

Goodnight everyone and I hope to see you tomorrow.

~ A. H. Amin

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That’s me next to the Euphrates River