Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Stop the wall!

The story of the day is my father-in-law, aka Abu Maher, and the wall he's decided to erect around the entirety of his yard to contain my son. From the moment we arrived at the house, the family has been talking about the wall Abu Maher intends to put up and until today we weren't quite sure what was going on.

Samer's dad is a big fan of Issy and, being the extremely eccentric and lovable guy that he is, often asks us curious questions to ensure Ismael's being properly taken care of. A few months after he was born, for example, Abu Maher made us promise him that whenever we left the house we wouldn't just leave him there while running around town doing errands. I mean, for all he knew, we could've just taken off for a weekend and oh, I don't know, left him to fend for himself in his crib or something. Since we left for America, every time we talk to him on the phone he makes sure to remind us to always keep him in our sight and not forget about all the kidnappers running rampant in the U.S.

Well now it seems he's gone too far. Samer's mom was in tears this morning when the blacksmith arrived with a 5-ton mess of iron and his guys to erect the structure. And I mean, is it ever a structure. Somehow they've got about 4 prison-strength doors that are about 7 feet tall and huge sections that hook on to the already-existing fence which will undoubtedly give the house the appearance of Alcatraz if Em Maher and we fail in our bid to stop its construction. Yes, there's already a fence that encircles the yard, but Ismael might become bionic by some means and be able to clear it.

This morning I unwisely was under the illusion I might be able to sweettalk him out of it. I reminded him that Issy is never out of our sight and lobbied for a partial backyard fence since the front of the house is potentially dangerous. The gardener's always watering the garden and the whole front area is tiled and gets very slippery. I didn't even get close to convincing him, though. "I am an old man and cannot get out to be sure that Ismael is safe and I do not want to worry about him and I will pay 10 times the amount of this fence to take care of him." It's cute and hilarious and endearing, really, but definitely not so for Em Maher, who's dying that her beauteous sweet peas won't be able to pop through the fence and her amazing garden is getting ghetto-ized.

So far we've put a wrench into the system. The blacksmith and his boys felt too bad to continue, Samer made a screaming phone call to his dad ("How could you upset Mama like this?" he raged, as his mom and I were in tears from laughing) and Em Maher's doing an excellent job with the silent treatment. So we'll see if we're able to put a halt to at least one ridiculous wall in the Middle East.


At 11:41 PM, Blogger salam said...

my father in law insisted we have iron bars all around our windows before moving in to our new apartment.For the first time we will be living in the fourth floor and the idea of zaid climbing up the window scared him so bad that he freaked us all out.We ended up having prison windows..but better safe than sorry!


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