Adib Nassar visiting Raoucheh in Beirut - 2005
Tripoli, 20th April 2007.
Two years back I received a poem composed by Adib Nassar remembering the good old days he spent in his village, Bazbina. Adib, now 57, is a food technology engineer and a part owner of "Western Flavors and Fragrances" in Dublin, a suburb of San Francisco.
Adib was born in Senegal where his parents had their spare parts trading and filling station business. In 1953 he was brought to Bazbina as a kid with his elderly brother, Riad, to stay with their grandmother Kaoukab and uncle, Adib Hazim. He and Riad attended first the school at the village and later they were moved to the Frere (Jesuit) School in Tripoli together with their cousins, Paul, Samir and Jean Pierre. Later, they were joined by their younger brother, Dia. The Nassar Boys were very active in school and in the village life and they left good memories every where they went. Up-till now people in Bazbina would ask about them and love to have them around in the village and perhaps permanently.
For them and for many, it is now just impossible to stay in our villages like our grandfathers did a hundred years ago simply because life style has changed and the village could not offer again jobs to the new educated and professional generation. The Nassars, like most of us, enjoyed the village for the first 20 years or so of their life. They indulged themselves to the brim in the beautiful life that Bazbina offered: a clean natural beauty, large untouched forests, mountains capped with snow, natural water springs, beautiful cultivated plain full with all kinds of fruits and vegetables all through the year. But what really affected greatly our personality and spirit is attributed to the simple agrarian, humble and loving people of the village.
Talking about the village people and remembering them one by one, I could simply say that you could do a thesis in psychology on each. Persons like Abdallah, Yousef, Slaiman, Mitri, Afif, Saad etc... the list never ends, are unforgettable. We still talk about them and their funny and cunning stories and tricks. I suppose that our social intelligence have been sharpened by just watching those people the way they acted and behaved. Also, I am sure that the virgin wilderness of our village has added to our wisdom and broad-mindedness.
It is no wonder then that our boys and girls who pursued their education and struggled abroad to earn a decent living would be greatly nostalgic and dream daily of their village, Bazbina. Adib is one of them. His poem describes the village life and the different places that we were fond of. Every line draws a different picture. For someone from Bazbina, like me, who lived and experienced the village life could just stop at every line, close his eyes and he will clearly see the picture in his mind.
To Adib, my cousin, I thank him for this poem which really revived great memories. I ask him for more.
A Food Technology Engineer ripened to poetry.
Contact Adib at firstname.lastname@example.org
Adib Merched Nassar
Dublin, California - 2005
Back to my village: Bazbina.
Take me to my village to be part of God's painting
To that place that is surrounded by verdant mountains
And marked by scattered stone walls, red brick houses
Take me where the sounds of running waters and sheep bells
Soften the echoes of Abou Bader plowing tractor engines
And the distant shots of uncle Khalil morning's hunting
Take me to quench my thirst at the Nebeh by the minaret
To eat Ennab and crack Easter eggs under Mar-Jerjes bell
To play with marbles in the different quarters of the village
Take me to pick apples, pears, walnuts, grapes and figs
Swing among the oak, zeizephon, poplar and willow trees
Listen to the wind sighing amid the cypress and pine trees
Take me to ride the horses pivoting the stone at the olive's Madras
To circle the cow driven sleigh separating the wheat at the Baydar
To guide the irrigating waters in the furrows to the Broje orchards
Take me to lay flat the sheets of Malban to dry under the sun
To distill the Arak drink and concentrate the pomegranate juice
To play volleyball and act at the local club for all the secret fans
Take me to roll the tobacco leaves with Adib, my uncle the mayor
To break the Sunday blessed bread with Ibrahim, my uncle the priest
To walk during Eid-Al-Saydeh from midnight to dawn to Gibrael
Take me to the promenade road where lovers stroll on opposite sides
While the speeding cars and crossing lambs interrupt the glimpses
Where holding hands at night, the moon exposes the soft touches
Take me to the main Saha for a card, billiard or a checker game
To smell the freshly roasted peanuts and coffee beans at Najib's store
To gossip at Nehman's store and to watch poker games at Antar's store
Take me to savor the freshly baked bread at the Tannour by the square
To hear the Natour and coyotes howling while barbecuing stolen corncobs
To play hide and seek among the deceased at the Mara graveyard
Take me to that place where the eagles migrate through in September
Where its streams are abundant, crisp and stimulating as Mar - Doomit
To immerse my watermelons in Wadi-El-Deir rushing chilly waters
Take me to my beloved Bazbina, that home where the sun rises
To be with Gibran and Fairouz, a neighbor to the stars and the moon
Take me back to Bazbina where serenity, beauty and my mind reside