An Egyptian living in Europe but her heart stayed back home. Having some random thoughts about the before and after pictures. Ghawayesh means bracelets. In my context it symbolizes the cuffs of my culture. I don't know if I like them or hate them. Thanks for passing by.

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I started this blog in 2006 as a joke. Now that I look back, I have decided to take it seriously!

06 August 2011


(* Narcissus in Egyptian Arabic. It's an old-fashioned name for women.)

A considerable portion of the day you would find Narges squatting in a corner of the house with tweezers in one hand and a piece of broken old mirror in the other. Tweezers are known to have been used in predynastic Egypt, and Nerges's tweezers looked like she stole them from a pyramid. For some odd reason, she was convinced that tweezing her eyebrows and plucking her mustache and chin hairs would keep her looking flawless. Top that with a set of gold teeth and 50 gold bracelets in each arm. She was also very enthusiastic about combing her few grey hairs left on her head using a narrow-toothed comb (Fallaya), then braiding them in two of the thinnest long braids you'd ever seen; leaving the back of her head showing a miserable lack of hair- which she failed, or rather refused, to realize- of course.

She was in her 60s.. Or 70s.. Or 80s. You couldn't really care less to guess. And of course you couldn't find out the truth from her, because she would tell you stories about events she witnessed back in the days when the Earth was flat, yet would insist that she was younger than any woman in the family. If you looked at her you would believe that The Lord created her while suffering from an attack of severe hemorrhoids. She came with all options of a wicked witch; especially the long pointy nose with a huge mole on the tip and a tuft of hairs in it.

Her favorite stories to tell you over and over again are about her late loving husband, Hagg Saleh. She could never repeat it often enough that life didn't give her the children she wished to have with him, although she tried everything and went to every doctor to get pregnant, but it was God's will that she could not. Mind you, the hag was close to 60 in her wedding dress, but, about this fact, and for your own safety, forever hold your breath.

She was her late husband's second wife after the mother of his 3 children passed. As a matter of fact he married her for her money, and she married him for no-one-else-would-marry-her. Fair enough, no? He would treat her with respect thinking it would be wise to keep the tone down in front of the children, and in order to have her do the housework as well. She, on the other hand, called him Mr. Bent Banana referring to his crooked penis.

She was fugly inside out.

Not only did Nagres manage to get into Hagg Saleh's big house under holy matrimony; but also she managed to smear her niece, Tomader, onto his son; the gorgeous 15-year-younger-than-Tomader-graduate-of-medicine, Dr. Saeed.


This is part of a novel I'm writing. Still not sure I should write it in Arabic or English. I'm more tempted to do it in the latter, since no one reads in our side of the world!

Any comments please?


Raouf said...

Let me suggest that you write some in English and some in Arabic and see which one allows the characters to reveal themselves best.
This English version does seem to flow.

By the way I like the names, Narguess and Tomador which we don't come across any more. One part of our family has these two unusual names as well as Magol, Taghreed, Tayseer and Bamba.

Ghawayesh said...

Wow Bamba is such a cool name! And would you please type Magol on Arabic ya Raouf? I've never heard of it before. Thank you for your comment, this is part of the same novel حكايات من بيت جدي that I wrote about in Arabic before. You see, in English I feel more liberated somehow, while in Arabic I feel more poetic!! Solve that! Ha! Thank you so much. xx

Raouf said...

ماجول على وزن بلبل
كذلك توجد اسماء كوثر- تبارك - راوية - ملكة بفتح اللام
اسماء عماتى تفيدة - نور- توحيدة
اسماء جداتى نبيهة و بمبة

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