Allah yir7amak ya Seedo. I can’t even begin to express how much I miss my Seedo. It’s been years since he passed, but these last couple of weeks have seen me spend moments of paralysis because I’ve been overwhelmed by my need to see him. He grounded me and I have felt anything but grounded as of late.
For some reason, in my family, I was the one who dreamt of both my Tata (grandmother) and Seedo shortly after their deaths and before anyone else did. As already mentioned elsewhere, there is a very deep tradition of dream interpretation in Islam and when you dream of someone whose left this world, it usually means that you’re seeing them as they are in the next one.
At the time I had this dream, there was a man who’d asked for my hand in marriage and they were waiting for a response. I didn’t like him and I didn’t trust him but I couldn’t put my finger on it.
I was sitting next to some plants on the main floor of an area that was surrounded by four buildings. There was no roof, and I couldn’t see an exit/entrance.
My grandfather walked into the area where I was sitting, looking no older than perhaps 40 years old. He was fit and he was full of life and he was wearing a beautiful three-piece green suit. He walked over to me and said ‘Be very careful and take very good care of yourself’ (this is a translation from Arabic and so has lost a little of it’s flavour). Then he was gone.
I understood instinctively that he was referring to the man who was waiting for an answer from me. I told mama about my dream and she understood why I had to say no. It was simple and straightforward and not questioned.
A few months later, we found out that he’d regularly beaten his ex-wife (his university sweetheart), placing her in the hospital on two occassions of which we’re aware.
Seedo was – and remains – a very respected and noted figure in Occupied Palestine. For some time, he worked with Gamal Abdel Nasser, and so would tell me stories about working with a man who serves as a heavyweight in the history of this world.
By trade, Seedo was a ‘principal’, the meaning of which differed then. ‘Principal’ referred to someone who not only ran a school but also established / built them from the ground up and from A to Z. His funeral was among the biggest in the Gaza Strip, and men – who were not related to my family – all over the world, opened their homes in mourning because Seedo ‘rabba ajyaal’, which means he raised generations.
He is considered among the men that built the very infrastructure of Palestine, and there isn’t anyone above the age of 40 in all of Palestine who doesn’t know my Seedo. This reality would sometimes be intimidating, most especially when he used to take me out with him.
Mama is his oldest and all of the siblings know that she was his favourite. That she had me, his first grandchild, sort of placed me in an unusually lucky place in his heart.
…all this to say there’s a website built and dedicated to a certain group of individuals who helped establish much of the infrastructure – among whom is my Seedo. I won’t post the link to the site, but here is my Seedo…front row, center. He’s the fifth man in from either the left side or the right…
The picture was taken somewhere between 1950 – 1955 on one of his school grounds, beneath the locust tree planted in the middle of the school. It’s my SEEDO!!!!