| There are some memories that human beings can still remember no matter how much time passes, some of those memories years and months can never erase…It just remains engraved in our hearts and minds…
I remember that day very well. It was in Hilton Belgrade, as we went there immediately after we arrived to the airport. That was in 1983, as I was not more than thre years old but I can remember that place very well maybe because it has a very special place in my heart…
I was wearing that white dress and eating ice cream, and I remember that old fat Italian man who smiled at me and loudly said:
In a couple of days, we moved to that house in 16th Vladete Kovacevica Street. And as we entered from the big black Iron Gate we could hear the voice of that wolf dog “Votchko,” he might seem a bit scary but in a very short while we became best friends…As we used to spend most of our times together, playing together in that big green garden, running between the huge fruits trees. And those times when my father caught me drinking from his bowl of water and let him eat from my ice cream, those things that my father used to call dangerous didn’t have another name in my dictionary but the word “Intimacy”…
It was a two floors house; with that big garden with huge trees…we rented the first floor as the owners used to live in the second floor: Mikitsa, Mitsa and their daughters Sophia and Natasha…
Natasha was a couple of years older than me, so we used to spend a lot of times playing together and later on when we grew up we had a lot of stories to exchange, about school, about Egypt …etc.
As for Sophia, she was a lot older than us. She was a teenager; I used to admire her curly brown hair, her messy small room that she used to decorate with those empty red Coke cans…I actually remember that day when she came to borrow that fake make up (that my aunt bought me when she visited us in Belgrade) that I used to play with when she was having a date…
At first, my parents got worried about me, being exposed to three languages at the same time at such an early age: My parents used to talk to me in Arabic, Yuvanka (my nanny), Natasha and Sophia in Serbian, and Mira (my father’s secretary) in English. To the point that my father asked Mira to stop talking to me in Serbian.
Later on, I mastered Serbian, Arabic and French and since then maybe I fell in love with languages.
I had two nannies, Yuvanka and Amina: Yuvanka was Serbian and Amina was Bosnian. They were never actually on good terms together...Well, they were never actually fighting, but I could always sense those negative vibes between them both…I could never understand why, Of course I could never understand or even imagine that it would have ethnic reasons, I couldn’t understand why someone would dislike someone because of his religion, or his culture or his ethnic background. My little brain could never absorb such a thing, all I could imagine that it would be a competition between two co-workers. But anyway Yuvanka used to come during mornings and Amina in the evening.
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Ayman el Hakea
| Jun 10th, 2005
Lep pozdrav za sestra Amira ! It's a really nice and smooth way the way you presented your memories in Srbija.....and the message behind it is very crucial: the stupid reasons that caused the bloody wars in the 1990s...I have been there too in 2001 and 2002 repectivley, and I've visited several parts of the country.....I think Serbians have changed after they tried the hard way with Miloshevich, they talked to me about peace and about their desire to develop.....it is what the "new young" generation thinks
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