Iraqi Shorbat Addas / Borders Are Not Real

1. The Womb / The Labor


I’ve been writing poetry these days.

It’s helping me process. 

I was a teenager when the War on Terror began in full force. That illusive rhetoric that consciously and unconsciously puts me on edge. Each and every day. Sometimes I forget that my body is so acutely aware of its surroundings, accustomed to its hyper-vigilance. Anxiety is just the socially acceptable term used since so few want to hear how your experience is different than their own.

These last few months have been triggering, to say the least. Even though the Muslim Ban – Muslim as a racializing term -- has been well underway for a very long time, that immigrants and children of immigrants are still made to feel somehow alien in this country, that it is not surprising to see such a ban:  it still shocks me; It is still shocking to me. When those who are new to the conversation, who are just seeing this fear-based prejudice for the first time, say But look how many people are marching in the streets!, [this, too, a tool of silencing], I think back to how many people marched in the streets to protest the invasion of Iraq fourteen years ago, and I think of all the youth today who have no idea there was ever such an invasion. That is: I have feelings about it.

And then today I hear this incredible speech by Sikh-American civil rights advocate Valarie Kaur. In it she says:
 

“What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb? What if our America is not dead but a country that is waiting to be born? What if the story of America is one long labor?… What if this is our nation’s great transition?” – Valarie Kaur

And this shift
in thinking,
This feels right.

2. Borders Are Not Real
 


Iraq is Mesopotamia, the Cradle of Civilization, the Fertile Crescent, the land of the Tigris and Euphrates, the birthplace of Abraham, the site of the Garden of Eden, the supposed burial ground of Noah’s Ark, home to Gilgamesh. It has deep and powerful roots. And those roots are reflected in the cuisine.

The very first cookbook ever written was from Mesopotamia, on stone tablets.

Iraq’s rich history and glorious ethnic and cultural diversity means its food is complex. Iraqi cuisine is influenced by Levantine, Iranian, Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian, Jewish, and Indian cuisine, among others, creating something wholly original and beautiful.
 

Genocide is real. Invasion is real. Colonialism is real. Oppression is real. But borders? Borders are not real.

Photo: I forgot to top the Shorbat Addas with Fried Shallots for the photoshoot! Don't forget it when following the recipe! 

Photo: I forgot to top the Shorbat Addas with Fried Shallots for the photoshoot! Don't forget it when following the recipe! 

My Mother’s Very Comforting
& Very Nourishing
Shorbat Addas

serves 6-8

Shorbat Addas, literally lentil soup, is an Iraqi speciality often served during Ramadhan to break the fast. It reflects its history: lentils, turmeric, Vermicelli noodles. There are variations of this soup in Palestine, Turkey, Iran, India. Iraqis seems to be the only ones who use Vermicelli in the soup.  

There are so many takes on this soup, and every region and family makes it differently; but I am, of course, partial to my mother’s recipe. This is the recipe I grew up with, the one that makes me think of home. The one that connects me to my roots, both lived and imagined.

ingredients: 

Olive oil
Shallots, 2 medium, quartered & sliced
Celery, 1 head finely chopped
Red lentils, 1 cup
Salt | Pepper, to taste
Turmeric powder, about a tablespoon
Water, about 3 cups
Parsley, 2 bunches finely chopped
Lemons, about 4, juiced
Vermicelli noodles, 1/2 cup (Sha'riyya in Arabic) 
 

directions: 

1.    Brown the shallots in olive oil. To avoid burning, watch carefully. Add salt when done. Set aside to dry on a paper towel.
2.   In a large stock pot, sweat the chopped celery with some olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. About 5 minutes.
3.   Add the lentils. Coat with turmeric. Stir and let cook together about 2 minutes.
4.   Add enough water to cover an inch over the lentils. Add more salt for good measure. Feel it out. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. About 20 minutes until lentils are cooked down. The soup should look a bit yellow at this point.
5.    At this point I blend the soup with either a handheld or standing blender. No need to be a perfectionist about it.
6.   Taste the soup. Does it need more salt? Pepper? Add and stir.
7.   Add the lemon. I use a lot of lemon in this soup, more than 4 lemons, but if you prefer less then taste along the way. The lemon brings out the flavor of the soup.
8.   Add the finely chopped parsley, half the shallots, stir.
9.   Add the Vermicelli/ Sha’riyya. This cooks very fast.
10. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with more shallots. 

Bil 'Afya | Bon Appetit

Iraqi Breakfast 101: Kahi & Geymar

Kahi is the ultimate Iraqi breakfast indulgence. Layers of fluffy, flaky pastry soaked in simple syrup and topped with a thick clotted cream called geymar. My mother used to make this for us as a special treat when she was feeling nostalgic. Kahi with geymer is a strong part of my own personal history, as I imagine it is for most Iraqis, both in Iraq and in diaspora.

Growing up, my parents would constantly reminisce about geymar, that unparalleled clotted cream, that dream served with kahi or with honey and bread, the one made from water buffalo milk, and always with stars in their eyes.

Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to find water buffalo milk in most cities. There are many reasons for this. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein inhumanly targeted and drained the Iraqi Marshes, home to the water buffalos of Iraq, in a gruesome attempt to forcibly relocate and afflict the people living there. Today, amid restoration efforts, Iraq faces a water shortage in large part due to corruption. Luckily, as of this year, the Iraqi Marshes are now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Water buffalos are also moody creatures and raising them is an art, something almost poetic. These animals seem to produce milk only for those farmers with an almost familial relationship, developed over years of trust. It's not something you can mass produce. This is why water buffalo farms are rare. So in diaspora we mostly make due with cow’s milk.

[Note: Since French puff pastry dough is easily accessible and very similar to kahi pastry I more often choose to use it over making the dough. Geymer can actually be found in many Middle Eastern grocery stores depending on where you live. In cities with large Iraqi populations, geymer is very easy to acquire. In some cities, similar Iranian and Turkish variations are also available, but they differ in texture. Since geymar is far more difficult to find, the recipe is below.]

Quick Kahi & Geymar

serves 4

ingredients:

4 squares of puff pastry dough, 4” x 4”, thawed if frozen
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
8 Tablespoons geymar, see below (variations: sarshir in Farsi, kaymak in Turkish)

directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. To make the simple syrup: bring the sugar and water to boil, stirring, then reduce to a low simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved. About 10 minutes. Let cool. Simple syrup can be made well in advance, and has a long shelf life if kept in a container in the fridge.

3. Lay the individual puff pastry slices on a baking sheet with room. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden.

4. When ready, pour the simple syrup evenly over the puff pastry, making sure to soak the pastry.

5. Top each with quite a bit of geymer. Serve with Iraqi tea.


Geymar Recipe

adapted from Nawal Nasrallah's Delights from the Garden of Eden

serves 4

ingredients:

2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups whole milk, ideally from water buffalo

directions:

1. In a heavy pot, gently combine the cream and milk. Place on low heat, no longer stirring.

2. Patiently wait to reach a gentle boil, but be very careful not to boil over. Allow to rise a bit, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. To prevent condensation, place a large upturned colander on top of the saucepan. Cover very tightly with towels. Let sit at room temperature for at least 6 hours.

4. Remove towels and colander. Place lid on the pot and refrigerate for one full day.

5. The geymar is now the thick solid layer of cream that has developed on top of the excess milk. Carefully skim that layer off, transfer to a plate, folding over multiple times, and pour just a little of the extra milk on top.

Bil 'Afya! | Bon Appetit!

Iraqi Breakfast 101: Makhlama

For those of us who grew up with Iraqi food, and who, like me, may one day find ourselves in the throes of a painfully deep nostalgia and longing for those home cooked Iraqi meals: this one is for you. For many of us in diaspora, it’s the dishes like these that keep us eternally and viscerally connected to Iraq.

My father used to make this dish on lazy Sunday mornings. You could say it was his specialty. It is so simple and so satisfying.  Makhlama is a dish of soft cooked eggs atop a skillet of ground beef with onions, parsley, tomatoes, and in my father’s style: the addition of lemon juice. Just trust me on this one. Using the best quality ingredients here will change the taste dramatically.

No one does breakfast better than Iraq.

Makhlama

serves 6-8

Ingredients:

1 onion, diced
1 1/2 lbs Ground beef (organic and pasture-raised, if possible)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
Juice of 1-2 lemons
6-12 Eggs (organic, if possible)
Olive Oil
Salt | Black Pepper
Maldon salt, optional, to top
1 lemon, wedges, to top

Directions:

1.     In a large skillet, heat about two tablespoons of olive oil at Medium. Sweat the onions about 3-5 minutes. Add salt.
2.     Add the ground beef. Be sure to break it apart as you stir so that the meat cooks in small pieces, like pebbles. Cook until browned at Medium/Low heat, about 5-8 minutes.
3.     Once the meat is cooked, at the parsley and lemon juice. Mix together well.
4.     Then add the tomatoes, and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep on Medium heat about 3-5 minutes.
5.     Bring the heat up to Medium/High, add the eggs on top of the mixture in individual spots. Top with some salt, preferably a nice flaky salt like Maldon sea salt. Immediately cover the skillet and reduce heat to Medium/Low. This shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes, depending on the density of your skillet. Keep checking, so that the whites are cooked but the yolks are still soft.
6.     Once done, remove the cover. Top with parsley!
7.     Serve with samoon, khubz tanour, pita, or baguette! And if you’re like me, a little labneh, too!

Bil ‘Afya! | Bon Appetit!

My recipe for Makhlama is also published on Yalla Iraq, an online Iraqi lifestyle magazine. 


Nena’s Iraqi Tashreeb Istanbuli (& The Art of Sharing Family Recipes)

A few months ago I was sitting at a family breakfast at my cousin's house in Philadelphia. My cousin Zainab had prepared this beautiful Iraqi breakfast spread for us that morning. At the center, Tashreeb Baghilla, broth-soaked bread topped with fava beans, a wild mint we call budhnij, piping hot oil, and scrambled eggs. A mountain of bureg, perfectly crisp meat-filled pastries rolled into cigar shapes and deep-fried; with each bite a softening, melting crunch. A platter of mini lahama b’ajeen (literally, meat with dough), discs of dough topped evenly with a meat, tomato, onion, parsley mixture, best served, in my opinion, with generous amounts of lemon juice. On the same large platter, Lebanese style fatayar, a savory pastry with a delicious density in the dough, shaped like starfish and stuffed with spinach and feta. There were bowls of dried, black olives; labneh with za’atar; lemon wedges; slices of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers with sprigs of fresh mint and wedges of sweet onions; various cheeses; hard boiled eggs; ‘umba, an Indian pickled mango that Iraqis are absolutely obsessed with and put on most anything.

Near the center was a dish I had never seen before. It was clearly a tashreeb, but it was unclear as to what kind of tashreeb. It tasted like sumac but looked like diced mushrooms! The texture was wonderfully chewy, but felt like it had to be more than just bread. I asked my aunt how she made it, and just before she could answer my uncle shouts, “Don’t tell her! She’ll post it on her blog and give away all our secrets!” 

I mean, he has a point.

And, the thing is, I completely understand where he’s coming from. After posting our family recipes on my blog and Instagram for years now, I know the feeling that comes with each post: the strong fear of revealing our family secrets. I feel it each time I post a recipe. I’m feeling it right now. And then I think of my father, who has often told me that he thinks it’s wonderful that I share our recipes. Capitalism makes us forget that sharing is a good thing.

And that got me thinking... and what I found was: 

Part of what makes Iraqi cuisine so special is that a family recipe can never fully be replicated. 

Iraqi recipes are always verbal sketches, mere attempts at defining a dish; but Iraqis don’t cook that way. Iraqis don’t cook with measurements, they cook with their senses.

I can tell you to add a tablespoon of cumin, but I don’t really know how much cumin I’ve added. As I cook, I taste along the way, adding a bit of this here and a bit of that there, and I only know it’s right when it tastes right. The essence of my mother’s tastes and textures were passed to me because I grew up eating her food and watching her cook. There is no way to pigeonhole taste; there is no way to reveal the secrets of your mother’s taste.

And Iraqi food is just that; it is the food of your mother’s taste. And her taste is deeply rooted in Mesopotamian history. 

It's a certain truth that Iraqis will argue all night about the 'correct' way to make dolma; and the answer always, always is: the way their mother makes it. 

There is something deeply poetic about that, about Iraqi recipes. My grandmother’s dolma belongs with my grandmother, Allah yarhama. She passed her taste to her children, who grew into their own tastes given their unique set of experiences. And although everyone says Abla Nadia makes it closest to Nena, there is also an understanding that my grandmother’s dolma went with her. And there is something glorious in that.

So the Iraqi dishes no longer become “Dolma Recipe,” they become “Nena’s Dolma” or “My Mother’s Dolma." 

And in order to have the real thing you have to go to the source and ask them to make it for you.

Isn’t that poetry?

In that way, even when I share them with you, these recipes forever remain secret to our family. 

Nena’s Tashreeb Istanbuli


(as passed down to me by my father)

Tashreeb is the name for a type of dish with broth-soaked bread as the base. It can be soaked with meat or bean broth, depending on the dish. This particular tashreeb is very uncommon. Iraqis do not know this tashreeb if you ask them. Only the Iraqi Turkoman in Kirkuk made this tashreeb, and even then it was uncommon.

This may be the only place in the entire internet where this recipe exists. Behold. 

The story goes that some Iraqi Turkoman traveled to Istanbul and had a dish, probably something like Patlicanli Kebap, and when he came home attempted to recreate the dish but made it all wrong. This dish became Tashreeb Istanbuli.

Nena says you can only call it Tashreeb Istanbuli if you also add a kebab on top of the dish. I didn’t do that here, so I often call this Tashreeb Kirkuk to keep the roots of the dish safe even though I'm doing it wrong. I’ve added a medium boiled egg to replace the kebab, for good measure. (I know Iraqis love meat, but boiled meat and kebab? -- that's just too much meat for my life).

My baba says he used to request this dish from his mother and then he’d invite all his friends over. In fact, my baba is the one who gave me this recipe. He told it to me off hand and then got worried and said, “Double check with your mom.” As she was walking by we asked her to sit down with us and she repeated the exact same recipe, almost word for word. My baba’s eyes lit up, “See! I was right!” And then, “Nawal, why don’t you make this anymore?”

serves 6-8

Notes:
You’ll need a large serving dish for this one.
And please read the directions before attempting. 

Ingredients:

  • Cubes of meat, your choice of beef or lamb, enough for one layer on the serving dish; to be salted, seared, then boiled until it falls apart.
  • Keep the warm beef or lamb broth.
  • Iraqi Tanoor bread (or pita, or tandoori, or flat bread – I used Iranian sangak here because I live near many local Iranian bakeries), cut into pieces, about 2” squares
  • 2-3 medium aubergines, sliced into rounds
  • 8-10 medium sized tomatoes, cut in half only once
  • 3-4 bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 1 medium container of plain yogurt
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 T turmeric
  • 4-5 scallions, chopped, to top
  • 1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped, to top
  • lemons wedges, to serve
  • olive oil | salt | black pepper to taste along the way
  • 6-8 medium boiled eggs (or more, depending on your preference)

Directions:

1.     Earlier in the morning, you’ll want to quickly sear and then boil your meat. This takes time, so you should do it first thing if you plan on making this dish. It was standard to always start the day boiling meat to be used in most dishes, the term for it translates to “hanging the meat.” [Options: A.) you can quickly boil the meat in a pressure cooker; OR B.) you can leave it in a slow cooker over night.]
2.     Begin by taking out your tashreeb serving dish, as everything piles on.
3.     In a skillet, add a little bit of olive oil and fry the tomatoes face down, covered, on low/medium heat until soft, about 20 min. Top with some salt midway.
4.     Toss the bell peppers in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees until soft, about 20 min.
5.     Toss the aubergines in olive oil, salt, and pepper and fry them in a pan. [
Option: roast in a separate tray with the bell peppers. It tastes better when you fry it, but it is easier when you roast it.]
6. When most of the vegetables are done, boil your eggs, cool, set aside. Peel before serving. 

Assembly:

1.     Cover your serving dish with the pieces of bread. There is need to pile it high, just cover it. 2.     Pour the warm meat broth all over the bread. You want to soak the bread but you don’t want to create a soup bowl! Be careful.
3.     Layer the eggplant
4.     Layer the bell peppers.
5.     Layer the meat.
6.     Layer the tomatoes.
7.     Add the yogurt to thinly cover, but let some of the tomatoes peak out because presentation is also important.
8.     Quickly heat the grape seed oil in a small pot, and when it’s piping hot toss in the turmeric!
9.     Pour the hot oil over the entire dish – this is fun to watch, so always do this around your guests (carefully).
10.  Top with scallions and parsley. I use scallions, my grandmother uses thinly sliced onions. Your choice.
11. Serve it with a medium boiled egg!

Bil ‘Afya! | Bon Appetit!


 

An Iraqi Quozi in Honor of Al-Amiriyah

Today marks the 25 year anniversary of the Al-Amiriyah shelter massacre in Baghdad. Two 2,000 ton bombs were dropped on a civilian shelter during the first Gulf War, during the U.S. air raid. 408 people were killed. Mostly women, children, and the elderly. They thought they would be safe in a designated safe zone. They weren’t. As for many of the people of Iraq, safety does not exist. And it definitely did not exist that night in Al-Amiriyah.

When I look at the list of victim names and their birth years, I am overwhelmed. A few were born in my year, my brothers’ years, my parents’ years. I was five years old that day, almost six.

And yet,
this event,
this tragedy, that is so cruelly intertwined with American militaristic history,
goes completely unnoticed each year.

I heard that when Thom Yorke of Radiohead found out about the Al-Amiriyah massacre, he was uneasy, in a dark place. That’s why he wrote “I Will” on the Hail to the Thief album. It was about this event. And at the time, he described it as the angriest piece he had ever written.

There is this musical piece, Happened at Al-Amiriyah, by Iraqi oud player Naseer Shamma, that just breaks my heart. Promise you’ll listen to it tonight? He wrote it in 1992, one year after the massacre. He wrote it and performed it inside the shelter.

And there is also Kadhem al Saher’s song Ay ya ‘Arab, where he keeps wailing “The blood of Iraqi children is in the Amiriyah shrine.”

Iraq has suffered and still suffers.

It's unfair. 

I’ve been working with my friends in the Iraqi Transnational Collective to commemorate this tragedy, to not let it go unnoticed on this, the 25th, year. We have been tweeting the names and birth years of all the victims lost. We made this toolkit for those who don’t know about the massacre. And did interviews and wrote articles.

And I did what I know best.

I cooked. 

I made an elaborate Iraqi Quozi and sweet Cardamom Date Halawa, the way they do at funerals, and then opened my doors to whomever would come eat.

Quozi is a stuffed lamb on a bed of spiced rice and traditionally served for significant events from weddings to funerals. I didn’t stuff a whole lamb. Instead, I roasted a leg of lamb, stuffed with garlic, a Fukhudh Ghanam Mashwi.

The offering of a lamb in Islam is incredibly symbolic. Abraham on the mountain, proving his faith, nearly sacrificing his son in faith. Sacrifice. Surrender. Sacrifice. Surrender.

“We don’t need sugar, flour or rice or anything else. We just want to see our dear ones.” – Hafiz

When my bibi passed away less than two years ago, Allah yarhamha, now buried in Najaf, my mother made Tammar Halawa to honor her. To give sweets to the soul of those who passed, may they forever taste sweetness. Tammar is the Arabic word for dates. Tamarind in Arabic, for example, is tammar-Hind, the dates of India. Halawa (or halva) means sweets. This halawa is fried dates with cardamom and walnuts. When it’s on the stove, the scent of cardamom fills the air.  

The Iraqi Leg of Lamb Quozi

Serves 10

Ingredients:

Lamb:

  • About 5 lb leg of lamb, preferably New Zealand
  • 2 heads of garlic, peeled
  • Bundle of Rosemary
  • Bundle of Thyme
  • Baharat, 7 spice mix (Allspice, Black Pepper, Coriander, Cumin, Cloves, Cinnamon, & Nutmeg)
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • a few whole Cardamom pods
  • Sea Salt
  • Deep, heavy cooking pan
  • Foil

Rice:

  • 3 cups long grain white basmati rice
  • 1 cup Vermicelli noodles
  • Baharat, 7 spice mix
  • Turmeric
  • Sea Salt
  • evoo
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced half moons
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup shaved or slivered almonds
  • 5 eggs

Directions:

The lamb. Do that first, because it takes 4 hours to cook. This is my mother’s recipe, and it is perfect every time, don’t make too many adjustments.

1.  Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
2. Wash the lamb.
3. Rub it down with 1 -2 T baharat and 1 T sea salt
4. In a deep, heavy baking pan: arrange half the garlic on the bottom, along with a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme, a couple cinnamon sticks, and a few whole cardamom pods slightly cracked. 
5. Place the lamb on top of this.
6. Proceed to stuff various parts of the lamb with garlic cloves. Top it with garlic. Garlic everywhere.
7. Top it with a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme.
8. Wrap the whole thing in foil. In fact, double wrap it. Tightly.
9. Place it in the oven, then immediately turn down the temp to 315 degrees.
10. Set a cooking timer to 4 hours. No more, no less.
11. Let it cool on the stove, uncovered.
12. Find a way to save the fat juices to make into a gravy. 

The rice. Do this while the lamb is cooking. And towards the end, maybe the last hour and a half.

1. Wash and scrub that rice, don’t be lazy, tembal.
2. Soak in water for at least 20 minutes. Dump the water at the end.
3. Sautee the Vermicelli noodles with some baharat, turmeric, and salt for a few minutes. I like to add a lot of the spices. (It’s awkward for me to call them Vermicelli noodles, as I can really only call them by their Arabic name, shahariyya, which means hair because the noodles look like hair).
4. Add the rice. Sautee a few more minutes. Then add enough water to cover the rice by only 1 cm! Only one centimeter. My mama will repeat it twice because you are stubborn.
5. Let it sit, uncovered, on medium heat. It will boil enough, and since you soaked the rice for 20 minutes it’s already pretty done. This shouldn’t take too long. When the water is absorbed, fluff it with a fork. My mama will repeat it twice. Fluff it. Don’t forget.
6. Add the peas. Mix in a fluffing sort of way.
7. Sautee onions and carrots in baharat.
8. Then add the onions and carrots to the rice. Mix. Fluff.
9. Keep on low heat, covered, until you serve.
10. While you’re waiting on the lamb, sauté the golden raisins in olive oil in a frying pan. Careful not to burn it. Keep stirring. This should only take a few minutes. Set aside in bowl.
11. Then sauté the almonds in olive oil. Same. Burns very fast. Then add to the raisins bowl. Mix it when it cools down a bit. This will be the topping to your rice once it’s served.

The eggs. Medium soft boil. Wait until serving time. I know you can boil an egg. Here’s how I do it.
1. Place the eggs in a pan, covered with water.
2. Add baking powder. This helps with the peeling later. Especially if you have fresh eggs, which I am told are more difficult to peel.
3. Bring to a boil. 
4. Once it’s boiling immediately bring heat to low. Let sit for 4 minutes.
5. Immediately run under cold water to stop the cooking.
6. Peel. Don't slice them until it's on the serving plate. 

The platter. 
1. Put the rice on the platter first. Make it pretty.
2. Top it with the lamb.
3. Pour the lamb gravy and the rest of the garlic over the lamb and rice.
4. Add the sautéed golden raisins and almonds.
5. Then arrange the eggs on the platter. Make it pretty. Then slice them so that the yolk may run a little.

Enjoy. Fiimanallah.

from The Iraqi Nights
by Dunya Mikhail

In Iraq,

after a thousand and one nights,

someone will talk to someone else.

Markets will open

for regular customers.

Small feet will tickle

the giant feet of the Tigris.

Gulls will spread their wings

and no one will fire at them.

Women will walk the streets

without looking back in fear.

Men will give their real names

without putting their lives at risk.

Children will go to school

and come home again.

Chickens in the villages

won’t peck at human flesh

on the grass.

Disputes will take place

without any explosives.

A cloud will pass over cars

heading to work as usual.

A hand will wave

to someone leaving

or returning.

The sunrise will be the same

for those who wake

and those who never will.

And every moment

something ordinary

will happen

under the sun.


We remember. #AlAmiriyah25 #RememberingAlAmiriyah