Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Farewell my Mentor

No wonder I was cranky yesterday. My soul was mourning someone dear to myself who I haven't seen for ages. My father told me today "Poor Abu Huda, died". My mother turned to me and said "I didn't tell her yesterday". That's when I went to my room to have a look on the treasure he wrote me, and shed some tears.

He was the man who taught me about mankind and animals, love for the homeland, freedom of women, freedom of mind, science and bravery, crimes and society, and bravery itself.

He taught me how to play chess and backgammon. He opened my eyes to see things were there in front of my eyes but I couldn’t see. He was my first mentor. He taught me language (Arabic and English). He taught me sciences (physics and metaphysics). He taught me religion (heavenly and pagan) and history (the written and the actual). He told me there are two sides to every story.

The story started when I wasn't done with my homework while my sisters and I where staying at my grandmother's home, and she wanted to take us and visit her friends. It wasn't that I was careless, nor was I lazy, but I just didn't like to memorize things without understanding. What use would it be if I memorized this poem or that, especially when the poet has died centuries ago. I had hard time to recite Qura'an from my memory. I was too young to understand and the teacher wanted us to memorize.

I carried the book with me and promised my grandma that I'll try my best to memorize. It was a stupid idea then because it inspired my grandma's friend to sent me to her husband to help me. I didn't know him then. He was just the old man with bended back and scary voice.

That old man was funny and friendly that I forgot that he was even older than my own grandfather. He started with some jokes and riddles to attain my attention that time flied by and we had to leave but I wanted to stay even after I had memorized the ayat from Qura'an and even some funny verses.

We made an agreement that whenever I have to memorize in religion class or Arabic class, I would come to him. Later we made it regularly two day's a week visit. But when my parents were busy someday and couldn't pick me up early he helped me to do all my homework that later on it almost became a daily visit.

We used to study in the visitor hall and when they have visitors we would study in the living room. Sometimes we would sit in the garage or the garden for change. He would even talk about gardening and climate. He was one of those people who had encyclopedic knowledge. He was a true philosopher who came from an earlier age. But alas, his granddaughter was too young to appreciate him. And all he needed in his age was to speak up his mind and pass it to the next generation. Luckily I was there.

He was a communist and that was a reason why he ended up spending many of his young days in prison. But even there, he turned the cell into a classroom where he taught Arabic lessons and I believe some of his wisdom.

After I stopped the lessons, which I don't really remember why, was it his age or my age? Was it the uncomfortable feeling I detect from his family? (Because they had to be home) or whatever it was, I used to call and ask about him every now and then. Then I didn't recall him that my mother used to remind me to call him and get him a gift on Teacher's Day. By and by I even forgot him.

After the war his daughter used to come and visit us. And before I leave Baghdad I went to visit but he was sick and I couldn't see him. Later I heard that they were threatened and they left their home to Basra. And just today I heard he passed away. I feel I'm a careless student because I didn't keep in touch with him. The other day I remembered him and I wished if I could tell his wife that I want the books he left and the hundreds of notebooks he used to write. His grandsons and granddaughters were not that interested in his writings or his thoughts. But I thought it would be silly because I haven't talk to them all this time and they left their home to Basra, not sure if they had the time to carry all those bulky books.

He used to teas me and say "a girl in your age, what do you know in this life? Name three things… just three… I bet you would say: read and write or sing and dance" I used to add "I know how to play violin, I know how to draw" and he would laugh at me. Even his laugh was scary but I got used to it and I used to look at his wrinkles and think "oh my God! How old is he? I forgot that he's that old" He was with Nazik al Malaika and Badir Shakir Al-Sayab, they were in the same class. They were dead back then and now he joined them. May he rest in peace.

Here's why am I writing. This was my very frist real post.

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Blogger David said...

Attawie, after reading this, and also your first real post, I feel that you have shared something very special. This is really a wonderful post! You were so lucky to have a man like Abu Huda in your life! I never had a mentor like he was to you. I never got to know any older people that I was not related to. In fact, when I was growing up, I never even got to see my own grandparents more than once a year. They all lived far away. My father's father could have been a mentor to me. He and I were much alike and I cherish the memories of the brief visits that I did have with him. I truly wish that I could have grown up near him!

I have an idea for you. First, I hope that you have an address where you can reach Abu Huda's family. If you do, then here is my idea. Print this post and also your first post onto paper and mail them to his family. I am sure that they will be very touched to read what he meant to you. In your letter tell them that you would be very grateful and honored if they could send you something of his like one of his notebooks. Hopefully, they still have some of his things and would be happy for you to give them a loving home.

Thank you for sharing this story!

4/18/2007 4:47 AM  
Blogger aNarki-13 said...

God have mercy on his soul..
my condolences, Atta..
i always like to remember those who left, through the happy times we have with them, rather than the sad times without them.

salam to all. take care.

4/19/2007 12:01 AM  
Blogger Tanaya said...

What a beautiful, honest, loving post. May he find peace and happiness and may you remember his teachings always.

4/20/2007 8:50 PM  
Blogger attawie said...

I'm not sure if i'll be able to do so but I'll think about it.

It's great to spend time with old people. I like the story the tell and they like it when they are asked to rememer old days.
I spent wonderful times with my grandpa the two weeks i went to Amman, during and before Eid. He studied drama in the States and used to teach, even after the invasion, in Institute of fine art in baghdad. we would talk about drama and Shakespeare's plays. and he would tell me how he directed certain scenes. I love it.

yes, it's true. Remembering the good times helps much more than mourning and weeping. and we're all on the same road.

welcome to my blog and thanks for the comment. The teachings and what we learn is all that we can keep from those who leave this wourld.

Thank you all

4/21/2007 6:04 PM  
Blogger Michomeme said...

البقاء لله..
والله يرحمه.

أتاوي، دائما تعجبني البوستات الي تكتبيها ويكون موضوعها خاص بذكرى او موقف او شخص مر بحياتج، طريقة الوصف الي تكتبين بيها حلوة، من اقرا بوست الج، احاول اركز واعيش وافهم كل كلمة، ..وتعجبني علاقاتج وتقديرج الها وية كل الاشخاص بغض النظر عن اعمارهم..

الله يرحمه..
شكد يمرون بحياتنا ناس، يكون الهم اثر علينا ونتعلم منهم، والاحلى ان نستمر على تواصلنا وياهم، فأستمري بالسؤال على الناس الي تعرفيهم بالوقت الحالي ....لان وجود الناس بحياتنا شي ما يتعوض..

سلامي للاهل..


4/23/2007 8:42 PM  
Blogger Caesar of Pentra said...

May he rest in peace!

5/04/2007 8:44 PM  
Blogger Through Grace Peace said...

Our Eyes Dream Acid Tears

One land, one people, all asleep
one dream in every mind
all see words of scripture, captive
in a vise of hatred, crushed
distorted words of God, acid
tears, with screaming lips, the captor
feels the kiss of Satan
on his heart.

5/13/2007 2:14 AM  
Anonymous BlogIraqi said...

I am sorry for your loss. It is good to have a mentor that led you though the right way.

5/16/2007 1:00 AM  
Anonymous Rising Sun said...

since you have become interested in this iraqi artist her is something about him that might interest you. Enjoy

جواد سليم بريشة لورنا

تاريخ النشر 13/06/2007 06:00 AM

عبد الستار جبر

في عام 1946 في لندن التقى غيتار بكمان، كانت الأصابع التي تعزف على الغيتار سمراء عراقية بينما التي تعزف على الكمان بيضاء انجليزية، الأولى قدمت لتتعلم النحت في كلية (سليد) للفنون الجميلة، أما الثانية فقبلت في الكلية نفسها لتتعلم الرسم ، وقد التقيا خارج الكلية في حفلة خطوبة لفتاة من قسم الرسم على شاب من قسم النحت، وادرك الحضور ان العازفين الذين يناديان بجواد ولورنا قد اشتركا بلحن من النظرات المتبادلة الاعجاب والاستلطاف ، بين شاب قطف من العمر 27 ربيعا وفتاة أزهر عمرها 18 ربيعا.

في تلك الليلة الضبابية المتوهجة بنكهة الاحتفال افتتحت ذاكرة لورنا غاليريا جديدا لم يحتضن سوى لوحة واحدة لبورتريت لم تكتمل خطوطه وملامحه بعد ، لرجل مختلف عن الآخرين ، بوهيمي في سلوكه واقواله ولبسه ، يميل الى الفكاهة ويهتم بالموسيقى والشعر وحفلات الباليه ، ظل هذا البورتريت 3 سنوات معلقا على جدران ذاكرة لورنا يزداد ثباتا حتى أعلن صاحبه الرحيل والعودة الى الوطن ولكن برفقتها زوجة له ، فاستقلا القطار الى (شفيلد) حيث يقطن والداها ، قال له الأب :

- "عد الى بلدك ايها الشاب فاذا شعرت هناك انك مازلت راغبا في الزواج من ابنتي فسيكون لكل حادث حديث ".

وكان هذا الشاب بفعلته هذه قد خالف قانون البعثات العراقية الذي يمنع الطالب من الزواج اثناء دراسته في الخارج ، فعليه العودة الى بغداد ليفك ارتباطه بدائرة البعثات قبل ان يقدم على الزواج ، فعاد من دون لورنا التي لم تصبر بعده اكثر من سنة حتى لحقت به اذ استحوذ هذا البورتريت ليس على ذاكرتها فقط بل على قلبها وعقلها كذلك .

في بغداد عقد قران الغيتار بالكمان ، وتحول البورتريت اللندني الذي كان يلفه الضباب الى بورتريت بغدادي يحف به وهج الشمس ونصوعها ، اذ فتحت ذاكرة لورنا غاليريا جديدا للوحة واحدة ايضا علقت على جدران حديثة طليت باللون البني ، لون الارض و البيوت والسماء والناس التي تعود الى زمان ومكان صاحب البورتريت البغدادي الذي حاول بواسطة رفيقته الجديدة - القديمة (لورنا) ان يستعيد لندن واجواءها ويستأنف سعادته ، فبدءا بالذهاب الى مقاعد السينما الصيفية المكشوفة لمشاهدة افلام ريتا هيوارث أو سبنسر تراسي وحضور الحفلات الاجتماعية للأصدقاء والمعارف للرقص والاستمتاع واحتساء كؤوس الخمر ، اضافة الى حضور حفلات سفارات الدول الاجنبية ، اذ عودها لأماس طويلة على اصطحابها معه الى هناك بعد عودته من دوامه المسائي مسرعا من دون ان يبدل احيانا ثياب عمله فيذهب بها (اذ مازال يستأنف بوهيميته)، وعلمها على تفضيل المستكي* على الزحلاوي* في الشرب ، واشتركا في العزف مع فرقة بغداد للفيلاهارمونيك التي رسم لها جواد شعارا مستوحى من القيثارة السومرية أصبح فيما بعد شعارا للفرقة السمفونية الوطنية عند تأسيسها عام 1960 .

هذا البورتريت - الزوج ملأ حياة لورنا بالابتسامة والضحك، اذ " كان يعشق الفكاهة ويحب الحياة الاجتماعية ويستطيب الشراب " ، وقد حول ايامها ليلا ونهارا الى صناديق مفاجآت " فقد كان يطلع عليها كل يوم بفكرة جديدة أو بمشروع مبتكر "، لكنها فاجأته بزينب ومريم ثمرتي عزفهما الجسدي والنفسي ، فتعلق بهما كثيرا، بيد انهما لم تعيقاهما عن استثمار انتشائهما الأقصى بالحياة ، فتنافسا على رسم " نساء بغداد الشعبيات بأثوابهن ذوات الالوان المشرقة والنقوش المشجرة وبالحلي الذهبية " وقد سحرت لورنا " مناظر النساء اللواتي يحملن على رؤوسهن جرار الماء أو أطباق القيمر** أو رزم الحطب ويسرن متراقصات بخفة أخاذة " ، وكان جواد قد رسم لورنا في لندن وهي ترتدي الهاشمي فلم تشبه تلك النسوة الا في الزي الشرقي ، فحاولت ان تشبههن في الرسم بعد ان تعلمت من جواد وتأثرت به " نعم لقد تأثرت بجواد ، ومن كان قادرا ألا يتأثر به ؟ لكنني لم انقل عنه ، فقد كنا نعمل بطريقتين مختلفتين تماما ، كان هو يرسم من المخيلة ويعرف بدقة ماذا يريد ان يضع على القماش وينهي اللوحة في ساعتين لأنها مرسومة بشكل ما في رأسه ، أما أنا فأبدأ بالتخطيط أولا وأرسم بالاستناد الى منظر مرئي " ، لكنه لم ينه نصب الحرية الا بعد مرور سنة ونصف في ايطاليا برفقة زوجته وابنتيه وتلميذه محمد غني حكمت وبرفقة وعكة صحية ألمت به وهو يدشن 14 منحوتة لآخر وأعظم أعماله الفنية التي تنتصب في ساحة التحرير في قلب بغداد ، بل في قلب الحرية العراقية المعاصرة التي عاد لتمثيل انتفاضتها في 14 تموز 1958 على نصب شامخ لم تكتحل عيناه رؤيته سامقا كما هو الآن ، اذ انه في نهار الثالث والعشرين من كانون الثاني عام 1961 رحل نحات الحرية العراقي الى ذاكرة الريادة والابداع اثر ذبحة قلبية ، وتوقف الغيتار عن العزف لكمانه الأرمل ، فأقفل غاليري ذاكرة لورنا أبوابه على لوحته الوحيدة التي احتضنت بورتريتا ظلت خطوطه وملامحه تبرز اكبر فأكبر طيلة ما يقارب خمسة عشر عاما حتى تحول الى نحت شاخص حفره ازميل الحب والاخلاص على نصب ذاكرتها التي غادرت حنينها العراقي على مضض ، اذ كانت تقول " لم افكر بترك العراق بعد وفاة جواد لأن زوجي كان علما في بلده ، وأردت لابنتيه أن تكونا فخورتين بأبيهما ، وأن تعرفا اي فنان كبير كان ، ولو أخذتهما وهما في تلك السن الضغيرة وعدت الى بريطانيا فقد لاتعرفا عنه شيئا " ، فأخذت تدرس الرسم في معهد الفنون الجميلة ببغداد حتى كبرت ابنتاها فغادرت بهما الى لندن وما تزال العائلة تعيش هناك.

*المستكي والزحلاوي : من المشروبات الكحولية المحلية الصنع في العراق.

**القيمر : قشطة محلية الصنع في العراق.


6/14/2007 12:59 PM  

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