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8/28/09 Ama's America Wishes

Oh say, can you see? Iiiii'm comin' to Ame-ri-ca.

I'm leaving Morocco in two days. Eeeeek! (Don't worry, friends, I'm coming back.)

I'm heading back to the USA for my cousin's wedding. (Random tangent: I think this is the 4th Labor Day Weekend wedding I've attended. Huh.) I'm taking advantage of the opportunity to bring home a mountain of souvenirs/presents for various loved ones. Very exciting. :)

Ama is sad that I'll be gone for so long, but had lots of advice/wishes/counsel for me.

First off, she wanted to know if I'd be fasting in America--then caught herself, and said, "There is no Ramadan in America." I assured her that yes, American Muslims observe Ramadan just as faithfully as Moroccan Muslims do...but that since my entire extended family is Christian, no, I won't be fasting while there. She accepted this graciously; she knows that I fast here out of respect for the people I share my community with, so understands that when my community changes, so will my diet.

Then, she wanted to remind me to pass along her greetings to my mom, dad, and sister, all of whom she got to meet when they were here a couple months ago. (Mom, Dad, Sis: Ama wishes you peace and health.) She also gave me gifts for them (which you'll have to wait and see - no spoilers here!).

Then other family members chimed in, wanting to know how long it would take me to get to America. I explained that it would take several days, since ighzif l-abrid s'Merikan. The road to America is long. Tomorrow I'll go to SouqTown, Saturday to the Big Airport-Having City, Sunday from the City to Spain, and then Monday from Southwest Spain to Northeast Spain to Germany to America. They were very impressed. Four airplanes? Really?? FOUR airplanes!! My little brother asked if I get airsick. I assured them all that I've never been sick in any form of transport - bus, transit, car, plane, boat, train... They looked skeptical.

Then my little sister chimed in, reminding me that I'd promised to bring her a ruffled dress from America. A friend of hers has a flamenco-style dress from Spain, and my sis wants one. I pointed out that those dresses come from Spain, not America, but promised that I'd look around for one. (I actually have a lead on a ruffly dress...stay tuned.)

Next, Ama asked about the wedding itself. Will there be dancing? Food? Music? These are the key components of a Berberville wedding, and she wanted to know how similar the wedding traditions are. I said that yes, they'll all be there. She asked if I'd take lots of pictures, and maybe even some video of the wedding/reception. I agreed. (Fam: Don't let me forget!)

By this point, we'd finished l-fdor, and everyone else had scattered. Ama and I (and of course little baby M'Barak, who's never more than arm's reach from his mom) had the living room to ourselves. "So do you think you'll find a man at this wedding?" she asked seriously. I laughed. "As God wills," I answered cheerfully. "No, really, there are bound to be lots of men. And you'll be wearing your American clothes," she added, giving me a capital-L-Look.

I've shown her pictures of past weddings I've attended/been in, and she was a little startled by the amount of skin I showed. She believes me - I think - that strapless dresses are appropriate at American weddings, but she still finds it a little shocking. And she *definitely* thinks that it'll do me well for landing a man, which she devoutly wishes for me (as she would for any girl she cares about - here, there's nothing better that a woman can hope for; I've explained that my life works successfully without a man in it - in America, I had my own car, apartment, job, friends, etc, all without benefit of a husband - but she still wants what's best for me, and she's unshakable in her conviction that marriage and kids is absolutely best).

She added seriously, "You'll find a man, then you'll get married, and then you'll have kids. Just one boy and one girl - that's enough." She looked over at the other part of the house, where her two older boys and two older girls had all disappeared into. She rubbed her fifth child's back - he obligingly burped - and repeated, "One boy, one girl." I laughed again, smiled broadly, and repeated, "As God wills."

She added sadly, "You'll find a man, and settle down in America." I suddenly realized where this was going, and headed it off at the pass.

"Whether I find a man or not, I'll come back to Morocco." She looked up, eyes brightening.

"If you find a man, bring him back with you," she instructed.

"OK," I promised.

"Kawtar and her husband, coming to Morocco," she crooned to the baby. "Kawtar and her husband and her two children, all coming to see you." I smiled at the image of a ready-sprouted family. Hard to imagine it all happening in the 9 days I'll be in the US, but, hey - as God wills.

PS: If you want me to call you while I'm Stateside, email me with your phone number.

1 comment:

  1. Tell Ama I'm with her... Just wish a husband and family were that easy.


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