Although this is a long-ish post, it speaks of a great man, bear with it and you won’t regret it, I promise.
As I was saying, three years ago today, we lost a very important man in my life; my beloved Grandfather. Everytime I open a new post to write I momentairly think of Nana because I believe that my love for writing comes from him. To honour this passion and his memory, I started a little project a while ago, called Nana Speaks whereby I posted some notes and quotes from the memoirs my grandfather was writing before he passed away…
To give you a brief history; around 15 years ago, Nana suffered with a stroke and we truly thought we were going to lose him. I had never seen him look so weak and frail but by God’s grace, family support and a great medical team, he pulled through. His speech and movement were affected forever. He could no longer walk independently or write coherently and he slurred his words when he spoke making it hard to understand what he was saying. What he couldn’t communicate verbally, he would write down and it was always beautiful and profoundly poetic.
If you want to know more, I wrote a detailed account (with pictures!) of how I came about his memoirs in Nana Speaks; My Beloved Grandfather that I urge you to read. It came straight from the heart because naturally, this topic is really close to my heart. I wrote two more posts on this series I started; Nana Speaks; Questions and Answers and Nana Speaks; Prayer, Friends & Family.
I haven’t posted any of his amazing words in a while for a couple of reasons; it takes a long time to sift through the sheer volume of documents and with a full time job and constant fatigue this becoems a tricky task. But also, I have been momentarily distracted by another project I started; Sinan and Leyla which is a fictional story I started writing a while ago (about love in an arranged marriage situation) that I have decided to revisit. You should totally check that out as well. Yes shameless plug!
Anyway, seeing as today marks three years since his passing, I thought what better way to remember him than sifting through his documents and finding something to share. Essentially I have an ocean of topics to choose from; politics, religion, family etc. I decided to go with one that has been playing on my own mind for a while and that is Yemen; a country going through war as we speak, a country I left around 15 years ago, the place where I was born, basically home.
Some of you who follow me regularly will know Yemen is so special to my heart that my very first post was about it. I would love to go for a visit and see my family but obviously given the current unsafe state of affairs, it is virtually impossible to set foot there without taking a huge risk. As a result I miss Yemen a lot, so imagine my surprise when research into Nana’s memoirs showed he sometimes felt the same.
Here are some of the beautiful words he shared regarding this topic;
My little sister is a lover of writing as well, and I recently realised that she had some thoughts on this topic too when I stumbled across a letter she wrote to her future self as part of a letter writing set I bought her for Eid. It was amazing to get some insight into her mind as she never talks about missing Yemen at all.
Back to Nana;
“I had a dream last night, that I was going all the way to Yemen on a magic carpet. Over, under and through grey and white clouds, waters [in wadis and seas], beasts, birds and humans of different colours as well as trees, mountains and landscapes peopled or empty and bare, etc. …until entering the atmosphere of Yemen, recognising it’s smell, blue skies and temperatures…I asked the navigator of the magic carpet I was on to give me an aerial view of Hodeidah town.”
Finally, if you have read this far you are an angel and I hope you enjoyed what you read. More than likes and comments, I really just want you to send a prayer or some happy thoughts to my Grandfather, may God rest his soul and reward him in abundance inshallah (God willing). I also want you to pray for Yemen. I am a great believer in prayer. Everyday I recieve news from home that yet another person I know has lost their life. If ever there was anywhere that needed a prayer from you, it is everywhere that is a warzone right now, not excluding Yemen. Never excluding Yemen.
Once again, I thank you for reading.