Previously on Damascene Rose
Salim a.k.a the passionate grandpa had received word to go to Abu Najma’s house, his kindred, to fix the broken namliye. Upon the very first sight of her, his cousin, he falls in love with his Najma – the star of his life - his Damascene Rose.
Najma, the authentic Damascene beauty
Najma was known as a very delicate, sensitive and warm-hearted woman. She did possess the features of the authentic Damascene beauty, inside out. The vibrations of her warm heart and her tenderness transcended the walls of the beyt al 3arabi. Thus, she was very appreciated and loved by many people in the neighborhood, although they didn’t really know her because they hadn’t had the privilege of seeing her. Surely did she have the reputation of a lovely lady.
Herself too had inherited the as white as the kishta, finer than porcelain and peach like to the touch tan, the trademark of the family. She was a genuine Damascene beauty indeed: white-skinned, black-haired, a tall robust woman. Kind words came out of her mouth in the rhythm of the fountain in the beyt al 3arabi, for she was very latife, the definition of womanhood itself.
Najma... Najmet Ahlami...
Najma adored the refined materials of the Capital of Jasmine: the finest silk, the damask brocard, and the soft velvet. She loved going and picking the materials herself. And all the women in the neighborhood, upon visiting her in the haram side, admired her garments, most of them tailor-made, designed by herself. Dressmaking was one of her favorite hobbies, indeed.
As tender as the petals of the Damascene Rose, Najma had been also a fantastic mother. All of her boys certainly inherited her tenderness and affectionate way of being, especially Mohamad, the most atypical of her sons - all authentic Damascene gentlemen.
She was also born and raised in the traditional neighborhood of Al Midan, an assile herself too.
They were all descendants of the family, renowned for the custom of the marriage among cousins whose fathers weren’t borne by the same mom. For the family had struggled to keep the secret of the Damascene spade safe for hundreds of years, as the oral sources have it. Today, the secret of Damascene steel is still unknown. It seems it has been kept quite well, hasn’t it?
“Yalla, it's high time I worked on this new order."
And his hands indulged in the premium raw materials he used for his sieves. No matter how hard he focused on his creation, the most beautiful face appeared before his eyes: Najma.
“Wallah I guess I am what they call in love. I suppose this is what writers and poets have been writing about, for ages now. Will I be able to get her out of my mind? I am a married man. My spouse has given me three lovely children and yet, it wasn’t a marriage of love. It was a traditional marriage. They picked her up for me. God willing, this is my chance to have a marriage based on love. I wonder what that would be like? Will she like me? Is her father going to accept my proposal? Ah, ya Salim, ah, you have got to think of something."
An old friend of Salim's drops by to pay him a visit. Guess why?
“Marhaba jari! How are you?”
“Alhamdulillah. I am working. And you?”
“All good. I wanted to check on you. You are absent-minded of late. You are not joining us for coffee anymore."
“Well, Murad, I think I am having a heartache.”
“You? A heartache?”
“Yes indeed, neighbor. As you know the other day I went to Abu Najma’s house to fix their namliye. And guess what? Najma is beauty. Ttayaritli 3aklati ttayaran. I just can’t get her out of my mind.”
“Maybe I should remind you that you are already married. And your wife, Alhamdulillah, has blessed you with children,” Murad insisted.
“It is not love, Murad. You know my marriage was a traditionalist one, in accordance with our customs. Ya zalame, in contrast, my heart is beating fast, fast. This is something new, very new. And it is consuming. Lak I am almost on fire, man.”
“God have mercy! So what are you going to do?”
“I shall propose. I cannot do without her. Every inch of my being beats for her. I am in love with this woman. Cross my heart, I shall have her and honor her, otherwise, I will lose my mind,” Salim confessed to Murad.
“What about your family?"
“I shall take care of both families!” Salim sneered.
“Man, you are way out of your league. She is a fine lady and has got the best reputation. Consequently, I really don’t think that her father would agree to allow her to marry you, you a man with a wife and 3 children.”
“Lak I am telling you I will have Najma. She is already mine.”
“Salim, you are right! You have lost your mind. Allah ma3ak.”
“Murad, wait! Please send a word to Abu Najma. I would like to visit him next week.”
The two friends part and Murad thinks that his longtime friend has lost his mind. How on earth will he be able to convince Abu Najma to give him his beloved refined daughter in marriage? Everybody in the neighborhood knows how special and unique a lady she is. God be with you, my mad friend!
God be with him,
For his heart is going boom boom, shake the room,
make way for the groom!
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