Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Meet Alf عقبة [ Video]





A couple of years ago on a summer trip to Egypt I was lucky to spend two full months on the Mediterranean Northern Coast with the family. It was great to reunite with all of them in that peaceful setting. 

During that time I had a passionate date with a sweet young woman which inspired me to write a lighthearted bilingual song. The point was to sing it to my grandmother, Karima, who was 92 years old then and almost in Stage 5 of Alzheimer. The lyrics are not really addressing her, but the word play and the rhymes were all that made her laugh out loud.

She already couldn’t recognise some of us, especially myself who had been away for several years. She actually had to ask every time she sees me in the house, to which I patiently comfort her by trying to remind her that I’m the son of her daughter Mervet, which makes her my grandmother. She would look amazed, and repeats: YOU are the son of Mervat?! ( معقولة ) — or really? She was not able to connect the dots, yet she would smile and let it go. Then it’s repeated all over again the next time.

So to add some fun and novelty sometimes I would introduce myself as
the drummer or the entertainer or joker” who’s here to sing to you and make you laugh. Then I proceed with some light drumming and/or simple word play. She has always loved to laugh, dance, and have a good time; and when she lost part of her mind, that didn’t change much. Even though the feeling of being lost in her head, she still had that ability to laugh from the heart — even if it is only temporary and only on occasions. And I loved to help her get there. Simply because laughter is the best of medicine. It certainly is worth it.


After all, I had lived with her for two years as a 6 and 7-year old when my parents were away. I hold that this time has truly shaped my character and who I am as a person. It was also her who taught me what unconditional love is. So adding some laughter to her confused existence was nothing but a humble thank you for everything.


Meet Alf عقبة


Lyrics

I had a date ...................... و إتشقيت
  I couldn't be late ................ بس عطيت

يا سلام عالبهجة ................. ’t was so great

Long walk on the beach ...... و مرح فالغيط
البنت لذيذة ............... She hightened my state
                   
      Too happy am I ...................... فقمت غنيت
      Too happy am I ...................... فقمت غنيت


Wonder if she’ll change ...... و نلبس فالحيط
I really hope not .................. لاحسن أنا استويت
              
ده كلام مكتوب ....... Destiny & Fate 
ده كلام مكتوب ....... Destiny & Fate 


Thing is .................... لو إستنيت
شعري هايشيب ................. Offside و Checkmate

        وأنتخه فالبيت و أنتخه فالبيت   
      وقعاد فالبيت و قعاد فالبيت


 And that is why ................ في ذاك الديت
أنا مانسيت إني افتريت

And that is why ................ في ذات الديت
 أنا رحت و جيت  أنا رحت و جيت

And that is why ................ في هاك الديت
اللي عندي إديت اللي عندي إديت

 و يا سلام عالفرحة ................. ’t was so great

Too happy I am ...................... فقمت غنيت
Too happy I am ...................... فقمت غنيت


و كيت و كيت .......... See you after 8
See you after 8 ......... و كيت و كيت


Young Karima el Gammal in Ras el Bar

With younger blonde sister Madiha in Ras el Bar
With my grandfather Yehia Hassan and first daughter Mahy at the Pyramids
Karima with her two daughters Mahy and Mervat (mother)
Another with the kiddos
Karima at the farm in Sarawa

Grandma with baby Omar in her Zamalek balcony in Cairo

Agami 1978
Our trip to Hawai in 1989


Sweet collage made by my sister Karima who was named after her and has also lived with
her for a while later in life

Photo I took of her in 1999 in the Northern Coast of Egypt (Sahel) when she was still smoking her More

Fun Grandma happily dancing on a boat trip to Aswan in 2001

Another capture of Grandma and sunburned boy who had just come back from a few months training
in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and about to enter the adult world — taken by the coast in 2001

That day I came back from sunset drumming on the beach and introduced myself to her as the drummer.
Then I played for her sister Khadiga and herself
taken on my last summer there when the song was written
Karima el Gammal, Northern Coast of Egypt on August 23 2016

Her final 94th Birthday in Cairo, February 2017



ALSO VIEW:

Francophun يا Waladé

StaYin Yang ☯


Poème Tragique

Lunacy — A Poem Written When I Was 19 

Coming Back To The Real 

Beth's Death — A Poem Written When I Was 21 

Mima 56 — A Poem About My Younger Sister Written When I Was 20

Lunacy — A Poem Written When I Was 19 

Coming Back To The Real 

Beth's Death — A Poem Written When I Was 21 

Mima 56 — A Poem About My Younger Sister Written When I Was 20

       
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