Monday, March 10, 2008

Shaking 2500 Hands

Sib7aaan Allaaaaaaaaah.

I'm completely and utterly overwhelmed by the sheer size of the response from every ordinary Kuwaiti to the death of Dr. A7mad.

I was only 1 hour out of the hospital before salat li3sha when he died. The news spread so fast that I actually got the call from a friend of mine who wanted me to confirm. My heart sank and told him I'd have to call my mother who was there when I left. So I did and she told me with a shaky voice "irrayal tewaffa". Ofcourse I was half expecting to hear the same words, and also half-expecting it was just a rumor, one of many that always circulated around him and his sickness. She couldn't say more than these two words. There was an air of defeat as she said them.

il7amdella I was relieved later to see that his sons were all calm and ready for the expected event. The eldest gave me the time of the burial, which was fast enough to honor issinna of a fast burial, yet gave enough time for the essential relatives to arrive from eS3oodiya. The 3 sons all participated in his washing that night in Sulaibekhaat. 3asa Alla yajerhom.

As we carried him to the front of the microphone, there were two other bodies being carried behind us, one male, the other female. Three in total. We quickly tried to circle the front rows and find a spot to stand before il'Emam began.

Hopefully inshalla there would be 40 people among us whose prayers Allah would accept for the deceased three. And there were many hundreds mashallah.

What really overwhelmed me however was il3aza at the cemetery itself.

I stood towards the back of the line, and the procession started. I saw so many faces and shook so many hands.. and they didn't stop. They kept on coming.
There were people who I recognized from newspapers, and others were my beloved kin and relatives.
Some were young, clean-shaven and capable, while others were blind old men being guided by an indian servant, and they were so slow they held up the entire line behind them.
The able young ones had opulent soft hands, while the old blind ones had grips of hardened Nowa5tha (sea captains).
Some were known wealthy merchants who owned large tracts of apartment buildings with incomes of hundreds of 1000's of KDs a month, while others were egyptian tea boys with no ghetra on their heads.
Some were famous and known for some reason or another, be it being a singer, an actor or even an old football player known for certain and specific goals against specific rival gulf teams in specific years from the long gone 80's.
Some were kids with wide-eyes full of innocense. Barely concentrating on saying the words "3athem Allah ajerkom" correctly and not embarrass himself or his father infront of him. Barely able to comprehend the concept of death, which encompassed the whole area for 100's of meters in every direction.
Some were long-bearded and without 3egel, equal portions of white and black hairs, the breadth of it royally draping their chests, most of their faces are so familiar to me because I see them almost each and every time I come to the cemetery. Nothing brings them every day other than their faith in iRasool's promise of qeraa6 of ajer for whoever prayed on a funeral, and another qeraa6 if he witnessed its burial til it was done. In contrast with that picture, one person, whose face I thankfully did not see, as he passed by me, reeked of the VERY strong and unmistakable smell of alcohol. Ya3ne en6er lay bacher? la tfashel 3omrek?! anyhow.. the line of men pressed on and others came in his place to shake my hand.
Some were serious men and respectable fathers of families, and some others wore pink spring shirts open to the mid chest with jelled hair, who you wouldn't trust with buying the groceries.

As the afternoon wore on, it came close to 5:30 and the line was still moving, and from my vantage point I couldn't tell how many more remained. But by that time, the emotional toll of all of these people's gracious generosity was starting to weigh very heavily on me. The 2.5 second repetition of "Ajerna wajrek, yzak Allah 5air" over 2,500 times so far, became materialized into a touchable and tangible feeling of gratitude inside my chest towards all of these people. I felt so tiny and unworthy of all of their kindness.

Thank you All and yzakom Allah alf alf 5air.

3asa Allah yej3al gabrek rotha min roth iljanna ya 3amme A7mad o yej3al mathwak iljanna.

11 comments:

Fa6ma said...

3atham Allah ajrik,, I don't know anything about Kuwaiti politicians, bss seems like a well known and loved man. Allah yr7amah.

eshda3wa said...

3atham allah ajrek oo ajer el kuwait feeh.

oo allah yr7ama ebra7mita ya rab

Amethyst said...

3atham Allah Ajrek

AMEEN

Yara said...

3atham Allah Ajrek.. i wish i have been taught by him.. Allah yer7emah o yj3ala b a3la mratib el janna enshaAllah

Bombay Bombshell said...

3atham Allah Ajrek..
He was a great man, but you dont need me to tell you that.
It was a widely known fact.

david santos said...

Hello, Falantan!
Thanks for you posting and have a good week.

Hasan.B said...

Such a great guy. 3atham alah ajerkom

FourMe said...

3atham alah ajrik. ameen..

..::Amu::.. said...

3athem Allah Ajrek

G and L said...

3atham Alla ajrek

falantan said...

To all: Ajerna o Ajerkom yzakom Allah 5air.