Grandfather 7aki

My Grandfather , God rest his soul, was an amazing man, born 1924 – 1994 .

He used to always sit me down on his lap and tell me how special I was, that I will grow up and become a beautiful woman, an actress a singer a superstar (Well I have a desk job .. lol.. but thanks Granddad for believing in me  🙂 ), always looks into my eyes and tells me “nobody knows how special you are but I know”, until this day his words stay with me and I think about how his words changed me without me knowing, how they made me feel special and loved.

My mom told me how her family wanted to arrange for her to marry her cousin, so when she was about to finish school she stood up to the whole family and she told them “ I am not going to marry him, he is like a brother to me”, her aunt wouldn’t talk to her, her uncle, even my grandmother wouldn’t talk to her and the whole family was upset, except for granddad, he would tell my mom “ Nobody in this world will force you to marry someone you don’t want to marry, I am here for you so don’t worry” and he stood to his older brother and the whole family.

I remember when he used to come and visit, he would tell my mom “Can you make me some steak and pasta? I am tired of tabeekh (My Grandmothers usual classic dishes), I need something different”, then he would eat the food with a knife and fork dressed up in his suit, he always wore a suit, he never went out of the house without wearing his suit.

He would come visit always bearing gifts, the cheapest chocolates on the planet that we used to love, do you remember this chocolate bar that had a silver and blue wrapper? When you rub the rapper with your hands the silver comes off on the palm of your hands and your hands glitter? Did anybody do that too? (Just the thought of this wrapper gives my nightmares, how unhealthy is that?) A box of marbles or just simply some terrible tasting candy most probably really old .

He used to wear woollen knitted ties, I have never seen a man in my life except Granddad wear a knitted tie, lol, oh I miss him so much.

He was a funny man too, my grandma has a short temper so he used to rile her up, she would start yelling at him and as soon as she turns her back to him to leave the room he would start laughing silently and give the grandkids a laugh. He pushed her buttons just to have some fun … lol.

He bought a lottery ticket every week of his life in the hope of winning and buying his four sons and his only daughter a house.

He was quirky, one time he was in the middle of prayer , my moms cousin entered the house , he had done something inappropriate the day before and my grandfather kicked him out of the house and told him not to come to the house again, so enters moms cousin and all of a sudden my grandpa interrupted his prayer, piked up a “shibshib” (slipper) and he flung it at Moms cousin and told him to ” get out”  then as if nothing happened he continued to pray, ta7sheesh my Grandpa.

He was adamant that smoking does now ruin fasting so during Ramadan he smoked a pack a day and did not eat or drink anything … I have no clue who he sited as his source that smoking is OK while fasting.

He was bald and until the day he died he kept trying all those remedies to grow his hair back … his head was sooooo smooth there was not even a hair follicle that was capable of producing hair but he still put that cream on his head twice a day everyday.

I admire my grandfather’s hope, he always had hope and he always believed and he never stopped dreaming. He even used to go treasure hunting with his friends, he never found a treasure but never stopped.

One day he woke up from a nap and  he told my mom that some people visited him, a group of people all dressed in white, they told him to come with them. That night he passed away peacefully in his sleep.

If I can bring a person back it would be my grandfather, when he passed away I had just finished tawjeehy and I wanted to talk to him, to ask for advice, to ask him so many questions and I wanted him to tell me so many stories.

I wanted to hear more stories of how it was like to be a general in the Palestinian Army.

I wanted to ask him more about how Haifa was.

I wanted to ask him about how was it to be a fida2y and how he fought against the Israeli army.

I want to ask him about how it was like to be exiled because of his political activities. Was it hard to be away from family? How did he feel when he was pardoned and came back?

I wanted him to tell me the story about how he used to be so jealous of other men looking at my grandma because she was so beautiful.

I want more.

I miss him dearly.


17 Responses

  1. 😦

    You make me miss my grandparents dearly. I especially love how they tell you the same stories repeatedly, that you can recite them. But when they’re not around anymore, you wish you can hear any story one more time.

    May God bless his soul 🙂 He was right, though, and your hubby, I am sure, agrees 😉

  2. May God bless his soul 🙂 I miss my grandmother, she was amazing 😦

  3. You guys all have a heritage to pass on…spending time with those who lived in 1948.

    7aki, I just love how he spoke words of life right into you. Maybe part of the best of him lives on in you, since he invested so deeply in your heart. Neat story.

  4. Allah yer7amo, I never knew my grandparents 😦 they used to live in the west bank and I didn’t have the documents to be able to travel there until after they all died 😦

  5. Great post 7aki. Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful man, and he reminds me a lot of my own.
    My own grandfather passed around the same time your grandfather did. I was 7. I don’t remember much. You know those cliche questions that ask which person would you want to spend an hour with, dead or alive? I always thought I’d like that hour to be with my grandfather.
    2 cents our grandparents knew each other? 🙂

  6. awww 7aki, it seems like he was a cool grandpa :D…May God bless his soul..

    this part made me laugh a lot “He was adamant that smoking does now ruin fasting so during Ramadan he smoked a pack a day and did not eat or drink anything … I have no clue who he sited as his source that smoking is OK while fasting.” I wonder who his source really was, hehehe 😀

  7. May his soul rest in peace.

    His love of you and your mother is truely reflected in your character. I can see that in your self confidence and your self admiration.

    He would be smiling in heaven now watching the person you turned to be, and boast in pride among his friend 🙂

  8. That was amazing 7aki … 😦

    Although it’s too long, but I really enjoyed reading all of it … your grand father was a special person indeed full of elegance, wisdom, humor and hope amongst other merits.

    I laughed so hard at his reaction to ur mom’s cousin entrance, LOL! (the shibshib is a traditional weapon used only in the Arab world).

    Wow we wish to bring those dear people back to us now that we’re older to talk to them more and more and ask them a whole lot of questions …

    Allah yir7amo

  9. Allah yer7amo.

    Each time I go to Amman, I make sure that I spend up more time with my grand father than the previous years. I think I am the only grandchild that he discusses death with me. Each year that passes, I know that his demise is soon.

    May the memories last forever. Amen

  10. that was very touching 7aki

    Allah yer7amo

  11. Allah Yer7amo,
    He seems to be a wonderful man, and you know what is wonderful too; your writing, really, I feel that I know him personally after reading this post.
    great post…

  12. KJ: My grandfather told us soooo many stories, but I want to hear them again and again, and now that I am grown I will understand their wisdom more.

    Thanks for the compliments KJ 🙂

    Jad: God bless her soul too 🙂 .

    Kinzi: You are so right Kinzi, this heritage is slipping away and quickly, I will make sure I share these stories with my daughter.

    My grandfather was such an inspiration, I always think about him 🙂 . Thanks for the nice words.

    Sel3: I am so sad you did not get to know your grandparents, this is the reality of war .. sigh .. allah yir7amhom .

    Roba: Thanks! Wow you were 7? I feel old, lol.

    OMG imagine our grandparents knew each other. That would be cool wouldn’t it? I’ll ask my mom 😀 .

    Secratea: Thanks for the nice words.

    I am dying to know that too, LOL , for real, you don’t understand, he prayed and he fasted but he smoked too , hehehehehe, I think he just couldn’t not smoke I think.

    Observer: Thank you Fadi.

    Your words made me feel so good Fadi, to think he is actually watching me from above, you are such a nice person 🙂 .

    Whosane: OMG people stop all of you or I am going to cry now 😦 .

    About the shibshib though, LOL , he loved using it , 3anjad, he even once threw a tea glass at my uncle … hahahahahahha … you know the Arabic small ones, ta7sheesh, but my uncle swerved in time to miss it. So no casualties.

    Hamza: Thanks 🙂 . Cherish those moments you spend with your grandfather, you will always remember them.

    Oriental: Thank you .

    Ahmad: thanks so much Ahmad for your nice words 😀 , this post came from the heart.

  13. wow.. sad. fata7te ejro7i :(( Allah yer7amo… I think the time we get to spend with our loved ones on this Earth is a such a scarce blessing and we really should take every oppurtunity to take advantage of the time… you really never know when they will be gone, and when they all, it is always WAY too soon!

  14. you made me cry, I miss him so much,
    whenever I pass by the 3attar store I remember him because of all the herbs he used to love mixing and how he always had a natural/herbal medicine for every ailment. God bless his soul.

  15. Tinker: waaaaaaaaaaa333333333 .

    sister: Ahlan ya sister 😀 . so shu ilakhbar? Is brother still driving you nuts?

    Nawwarty ilblog. I forogt about the 3attar 😦 and the perfume from the 7aj 😦 . 7abibi seedo i miss him so much 😥 sniff sniff , but you have his masba7a , to remember him by, which is nice 🙂

  16. You’re from Haifa? Awww that’s cool! Apparently it was all the rage in Palestine before the occupation!

    May his soul rest in peace, but at least you got to know him; I only remember what my grandmother used to tell us about him, and I really wish I could’ve just at least met him. However, he did also fight with the Thuwwar against the British mandate and the Israeli occupation.

  17. Hey MIJ: No I am from Nablus .

    See my Grandma is from Haifa, grandfather from Jenin. These are my moms parents

    Then my dad and his family are from Nablus 😀 .

    I hear Haifa is still all the rage even now, never been though nor my mom. Maybe one day 🙂 .

    God rest both your grandparents souls.

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