Nizar B. Zain
Translation: Dr.Dinha T.Gorgis
Hashemite University, Jordan
crying bitterly while talking to Umm Na’il with an
interrupted, humiliating, and melancholic voice:
nothing that could’ve hurt him…
him so deeply…
did he openly…
I’ve spent with him, including yesterday, were
Yesterday, in particular, he called me ‘weetie’.
So how do
you want me to believe you, Umm Na’il?
be kidding, Umm Na’il?!”
started almost a month ago…
entered their life suddenly…
husband, a father, had just passed away…
and her daughter, were still mourning over the deceased
father whenUmm Na’il, one day, knocked on their door,
and transformed their sorrows into joys…
Prince heard about your daughter’s beauty,” said she
quietly and professionally!
surprise astounded them.
Prince proposes the hand of my daughter? Who? Mine?!!!”
asked she breathlessly. Then she went on while at
we as to have the Prince our son-in-law? I’m afraid
you’ve knocked on the wrong door, mam!”
Na’il confirmed that it was a real thing, not a dream or
readily started to arrange for the wedding, even before
she received their consent…
mother, as if hypnotized, got involved in the
girl’s heart began to throb joyfully! For she had always
maintained a passionate love for Sindrella’s fairy
herself a real Sindrella, free from conspiracies,
crooked schemes, and witches, she was too willing to go
remote suburb, and in a villa surrounded by security
men, a high-ranking officer received them with a bow to
show high respect after he had recognized their
identities. They were three: the bride, her mother, and
their way in…
and her mother were dazzled upon seeing the furniture
and two maids, of obvious oriental complexion, welcomed
few minutes, a smart Mulla (a religious sheikh) came in.
And after a few other minutes two men, holding the end
of their gold-embroidered gowns, greeted the dignified
Sheikh by mutually caressing noses.
there was unusual footwork outside the villa…
unusual were the movements indoors…
up ceremonially to bid him a majestic salute!
the Prince himself!!!!
called upon the bride’s mother:
the bride’s commissioner?”
without waiting for her reply, he continued”
special circumstances, a mother can be a commissioner
for her daughter. Repeat after me, (woman)…
started parroting what the Mulla had just uttered…
apprentices, in gowns, signed the marriage contract as
“Congratulations! Congratulations!” said the Mulla , and
was in no time off the scene.
witnesses followed suit.
left, too, but dragging the bride’s mother out.
girl had stopped wailing, Umm Na’il continued:
sad my girl; for our Prince won’t deny you any rights.
He’s just, and has a passionate love for justice.”
went on as if she was reciting from a book whose
chapters she had learnt by heart:
and foremost, you have to observe the iddat [40 days
after marriage]. If you get pregnant during this period,
your baby will be given a life-long allowance , just
like all other Prince’s family members. If otherwise,
you’ll have the right to stay in the villa for all the
iddat period. The Prince will then grant you a
sufficient amount of money to enable you to live
decently for the rest of your life. And, listen
carefully to this: If you deliver him a baby, you have
no right to marry again at all. If not, you have the
right to get married, but only after two years…”
sobbing, with her crystal tears coming down, the girl
did nothing that could’ve perplexed him.”
him so dearly.”
concealed his love for me.”
yesterday he called me ‘sweetie’!”
never thought about money.”
never thought about anything, but love and how to
come that he’s no more caring?…”
girl! You have not sufficiently appreciated what’s going
on around yet!” said Umm Na’il very politely She
continued while patting on her shoulder to soothe her;
but the very requirements of sustaining prince-hood,
darling. A great deal of responsibilities that the
prince has to bear make him in need of joy and
entertainment continually. And this is why he gets
married newly every week.”
imagine those he meets daily,” Umm Na’il went on. “They
are the well-off, the town’s eminent figures, and the
tribes’ head sheikhs who all profoundly realize and
appreciate his needs and are thus too willing to offer
their daughters and have the honor of marrying them to
“It is in
the nature of princes everywhere and at all times to act
you heard of Haroun Al’Rashid, and other caliphs whose
palaces were full of harems and maids?”
you read ‘One Thousand and One Nights’?
princes’ bodies, my girl, need renewed love that only
virgins can offer.”