Monday, April 28, 2008

The Jubilee of the UAR: on a personal level “Nahed Riyad”

Today is Sham Al Nassim "The Spring day in Egypt" and so I will keep it light today :)

The union between Egypt and Syria whose 50th anniversary passed in Silence in both countries and very few people remembered ; was not a fiasco on the public’s level like the political level, on the contrary it depended on how the idea was appealing to the people in the first and last place, the charisma of Nasser and how the Arab Nationalism was as rebel as a wild horse like the Syrian Poet Nizar Qabbani once described played an important role to unify the feelings of two people to accept the idea of becoming one.

I do not know why I remember a lady that I have never seen in my life whom I only heard about when I began to read more and more about this important event.

Mrs. Nahed Riyad, An Egyptian Cairiene lady who was born in 1930s , she was a friend to my grand mother from the French School “Saint Vincent et Saint Paul” ,a sweet brunette petite young girl whom in 1940s her parents agreed on a daring decision to let her join the Cairo University to complete her education , a real daring decision during the time most families believed that the girls future in their husbands’ houses , including my grand mother’s family whose father believed that his girls were beautiful and should be married soon. Nahed entered the Cairo University and strangely she did not join the faculty of law or the faculty of Arts as it was common for girls, she entered the faculty of agriculture, strange choice I think, I bet that all those families and old ladies surrounded her talked about how fool she was a, but fate was preparing something strange and unexpected for her.

A Syrian young man studying in the same university and in the same faculty asked her hand for marriage and it seems that she liked him too that she accepted him , they got married and she left Egypt . Till that she was a close friend to my grand mother. My grand mother once described me that Syrian groom as a tall blonde young man who reminded her years later by the Syrian hero who was killed in 1956 defending Egypt Jules Jamal.

Nahed did not stay at home in Syria, she worked as an agricultural engineer, visiting the Syrian country side, much chiller ,less muddy than our Nile Valley country side, she was happy by the reception of the Syrian people to her even before the Union.

She gave birth to two kids, a boy and a girl, my grand mother remembers her girl till now, a beautiful cute girl who speaks Arabic in a Shami accent whose pronunciation for “TH” letter in Arabic was perfect one “anyone who knows Arabic language perfectly and comes to Egypt will understand why my grand mother noticed it”

The last time my grand mother met her in Egypt was in mid 1970s, after Hafiz Assad and his brother took the rule and began their Baath discrimination to anyone who would say no , and when the clashes between them and the MB began , My grand mother remembered that Nahed was sad and Scared , she told her about the terrible stuff the Baath party members did to their opponents especially to the Sunni people , how the Baath girls would take off the veil from the heads of old ladies walking in the streets , how the Baath secret service men would throw men allegedly members of the Syrian MB from balconies .

After that meeting my grand mother did not see her or hear from her again, but she remembered her from couple of years when she sat beside a Syrian lady “a political refugee” in her cousin’s memorial service and it seems that talking with her about Syria and the status there from discrimination against the Sunni majority by the Baath refreshed her memories. When she returned back from the memorial service, she wondered what happened to Nahed and her husband, strangely she does not recall the name of her husband at all, and for her he was that Jules Jamal.

I do not know if this related to the UAR as this marriage happened before the UAR, strangely most of the marriages between Syrian Men and Egyptian women during the UAR did not last and ended disastrously creating a social problem that was solved from couple of year “The Citizenship of the Egyptian Women’s children”. I just wanted to write it down as I remember this lady whom I send my greetings and my grand ma’s where ever she is now.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank You for your comment
Please keep it civilized here, racist and hateful comments are not accepted
The Comments in this blog with exclusion of the blog's owner does not represent the views of the blog's owner.