Elections And Funerals

الأحد 18 تشرين الثاني 2007

Written By: Maha

Note: The following is based on a true story which took place a few days ago. The author’s mother is a parliamentary candidate.

Once upon a time a candidate was at a dead relatives’ house packed with people paying their condolences to the family. She got the following call from a private number:

-Marhaba inti fulaneh fulaneh el follaneyeh? (hello, are you so and so?)
-Na’am Tfadal. (yes, go ahead)
-Bintek isemha “absar sho”? (is your daughter’s name so and so?)
-Na’am (yes)
-Bintek 3emlat 7adeth sayyara …t3eeshi inti! (your daughter’s been in a car accident…sorry for your loss)

Beeeeeep (line goes dead)

And that’s exactly how it went, and the bomb was dropped on the 50-something mother of 5 who once had 6 and lost a daughter before! As with any parent she freaks out! No one calls her daughter with her documented name unless they know her or have an ID of some sort, and besides why would anyone lie about this!?

So the wailing begins and the news spreads like wildfire in the town, the candidate frantically tries to call her daughter’s phone but there was no answer. If you have ever been at a Jordanian azza (funeral) you know that to the big number of people who are sitting there bored out of their minds any news is hot news that must be spread instantly. Now the news of the sudden death of a young 20-something daughter of a prominent parliamentary candidate in a small town that has 8 people running (or more like fighting to the death) is very, very hot news.

People start calling relatives, family and friends. News is out: The Girl Is Dead! Is she really dead? What is her mom going to do ? Is the candidate going to withdraw from the elections to bury her daughter?

The candidate finally gets through to her daughter:

-Aloo Inti meen? wain Samira? (hello, who’s this? where’s Samira?)
-Mama ana Samira aish fi? (Mama, this is Samira, what’s going on?)
-Inti meen? sho sar? (Who’s this? What happened?)
-3melet 7adeth sayyara janb el bait o khaba6o feyeh o ma sarli ishi o hommeh ma matooo. (I was in a car accident near the house, they bumped in to me, but nothing happened to me and no one’s dead)

[insert a flood of cursing]

The candidate is not good at it, the cursing that is, but the rest of the family, friends and relatives all pitch in.

This is what really happened: Samira was one minute away from her house when she got hit by a flying Skoda with Saudi plates near Amman Al-Ahleyyeh University. The Skoda hit the traffic sign (that reads speed limit 80) and shoved it into the right side of her Optima. Samira walks over to the Skoda opens the driver’s door saying:

-Sarlak Ishi? (Are you ok?)
-La2 ..ma3ek sigara? (No…do you have a cigarette?)
-La222! (no!)

And she walks away to call her dad:

-Aloo, wainak ya Baba? (hello, where are you dad?)
-Ana bildar (I’m at home)
-Tab ana 3end el U-turn, 3melt 7adeth, Haynee Jaay. (I’m at the u-turn, I was in an accident, I’m on my way)

That was what really happened. She didn’t die, but the Optima on the other hand did. She had to be winched away with the entire passenger side smashed. However, just down the street, shortly after, the phone rings at the house of the candidate. The supposedly dead daughter answers; it’s a concerned relative:

-Aloo inti okht-ha yabboy? Allah yer7amha..ma3laish 3ammo okhtek inshallah 3aroos bil janneh ma3 el thanyeh. (hello, are you her sister? God rest her soul..it’s ok dear, your sister is God willing, a bride in heaven along with the other one)
-Shoo? 3aroos bil janneh? 3amoo ana Samira! (What? bride in heaven? I’m Samira!)
-Samira???!!! Kaif ya3nni? Ma motti!!!! (Samira? How? You didn’t die?)

It was a very long day for that family with the calls and the people flooding over. It’s pretty bad when at that point in the elections all phone numbers are published and they constantly ring so you can answer the same questions of who died? What happened? An accident? Who made up the death story? Blah blah blah

All is fair in love and war and apparently Jordanian elections!!!