Friday Fictioneers: Whose Side Are You On?

copyright-erin-leary-2“How can you sit on the fence and not say anything?” Hina’s voice shook with anger as she faced her mother. “I deserve to go to university, I worked hard for it!”

Zahida continued with her embroidery not looking up at her distraught daughter.

“I will not marry that man, I want to study. I don’t even like him; I don’t like his face, why can’t Abba understand that?”

As her daughter stomped out of the room, Zahida put down her embroidery and wiped away a tear. History was repeating itself and she had not the strength to stop it.

(100 words)

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Weekly writing Challenge: New (kids) on the block

On my walks around my block I usually encounter the same people, a nanny with a baby in a stroller, another nanny with a baby in the stroller and a dog on a leash, an elderly couple strolling and talking, a few young women obviously trying to lose weight as they zip past the others, and a family on bicycles ringing their bells.

However lately I’ve been noticing a new addition to my evening walks. There are two men dressed in white shalwar kameez (long shirt and baggy trousers) and a cap on their heads walking around the walking path holding hands. Yes, holding hands.

Now one of them seems to be older than the other but still not old enough to need assistance to walk and even if he did couldn’t he just use a stick? Their speed is quite fast so it doesn’t seem reasonable to think that the older one is sick. When I cross them I have to get out of the way because, well, two grown men holding hands take up more space.

After their walk (and while mine isn’t done) the two men seat themselves on one of the benches near the walking path and proceed to observe the others (myself included) walking around. They sit like you would sit on a “charpai” (a traditional woven bed) with their feet up on the bench and their hands resting on their knees.

So how did these two gentlemen get inside a gated community? Are they new residents here? How is that possible when the area I live in is only for families? And why on earth are they holding hands? Instead of going home with a clear mind after my walk, these are the questions spinning in my head. Sometimes I think, I really need to mind my own business.

Photo by Zainab Javid

Photo by Zainab Javid

Friday Fictioneers: Being a Man

sheep-and-carI heard the blaring of the horn intermingled with the bleating of the goats. Bhai had arrived.

Our mother had put up an elaborate feast that I knew we could not afford and I had been helping her for days to decorate the house and have it ready. One look at Bhai told me that he already belonged to the city and his visit would be as uncomfortable as the suit he wore.

That was when I decided that it was up to me to look after the farm and my aging parents. It would be against tradition but there was no other choice.

*Bhai is elder brother in Urdu

This story has been written for the Friday Fictioneers. For details see the link below:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art

My 4 year old son loves to draw and paint. I gave him a large piece of cardboard to paint and this is what he came up with. He called it a monster but it looks something like a crocodile (with a scary red eye and sharp teeth). I love his confidence with a marker or paint brush in his hand and his dark solid lines. He knows exactly what he wants to make and how to make it. For me it’s a work of art.

Photo of the Week: Sunset

Whereas Dubai is known for its skyscrapers, my neighborhood is in stark contrast, very flat. It is a bit far from down town and is the perfect place for families. As the sun sets on this chapter of our lives and we prepare to start a new one in Bahrain, I hope we can find such a beautiful place to live as we did here.