Flecked History

wadi a dawasir M.Bin HMQ

Photo: M.Bin HMQ; Wadi ad-Dawasir, Saudi Arabia


“He is an infidel,” Abdul grumbled about his employer. “Ad-Dawasir history shouldn’t be fouled by non-believers.”

“So were your ancient ancestors,” Umm Habib noted, her fingers flying as she shaped the dough with the practiced moves of innumerable meals prepared.

The adolescent startled. Such accusation would’ve necessitated a fist-fight if it hadn’t come from his grandmother.

“Many Taghlibi remained Christians well after The Prophet came,” the old woman’s face remained placid. She didn’t need to look up to sense the anger flashing in the boy’s hereditarily flecked eyes. But youngsters’ dark moods and opinions were like moving water. Truth remained.

She plucked freshly baked bread from the earthen oven with bare fingers, tips hardened by life’s constant flames. “That history is long passed, but it bears remembering some of our ancestors even fought against Muslim, and many stayed Christian …” she paused, considering. “Before finally embracing The Prophet’s teachings and Islam.”



For What Pegman Saw: Wadi-ad-Dawasir, Saudi Arabia



42 thoughts on “Flecked History

    • Thanks, Josh! I find history – of places, of people, of culture, of perceptions, or misconceptions, of the many similarities we share (and the need of so many to hold on to the differences the perceive) – absolutely fascinating! This Pegman challenge is an excellent companion to human-travel. πŸ™‚


  1. This is so good, Na’ama. That wise voice of grandma, speaking truth to her hot headed grandson. It’s such a shame that the common ground between some of the major religions can’t be focussed on rather than the differences. And such a well described, domestic scene too

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Lynn!
      The wise voices of elders (at least those who ARE wise … for not all are, alas … πŸ˜‰ as we can see … these days) – is something worth listening to, especially for the hot headed youth … who see in black-and-white and may not know enough about the subtleties of who THEY are, let alone those of others …
      In the matters of religion. Or nationality. Or skin color. Or heritage … Humanity should be the common ground, but often isn’t, as small variation are amplified as if they are somehow profoundly distancing.
      I’m reminded of a youth I knew, who was quite adamantly insistent that his ‘race’ was better than others and that to ‘mix blood’ is to eradicate “his people” (yeah, he heard all that at home, and they were quite proud of their supposed “pure blood” – almost Harry Potter style …). Well, they did a genetic testing to ‘prove it’ and … ahem … found themselves a lot more ‘mixed’ than homogeneous. …. His shock, his struggle with disgust (his father, who was his role model for ‘purity’ was more ‘mixed’ than many of the people he hung out with), and then his realization that he could not hate what he was and what he came from and the history it reflected … Well … it wasn’t simple, but it helped him see things a bit differently. I’d like to think that the spirits of his ancestors – no matter their ‘race’ – were there to counsel him in his dreams.
      Here’s to the complexity of who we all are!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, that’s an amazing story, Na’ama! Perhaps we should all have a similar test, prove how mixed every one of us is. I’d hope it would stop some of the stupid, senseless prejudices people have.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think the assumption one should have is that we are ALL ‘mixed’ (and good thing, too – if anyone wants to see the effects of interbreeding, they can look into the history of now defunct royal families in Europe …). But, yeah, there are those who hold on to the misguided view that limited gene pool is better than a wider gene pool or think that certain levels of melanin somehow denote superiority or ‘purity’ (they don’t). Similarly, those who think that their religion is ‘better’ or ‘the only one’ or gives them the right to oppress others in the name of their perception of God … or that it gave them the right to own and enslave and mistreat (and some still hark to the ‘good old days’ of slavery) others. It is all of it use of greed and need for power under the guise of race or religion. And … when we look right under the hood, we are all of us human, we are all of us different, we are all of us cut from the same broad cloth, we are all of us a mix of genes from long lines emerging from Africa at some point (and before that … and before …).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly, Lynn. It’s a shame that people are blinded by things that are the lowest aspects of humanity, which then prevent them from seeing – and living according – to the higher shared aspects of humanity.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You capture some lovely detail; I particularly like “bare fingers, tips hardened by life’s constant flames.” It is an exquisite physical rendering of the tactful way Umm Habib is dealing with her fiery grandson.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Na’ama Y’karah,

    Well told story without a trace of bias in either direction. I loved the description of the grandmother’s fingertips. Poetically brilliant.

    My link is up. Two Pegman weeks in a row. πŸ˜‰



    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Rochelle! I did not intend any bias and I’m glad none came through! πŸ™‚
      Thank you also for letting me know you liked the description of the grandmother’s fingertips. Amazing things, hands are! πŸ™‚
      Yay to Pegmanning!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have to echo all the comments above. The details of her fingertips, the calm way she is trying to teach her hot-headed grandson…
    Sigh. When, oh when, will folks realise all religions, at the core, teach the same thing?

    Liked by 1 person

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