Friday, November 18, 2005

Viva España 2/2

To wrap up the Spain thingy

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We stayed in a flat in Benalmadena Costa, rented from a Basque Family. They’re always in Bilbao every summer. Their flat was quite good.

The Father is a Theologian, he had his Holy Book studies in Jerusalem back in the late 1980s, his degree is framed in the master bedroom, written in English with some Hebrew & Arabic.

Needless to mention, that the living room is filled with religious paintings, icons & statues. Also, as the mother & daughter are obsessed with nature, you can find anything related to national parks & ducks everywhere. One more thing, the mother is extremely obsessed with hats, every empty space on the walls is decorated with her 20+ hats.

Renting the apartment reminded me of “I know a friend, who knows a friend”, because I know a family who knows a family, who knows a family living next door to the family we rented their apartment.

Benalmadena costa is a great place to stay, 15 minutes from Malaga and filled with day & night life. Most of the tourists there are from UK, Ireland, Germany & Morocco.

Pictures from Benalmadena.

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We had a great visit to Sevilla, the capital & largest city of Andalucia. The city is vivid, history & present embrace each other there.

Amerigo Vespucci, Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan sailed from Sevilla’s port to explore the world. It is the city of Abbadids & Almohads as well as Flamenco, Paz Vega & Real Betis. Parts of Lawrence of Arabia and The Kingdom of Heaven were filmed in Sevilla. Ibn Zaydoun the great Andalusian poet died there.

We visited Sevilla’s cathedral, the third largest cathedral in the world. It is far prettier than Notre Dame de Paris. The cathedral used to be a mosque, just like scores of churches in the southern part of Iberia. The Bell tower used to be the Minaret (Manara), it’s known as Giralda. On the of strange thing about it, is that it doesn’t have stairs, but an upward tilting ramp that narrows by the time you reach the top. Al-Muzzen (Al-Mo’athen) used to mount his horse and ascend it to call for prayer (Athan).

A little visit to Plaza de Espana was included, it was (as well as Plaza de America) built for the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have the opportunity to visit Alcazar.

By the way, Sevilla is extremely hot in summer, compared to the rest of Spain. By noon, it reached 41C in the shade.

Pictures from Sevilla.

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The last visit to mention was to Jerez de la Frontera. You can call it ‘Spain’s Bordeaux’, and it’s also famous for its Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, one of five royal schools in Spain. Jerez is called Sherry in English (I think you know what sherry is), Brits are the major visitors there, both tourists & businessmen.

In every major street there’s a Bodega (Wine Cellar & Factory). We had a visit to “William & Humbert” (1877). There’s a horse stable near the factory housing around 10 horses, one of the horses is named “Al-Manzor”, named after Al-Mansour Muhammed ibn Abi Amer.

Pictures from Jerez.

I’d like to wish:

- Ctach-22 a happy first quarter of a century.
- Bu Maryoum & Lil Alien happy blogging anniversaries.
- JC a Happy Birthday.
- Mark good luck after completing the Miskan Project.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


If someone is dear to you, and maybe you’re more to him/her than he/she is to you, show it, live it, enjoy it and embrace every moment in your lives not to waste an opportunity to give love and to be loved.

عيد بأي حال عدت يا عيد

To look at faces, to sense places, to cherish memories and feel that it’s not just you, but everyone & everything is mourning, by silence, tears, pride or remembrance.

I never thought that sadness has a great influence on our souls, and always wondered, “how powerful is sadness?” a day came to let me face sadness, and I lost.

Indeed, it’s the greatest force I’ve ever faced in my life. And I swear I never felt that heartbreak, weakness, grief, scatter and misery before.

I never found a harder task than to assemble myself. To fetch pieces from corners of your life and found that it’s a far fetched aim. Nevertheless, I found out that It’s hard to stand still but it’s harder not to stand proud, grateful and loyal at the same time.

What saddens more is losing a mentor who had a great influence on your life. Who enlightened your thoughts and looked up to you. Who treated you like one of his sons.

(Circa 1950s)

He stepped out of this life, and left behind him a serene wife, benevolent children, a valiant brother and doting sisters, left without pain or sorrow, left with content and faith, left with strength and will, he left with a smile ….

Now I prevail.

و ان لم اجد كلمات تسطر المشاعر فلا تخلوا حروف الاولين عن ذلك رغم تفاوتها

فرحم الله جرير حين قال
ان الوداع لم تحب قليل

ورحم الله المعتمد بن عباد الذي قال
فيما مضى كنت بالأعياد مسرورا
وكان عيدك باللذات معمورا

وكنت تحسب أن العيد مسعدةٌ
فساءك العيد في أغمات مأسورا

واجاز في الفراق فقال
قبر الغريب سقاك الرائح الغادي
حقا ظفرت باشلاء ابن عباد

نعم هو الحق وافاني به قدر
من السماء فوافاني بميعاد

ولم اكن من ذاك اليوم اعلم
ان الجبال تهادى فوق اعواد

و رحم الله الجواهري حين رثى زوجته بقوله
في ذمــــة الله ما ألــقــى ومـــا أجـــــدُ
أهــــذهِ صـــخـــــرةٌ أم هـــــذه كــبــــدُ

قد يقــــتلُ الحزنُ مَنْ أحبابه بعُدوا
عـــنه فكــــيف بمَــنْ أحبابُه فُقِدوا

تجري على رســلها الدنيا ويتبعها
رأيٌ بــتــعــلــيــلِ مـجــراها ومعـتقدُ

أعــيـا الفــلاســفـــةَ الأحــرار جـهلُهم
ماذا يــخـــبي لــهــم فـي دفَّــتيه غدُ

حُـــيـــيــتِ ( أم فـــــــــراتٍِ ) إن والدةً
بــمـــثل مــا أنــجــبتْ تُكنى بما تلدُ

تــحـــيــةً لــم أجـــد مــن بَــثِّ لاعــجها
بُــداً وإن قـــام ســـــــداً بيننا اللحدُ

بالروحِ رُدي عــلــيها إنــهــــــا صِــلةٌ
بــيــن المــحــبين ماذا ينفع الجسدُ

بكـيتُ حتى بكى من ليس يعرفني
ونُــحــــتُ حــــتــى حــكاني طائرٌ غردُ

كـــمــــا تـــفــــجــــر عـــيناً ثرَّة حجرٌ
قــــاسٍ تــفــجـــر دمــعــاً قلبي الصلدُ

مـــدي إليَّ يــــداً تُــــمــــــدَدْ إليكِ يدٌ
لا بــد في العيش أو في الموت نتحد

ناجــــيتُ قـــــبرك أستوحي غياهبه
عــــن حـــــال ضـــيـفٍ عليه معجلاً يفد

ولفــني شـــبـــحٌ مـــا كــــان أشبَهه
بـــجَـــعــدِ شعركِ حول الوجه ينعقدُ

مُنىٍ وأتــعــسْ بها أن لا يكونَ على
تـــــــوديعها وهي في تابوتها رصدُ

لعــلـــني قــــــارئ فـــي حُــرِّ صفحتها
أي العــــواطــــفِ والأهــــواء تحــتشد

Thursday, November 03, 2005