December 27, 2006

A year of blogging: Basem nil Society 1

It's been a year (and a month) since I first started blogging, and as in all anniversaries of all sorts, one find himself inclined to pause, look-back and reflect upon the period that just went by and contemplate the significance of it, the achievements or milestones or the unfortunate lack of any!

But its not only my blog anniversary that just went by, it's been two years since my father passed away and I got engaged (and subsequently married) to my marvellous wife, all but too momentous occasions, the entry of an important person and the adverse departure of a significant other with all what such occasions entails of dramatic experiences.

So let me start with my father's death, 2 years onward and still the greave continues, at times his memory and legacy suddenly gets dramatized in one occasion or another and cast its comforting yet sad shadow upon us, the more I think that I'm over the sorrow and that I'm at peace with the factuality of his absence, I constantly find my self bitten by the reality of the spaces he left behind or the ones he would've filled…

The other day, a colleague of mine had his father visiting him at the company, and he was taking him around, showing him his work and meeting his colleagues and superiors, mind you; the guy is in his late 30s, his father is in his 70s and may the sustainer of heavens bless the rest of his days, but I just imagined if my father was to visit me here, seat him at my office, introduce him to my superiors and subordinates, excitingly show him the work i do and how far I got since I started off my career, and how I utilised his 40-years worth of professional wisdom in my infant professional life…

The same happened almost 6 month ago, when I was being job interviewed, and my interviewer received a phone call from his father, and he politely asked me to forgive the urgency of him taking he call for it's his father calling from Egypt, and although he was very brief with his answers, yet he was sincere and respectful, it only took him a mere 5 minutes, in which I embarked on my own mind trip of what if I was to receive a call from my father now, what will I be telling him?

Again, its so easy to drift into the grief, my late uncle's wife who we sadly lost 2 months ago, 10 years onward and she was still shedding sincere tears of sorrow over the loss of her husband, like the exiled Imam of the mosque I used to pray at in Amman, who he once was giving a lecture about cherishing one's parents and how extremely courteous one should be with them and he gave an example of his self that if his mom was to be alive today he would bowed down and kissed her foot in sheer respect, and then he couldn’t help but literally weeping in front of the hundreds of the Juma prayers attendees.

On the bright side, Allah have blessed me for having me in Saudi during this period, the legacy that my father left over here is just overwhelming, as the condoning encounters I have with people who have worked with and have a good memory of him uproots the heavy greave, I regularly go to the factory which he established and worked in for 30 years, I can see the residuals of his influence and character despite the surface changes, I can see it in the plant layout, the structure of the organization, the people who he have hired and have stayed loyal to the company all of these years to date, who took me around meeting new employees introducing me as the son of the Mr. Abbas whom they probably never met… simply amazing

I look back at the 23 years I spent with him, and I know I was blessed, for my 18 years old brother for instance who didn't have had the chance to experience him as I or my elder brother and sisters did, the empty cup would be that my elder brother and sisters would have experienced him even more, but then again, that's the inherent uncertainty of this life, that there's nothing that is bound to stay as-is, we're simply oblivious about this fact, intentionally or otherwise unintentionally.

On the other hand, the loss of my father was empowering in many ways, chiefly the mental dependency upon him that there's someone bigger than you who you could fall safely upon despite my financial and welfare independence; this mental dependency gradually fades away in favour of a more independent and responsible mindset, not to mention the fact that one (should arguably) start appreciating those who are still there, chiefly mom, and cherish every moment with her, ensure that she's at all time at utmost peace of mind, happy and content with me and the people around her, secure of her welfare.

May Allah bless his soul and that of all the beloved ones we all lost, join them with the best of men -Moh'd & the rest of the prophets -pbut- and have mercy upon them all.

Then comes my marriage, looking back at the whole chapter, I'm just dazzled how things progressed in a determent fashion for us to be joined together, not to delve into the details, but a minor extension to my summer holiday in 2005, resulted in me briefly meeting the niece of my friend for a mere two times before I went back, kept in touch over the phone for the next 3 months until I flying back writing my book on her (literal translation to what would otherwise be simply put: getting engaged) stayed for a couple of weeks, then fly back and forth between Amman & Riyadh (and I'm a nervous flyer by the way, tons of air-bound metal with humans canned inside doesn't set me wild) a multiple of times to see her, and finally got married in the summer of 2006! Nevertheless "who's this woman living with me"? Sometimes I arrogantly ask my self…

The loving, caring, responsible & -most importantly- committed companionship that Allah has bestowed upon my relationship with my wife addressed a very instinctual need that all of us have, to the point that living together came out to be as instinctual as living back home with my parents or hers, it's not all rosy with butterflies and a rainbow out of our window at all times, but a fair bit of investment in understanding one another, excusing and forgiving while adapting or flat out accommodating one another habitual routines and requirements is all part of the regular flow of our new life with no great expectations to be met or dangerously not addressing any cumulating clash points or consciously overlooking things that bother one another.

My marriage was a true turning point in my life as it should be, I fail to notice any changes in the core of my mental (not physical) build, but surely a plentiful of good habits, tactful and courteous things was acquired from my wife, women do stand out in this arena; that's for sure, but in all I think the instinctual fulfilment induced by this marriage brought out the best of both of us in our ordinary lives with the blessing and courtship of Allah.

Both chapters entailed many encounters with our oblivious society, which I have spent a fair bit of this blog bashing and critically scrutinising, I admit my defeat in the past year (and hence the title of this entry) in my struggle against this rigid society, I was beaten in almost all confrontations at all levels, rusty traditions, misunderstandings of Islam, flawed and deceitful since of righteousness and modernity among other failures that constantly haunted my wife and I and the plans we had; all this led into a total self recession that was highlighted with the wedding I was forced to through-in under momentous pressure that unfortunately came from the very people I was depending on to support me…

Which brings me to a very interesting aspect of marriage which doesn't stand true at all times but to some extend lives up to what I think it is, that is to say t hat once you get married, the new entity formed is supposedly immune from interfering society, actually this is what my wife told me at our wedding night that "tomorrow we'll have our own life…", that wasn't entirely true as a matter of fact, but at least I have the peace of mind of planning our own life knowing that we're an independent family, and at worse come to worse I can pack and retreat to a cave in Afghanistan for all that it is worth and live my life as me and my wife please.

I learned something very valuable in the past year, that in the midst of identifying and rectifying the erratic and deeply-rooted problems vividly surrounding us, we should not loose focus of the good things that is also inherent to what establish us as a unique society, something that at times I found very hard to acknowledge and keep focus on, but I now know how important this is, it’s like a secondary campus that keeps one on track not to drift away from the realm of the very society he belongs to and fear responsible towards, its so easy now a days, to buy myself an immigration to as faraway land as New Zealand and capsulate myself into my own understanding of utopia, but this defeats the whole objective of being an involved, active and influential part of an underdeveloped community that's under constant suffering and increasing challenges.

And finally, I was relocated to the job of my liking, engineering, field work that brings pleasure for doing what we "field staff" consider as "real" work compared to what the folks in air-conditioned cubicles do, the sense of achievement that is pleasantly fulfilling even if it went unacknowledged or credited to the people higher in the hierarchy (while being underpaid) is simply unmatched and cannot be sourced else were, which explains my absence throughout the past month, yet I always made mental notes of what I would write I my blog if I had the time to set down like I did today and hence the variety of topics I covered here…

One recent thing I wish my job didn't facilitate for me to know about (among many other harsh realities) is that they've built an underground VIP Jamarat area for this Hajj season, Jamarat area is notorious for its tragic incidents caused by the pilgrims and they want to spare whoever qualifies as a VIP the sweat... defeating the very objective of Hajj.

If you have read so far, then I sincerely thank you and thank everyone who made the effort to drop a comment or an email acknowledging my humble self or the pity gibberish I utter, they're all appreciated… I'm not sure when my next entry will be, but I'm off to perform Hajj (Pilgrimage) tomorrow and that will be the cherry on top of all these anniversaries and the year that's about to conclude, Thank you all and Eid Mubarak and have a great and blessed Holidays to all...


salam said...

Kol 3am w inta bi khair Basem..It's weird but when you lose someone this dear, you become so sentimental about it, forever it seems..nowadys whenever I see a grandparent dropping off his grandchild to school, the first thing I think of is how my kids lost both theirs in the same year and wish that Allah would grant this grandfather a long healthy life for hs family to enjoy having him around,and at the same time wish that our deceased ones's souls rest in peace.Allah yer7amhom all.

Hasan said...

first thing jumped to my mind when i read this interesting topic is that I can call you HAJ now :) mabrook

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Hasan Aggad said...

Hey cousin,
how r u doin?1st of all mabrook al 7ag,am really happy 4 u,and i wanna appologize cuz i couldnt attend ur i wanna say mabrook again!
Ur blog is just amazing,seems that u r gonna change ur career soon..nd take advantage of ur good writing skills...u've really touched me....i actually cried ma eyes out when i went threw da lines mentioning ammo Abbas nd Taita em al Abed...god bless their souls....!
I got married a couple of weeks ago...nd al7mdella my new life seems amazing so far....!thats all 4 now....hope to hear from u soon!
U can send me at , o mabrook again ya eben 3ammy o allah ywaf2ak.

Best Regards:

(Hasan Aggad)

Tamara said...

7aji Basem

As usual very well written, so many topics to be able to comment on any...May AllAh bless you and your wife ..

You really should blog more we need your ideas and influence

athena ( said...

im malaysian, after read ur blog, i found another perspectives of how middle east people look into their life. i agreed with you that we should cherish our loves one that still here. when everything had gone, its too late to pray or wish, because it will naturally be an-unspoken grave in our heart.
Glad you did cherished moment when he's still here.
May God bless you :-)

Maherk said...

For a while I thought I am the only Humble guy left on this universe!!!
I should get out of this phase after this wonderful entry.
I liked your forgiveness of the shit thrown by the society as its underdeveloped.


Islamic ChoCoHoLic said...

i must say i have never read a post this long till the end.. but couldnt leave without commenting because i could relate to your experience.. my dad has a stroke and i got married in the same year and both events happened at around the same time... too much to sink in.. and i totally feel your pain and i know how it feels when you suddenly start to realize all the dads around you and how everyone takes their dad's presence in their life for granted... i never was close to my dad.. and i regret it.. al hamdulila he is alive.. but there is too much brain damage..
i pray that somehow God will make this pain easier.. for all those who lost a parent.. And i pray that Allah blesses you in your new life..

you expressed many things i felt like saying..

God bless you... And Allah yir7am your dad..