To home page

Timbuktu 1

Najati Al-Bukhari

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

1) Somebody else was all the time and without fatigue watching the development of efforts made to meet the intellectual needs and ambitions of the small black boy, Amir. That was Jawhara, the black woman and the mother of the prodigy, the black boy of the quarter.

The mother of the genius had the habit of waking up early in the morning to be able to watch her son from the moment the illuminating light of the sun would fill her world. Usually and without any exception she performed the prayer of the dawn. After that Jawhara looked for her son. She had the habit of telling him that she was in good condition.

Amir was growing up physically in a very normal way. Nothing was missing. His meals were served regularly to him. He was offered his meals all alone in the small dining room of the farm-house. Sometimes, he took his lunch meals with the other members of the family. Most of the women waited patiently for the opportunity of having lunch in company with the small black boy. During such lunch time, Amir spoke a lot about things which he has read in books of literature, history and science. Most of those who were taking lunch with him listened attentively to him specially his mother who had very rare opportunities to see or to talk to her dear son. Amir was busy all his day in the summer vacation in reading the various kinds of books brought for him by his father, the farmer of the quarter.

All of those taking lunch with Amir took the opportunity of asking the small black boy about many things in all fields of human knowledge. The mother of Amir got annoyed all the time when questions were posed to him without taking into consideration the fact that Amir was there to eat and not to talk all the time. Most questions were posed to the boy by the first wife of the farmer. His aunt, Helwa, kept silent all the time and looked dissatisfied and annoyed. She was more or less angry with the women who were posing questions continuously to the black boy.

It was only Jawhara who knew the fact that this black boy who was subjected to continuous questioning was representing the intellectual and the cultural spirit of the Immortal City of Timbuktu. It was only Jawhara who knew that her son, Amir, was a real incarnation of the intellectual greatness, glory and supremacy of Timbuktu. No one knew about her journey and for two days and nights to Timbuktu when during these two days Jawhara was able to travel in time and in space and in two days time through the various centuries during which she was miraculously made able to see all the intellectual treasures and wonders of the City of Timbuktu.

Jawhara was made pregnant, through the Spirit of her cousin Amin and she gave birth as a result to that to her son Amir. For nine months the child of Jawhara stayed in the womb of his mother getting from her all the nutrition necessary for his physical and mental growth.

The real story of Amir could not be told to others, to those who were living with him in the farm-house or in the quarter or in the community. The mother of the black prodigy was only watching the reaction of others without being able to say a word for giving some kind of an explanation for what was happening to her son, the small prodigy. The mother, Jawhara, was seeing her son only as a child of eight or nine years of age. The prodigy was still learning and he was waiting with patience the arrival of more books, especially those of science, technology and mathematics.

Lately, the black prodigy was waiting for books on astronomy. His spirit and soul, which were intellectually nourished by the sublime and blessed Spirit of Timbuktu, were still in the making. His spirit was only at the stage, at the phase of study and contemplation. He was only preparing himself for his future career, his future mission and for his future life.

Of course, no one knew what this gifted black boy would be in the future with the exception of one thing, an heir to his father. He would be responsible for the management and the administration of all the establishments of his father, the farm and its plantations and the commercial enterprises that dealt with various kinds of commodities imported from the other well known commercial centers of the Ottoman Empire in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. It was not for the farmer to make commercial contacts with countries outside the Empire.

2) One day and perhaps in the near future, his mother, the beautiful black wife of the farmer, would tell him the story of Timbuktu, the cultural center that preserved the intellectual heritage of humanity during so many years since the 10th Century when the city was born in the heart of the Grand Sahara.

For the time being, the heir to the farmer of the quarter was nothing but a riddle, nothing but a riddle. It was not only his intellectual superiority which puzzled all people around him but also the way by which he came to life. Who was the real Father of the black child, the prodigy? Was the father, the farmer of the quarter or somebody else? Was the real father of the back prodigy, the young black man, Amin, the cousin of Jawhara, who was killed in a very mysterious way about nine years ago? The public opinion in the quarter and in the community had almost forgotten the story of the assassination of the black young man in the Valley of the Spirit.

Helwa, the sister of the farmer and the only member of the family who was literate and could be considered as somewhat educated, was interested in the fascinating intellectual growth of Amir, the son of her brother, the husband of seven women, the four wives and the three concubines. She was, like her brother, interested in providing general education books to Amir. In her case, she was interested in general education, stories and biographies books. Unlike Amir, who knew four languages, Hilwa knew only two languages, her mother tongue, Arabic, and the language of the dominating power in the region, the Turkish language.

Amir, and from time to time, welcomed the short visits of his aunt. Every time she came to visit the black prodigy she brought with her one or two books in Arabic and in very few occasions she brought to him books written if Turkish. Amir was interested in all kinds of books specially in the field of Arabic literature. This was a new development in his intellectual growth, the reading of books of literature. Amir was discovering day after day how the Arabic language is very rich on all fields of human knowledge. However, Amir could not give and devote enough time to reading literary books.

Amir was of the conviction, of the deep conviction that the Arabs devoted much of time to science and technology, to medicine and to astronomy, to architecture and chemistry. Of course, Amir was well aware of the fact that the Arabs devoted much time to the development of the various disciplines of religious and philosophical studies. Amir realized from his readings, about the intellectual development of the Islamic Culture that equal time should be devoted to both science and technology on the one hand and to religion and philosophy on the other hand, there should be a balance between the two.

Hilwa was extremely excited and amazed whenever she exchanged ideas with the small black boy. The more she talked to him the more she realized that Amir was really a genius, a highly gifted young boy. Most of the time, he talked to her in a language that she could not understand. The black boy discussed with his aunt subjects about which she did not know much. No doubt, she thought that Amir was really living in a world of his own.

Hilwa was of the opinion that Amir should be living somewhere else, something in an institute of advanced learning and research where the black prodigy could communicate with others and discuss with them all the time most recent scientific and technological research results and development.

Amir, the prodigy, was not himself aware of the fact that the farm-house was no more the proper and the suitable place in which he should live. Helwa thought that her nephew should be sent somewhere else, in an institute of science research and development in Damascus, Istanbul, or even Cairo. The continuous stay of Amir in the farm-house, would lead to nothing in so far as the intellectual development of the black small genius. Helwa decided to discuss the problem of the scientific education of the small black boy to her brother.

Matters related to the future destiny of Amir should not be left to chance and luck. The father of the boy should be starting from that day to plan something concrete, definitive and specific for the education of his son Amir. Yet, it was not easy for the farmer to think that his son would leave the farm-house to live far from his father and far from all the members of the family specially away from his mother.

Anyhow, the farmer thought that one day he would discover that there was no solution but to send his son away from the farm-house so as to give him the chance to pursue his education in one of the centers of learning in the widespread parts and territories of the Ottoman Empire.

The sister, Helwa, discussed with the father so many times the necessity of sending Amir far away from the eastern frontier part of the Empire to a place where he could develop his intellectual and scientific capabilities and knowledge under the control, the supervision, the guidance and the direction of men of science and literature.

Moreover, it was realized that sooner or later Amir would be in need of facilities where he could see the practical and the applied aspects of the various disciplines of science. The study of the various disciplines of science without having various types of laboratory facilities for the study of the disciplines of physics, chemistry and biology would have no real value. The study of science without laboratory facilities would lead to nothing and it would be exactly like the study of literature.

3) The father of the black prodigy decided one day to go either to Damascus, Cairo or Jerusalem so as to discuss with highly learned people the case and destiny of his son, the black boy and the genius, and the planning of his education. For the farmer of the quarter and after much thinking and contemplation he arrived at the conclusion that the most accessible and the most suitable place for consultation and deliberation would neither be Damascus, nor Cairo nor Jerusalem. Somebody in the quarter who travelled a lot in the region and had much knowledge about scientific institutes advised the farmer to go to Beirut which was well known for its intellectual and scientific awakening. The region has passed the middle of the 19th Century when the black baby of Jawhara was born.

It was just ten years after the middle of the 19th Century and the black son of the farmer was almost ten years old. Beirut at that time was having some kind of a modern cultural awakening. Foreign schools and higher educational institutes were long ago established there and some of these institutions had boarding facilities for students coming from the other Middle Eastern parts of the Ottoman Empire. Amir, the prodigy, was about to be eleven years old. Science and the other fields of human knowledge were his only daily occupation and activity. He was aware of the fact that his father, the farmer, was looking for an educational scientific institution in which Amir could learn with others all the modern scientific disciplines.

The farmer of the quarter heard that some kind of an American Mission which was in fact a Western religious sect was planning to establish a sort of a medical college or Institute for the training and the education of medical doctors who were badly needed in the whole Middle Eastern Region of the Ottoman Empire. The Medical Institute of Beirut was to start accepting students in few years time, probably in four or five year's time. The farmer thought that by that time Amir would be about seventeen years old. In other words, Amir at that time was almost ten years old. He had to wait for five or six years until the Medical Institute (school) of Beirut would consider his admission to the Medical College.

The farmer thought that it was difficult to coordinate the year in which his son would be ready for higher education and the year in which the Medical Institute would start accepting its first year students. The farmer after much consideration and thinking about the future of his black son, decided to give up the idea of sending his son to Beirut where the black boy might find some difficulty because of his black color. Few other alternatives were open to Amir including sending him abroad either to England or to France.

In the final analysis, the farmer reached to the conclusion that it was early to take decision concerning the selection of the location of the medical institute in which his son would pursue his education. Beirut was no more a center of attraction and the farmer took the decision to look for other alternatives. Naturally, Istanbul, the shining and the illuminating capital of the Ottoman Turks presented itself as a possible choice. Istanbul was the only city in the Empire that was well known for its scientific and educational institutions. For a compromise, Amir could join very easily an advanced scientific institute in Damascus. Distance-wise this Syrian city would facilitate the travel of Amir to and from his farm-house. After that and when Amir would be ready, age-wise, to leave his family, the problem of higher education, or the medical institution would resolve itself in an easy way.

4) In the meantime, life in the farm-house was becoming for the young black boy more and more complicated. His room was gradually, and with the passing of time, being transformed into a store room of books of all sizes and of various subjects and titles. The latest addition of valuable books was a famous book in the field of medicine written by Ibn-Sina, Avecinna, called the 'Al Kanoon FitTibb'. Enough shelves were not available to keep and arrange all the books in them. Also, not enough space was available in the room for the young black boy to move around.

Timbuktu 1 - 15 of 17.0 - Top Menu / Bottom Menu

His mother, Jawhara, the black woman, has been noticing that the room of her son was already overcrowded, squeezed, packed and congested by books of all sizes. The mother thought that it was time to allocate an additional room for her son so as to be used as a small working place, an office space, a library for all his learning activities. The additional working space was arranged within few days time. A room that was used as big store room was transformed into a small working room for Amir containing a table, a chair and a number of shelves for putting the books in them.

The young boy was extremely pleased and satisfied by the new arrangement. A very precious and rare Persian carpet was provided for Amir in his new working room. His bedroom had regained its previous wide space facility for sleeping and for taking rest in an east chair. The young black boy considered it as a privilege to be allotted two rooms in the farm-house. His new working room had a wide window that looked at the garden surrounding the whole farm-house. While he was sometimes working in his room he could see, from time to time, some members of the family trying to look at the interior of the working room only to see what the black boy was doing inside the new room that was allotted for him by his father, the master of the house.

Between now and then, children of the three agricultural laborers, amongst whom was the little girl, Zainab, had the habit of just peeping into the working room of Amir while he was all the time busy reading a book or writing some notes on white papers that were provided for him between now and them by his father.

White writing papers were very difficult to get in the local market. Sometimes, the father of Amir brought the needed papers from markets of far off towns. Owners of shops selling white papers were wondering why the farmer was buying a big quantity of paper that could be used by many persons and for a long duration of time.

Life of the black boy in the farm-house was being gradually transformed into a kind of a purely intellectual struggle and strife. The more Amir read books on the various fields of science the more he discovered that he had to read more and more and that what he knew was nothing but a drop of the big and limitless world of human knowledge. The more Amir read in the field of science and in the four languages, Arabic, Turkish, French and English, the more he discovered that he practically knew nothing. Gradually, Amir was realizing the fact that it was his duty and objective in life to know, and day after day, more of each of the various disciplines of science and the other fields of human knowledge.

Timbuktu 1 - 15 of 17.0 - Top Menu / Bottom Menu

For the first time Amir felt the need of help and guidance of someone who was more knowledgeable than him. Otherwise, Amir said to himself that one day he will discover himself drowned in the deep sea of knowledge and human learning. Amir wondered to whom he would reveal, disclose and unveil the implications of problems in which he was entangled and in which he was embroiled. Day after day the young black genius was realizing the fact that from now on he could not go on all alone in the limitless world of human knowledge and its various scientific and literary disciplines.

His mother, Jawhara, has been noticing in her son an increasing uneasiness, inquietude and worries. The ever smiling and beautiful face of the black boy was no more reflecting this charming smile. The mother of Amir could easily notice that her son was suffering from something. Her son did not come to her to disclose to her the source and the reason for his worry and inquietude. Jawhara was each day thinking how she could help her son. However, the mother thought that she should discuss the whole matter with her husband who might have been noticing the same thing in the behavior of their son, Amir.

With the passing of days the behavior of Amir was becoming more and more confused and his mother was able to realize that her son was in need of help and support. The mother believed that she was not in a position to understand the problems from which the son was suffering. In fact the father of Amir was observing the same thing in his son as his wife, the mother of Amir.

Timbuktu 1 - 15 of 17.0 - Top Menu / Bottom Menu

Amir was undergoing in this phase of his life some stress, some pressure and even some confusion, being lost in the midst of his books and his scientific endeavor. The master of the house, the father of Amir, asked his son to stop touching his books for a while with the main aim of taking rest and of evaluating his efforts and his behavior to learn something from the books which his father brought him from Jerusalem, Damascus and Beirut.

Timbuktu 1 - 15 of 17.0 - Top Menu / Bottom Menu

It was time for the young scholar to have an evaluating look on all his academic and intellectual endeavor and achievement. Should he modify, change or seek the help of others who were more informed and in a better academic position than himself? Of course and so far, the only intellectual guide was for him his aunt, Helwa. But the young scholar realized at last that his aunt was not in a position to guide him anymore and any further.

The farmer of the quarter was becoming aware of the problem which his son was facing. The time was ripe to ask the help and the advice of some persons who were well advanced in matters of education, learning and scientific endeavor and research. For sure, the quarter or even the whole local community was not in a position to offer the young scholar the required help and guidance. Most people were almost illiterate and no one was in a position to offer guidance especially in a very difficult field of human life, and that was the field of education and especially in its scientific aspects.

As a consequence of the fact that the local community could not provide any consultation help in the academic and the scientific fields to the farmer and his gifted black son, the farmer of the quarter took the decision to look for help in the famous and flourishing city of Beirut. He thought in taking his son with him to the famous Lebanese City of Beirut. He thought in taking his son with him to Beirut so as those who would be consulted would have the chance of seeing and talking to the gifted child.

Amir was told by his father of his intention and his plan to go to Beirut next week for the main purpose of consulting learned people there concerning his academic and professional future. The father asked his son whether he wanted to accompany him. It would be for the first time that Amir would leave the farm-house and his quarter.

Of course, it would take a long time to arrive at Beirut that was very far from frontier parts of the Ottoman Empire that were deep rooted in the Easter Bank of the Valley of the Spirit. Jawhara was consulted by her husband about his trip to Beirut and about his intention to accompany Amir with him.

Jawhara was very hesitant to give her approval so that Amir would accompany the father to Beirut. This project was discussed for some days with the other members of the family, specially the sister of the father, Helwa. It should be mentioned that this was the first time that the farmer consulted his wives and specially the mother of Amir. The master of the house never consulted any of his wives in all his married life. Decisions in matters related to family life were taken by himself without the advice of anybody.

5) Naturally, and from time to time, the farmer had the habit to go to the sorceress to seek her advice. Since her death the farmer had depended on himself in important matters and occasions. In rare cases he sought the opinion of his wives. Sometimes he consulted the eldest maid servant. The husband talked over the subject of his intention to travel to Beirut with the company of his son Amir with his black wife Jawhara.

I think I should make a special visit to the city of Beirut to consult some well known scholars there regarding the education and the professional future of our son Amir. You know, there are a lot of things in the life of our son which I myself cannot understand or resolve. I do not consider myself in a position to take the proper decision about the future of my son. said the father.

Why not; I agree with you. Things are getting very complicated. I think it is time to talk with others about the education and the future of our son. You know, so far the education of our son has been going on without any definite program and without specifying the objectives of his education. Our son so far passed the age of eleven years; he has so far finished his primary school education. Amir finds himself in the primary school knowing more than all the teachers who are all the time astonished to find him with a level of education that surpasses the level of university education. Nonetheless, Amir stayed in the school for a number of years.

Yet, at the same time, we have overloaded him with various kinds of books specially the scientific ones. Of course, Hilwa, your sister, I means his aunt, has been of a help especially in the field of learning of languages, our mother tongue, Arabic, and the Turkish language. Then Amir learnt two other languages by himself, the English and the French. Yet, your sister, Hilwa, could not contribute any help or advice in the planning of the educational future of Amin in the other fields of human knowledge specially the scientific and the mathematical. said Jawhara the mother of the black prodigy to her husband who listened to her attentively.

Why do you talk a lot concerning the plan of the education of our son? In this respect I only ask the opinion of my sister Helwa. But now I am here to discuss whether I can accompany our son Amir with me in the trip to Beirut. It would be a long journey. It is a matter of an absence of two weeks. From our quarter till the outskirts of Damascus we might depend on caravans but from Damascus to Beirut it would be necessary to depend of some kind of carriages that are drawn sometimes by horses and sometimes by mules and donkeys.

Moreover, in our way to Beirut sometimes we have to sleep in tents and when we pass by towns and cities we would be able to sleep in inns where all facilities for sleeping and food are available. Anyhow, most of the nights would be spent in tents rather than in inns. said the farmer of the quarter to his black woman.

Timbuktu 1 - 15 of 17.0 - Top Menu / Bottom Menu

No, no, I do not agree to send my son in this tortuous, difficult and trying journey. He is only eleven years old boy. He never travelled to a neighboring village or agricultural settlements that are near to our community. Therefore, it would be extremely impossible for him to go to Beirut. It would be as if the journey is for another planet. Don't think at all that you accompany our son in your journey to Beirut. Let him stay here and please go to Beirut by yourself.

Go and consult whoever you want in Beirut and I and my son will be waiting for you here on this small hill in the Eastern Bank of the Valley of the spirit. He will be waiting for you in our small quarter. You are accustomed to have those long distance trips because of your business affairs. This trip will be tiresome for our son. Please go by yourself to Beirut, the flourishing intellectual center of the Eastern Province of the Ottoman Empire. said the mother of the black prodigy, Jawhara to her husband.

Yes, yes, I agree with you. I will go in two days time. I will go by myself. I am planning to meet some very famous scholars. Some of them would be foreigners, that is, they are not citizens of the Empire. I am sure these scholars of Beirut would be interested in the strange story of our son, Amir. They might invite him to come to Beirut. It would be difficult for them to come here. Yet, I am sure that after I tell them the story of our son, some of them will express their wish to come to this frontier part of the Ottoman Empire, here in the East Bank of the Valley of the Spirit. said the farmer of the quarter.

Go as soon as you can. You know our son can wait for one more month until his future is determined. Anyhow he does not really understand fully the significance of your trip to Beirut. said Jawhara to her husband.

6) The farmer saw that it was better to go by himself and consult the learned men and the scholars of the city of Beirut. In two days time all arrangements were made for the travel of the farmer of the quarter to Lebanon. It was a spring time and it was a pleasure to travel throughout the districts of Jerash, Ajloun and the small town of Irbid. In spring time, all the passengers of the caravan were received by the extremely beautiful green landscapes that were decorated by colorful wild flowers. All the landscapes were in fact covered by green colored carpets. Everywhere, and here and there, various shepherds were leading their sheep to the green meadows and pastures where their herds were grazing with joy and satisfaction.

Throughout the trip, the skies of the night were ornamented by all joyful twinkling stars and by the smiling and the illuminating full moon. The farmer of the quarter was in this trip to Beirut some days riding a camel, or a horse or a mule and sometimes he was a passenger in a carriage drown by several horses, mules and sometimes donkeys.

The route to Damascus and then the route to Beirut were both highly enjoyable. Passengers spent the nights in well kept and managed inns. Nothing was equal to the type of food offered to passengers who were in their way to Beirut. It took the farmer, the farther of Amir, five days to arrive in the city of Beirut. Of course, he had the address of a well known scholar who was well known for his deep and rich knowledge in all the modern disciplines of science. This scholar of Beirut was the son of a well known Beirut family who had the chance to go to Istanbul and get his higher science education in one of the famous educational institutes of the city of Istanbul.

The farmer of the quarter arrived in Beirut at noon. While he was descending the hills surrounding the city of Beirut he was enchanted and captivated to see down on the shores of the Mediterranean, the beautiful city of Beirut. Nothing was more fascinating than the city of Beirut as it was seen from the hills that surround it. The more the carriage came down the hills the more Beirut was more and more captivating. At last the farmer of the quarter was there at the outskirts of the city. Down, there where he came down from the carriage he took a small cart and gave the address of his destination to the driver. It took only three quarters of an hour to be at last in front of the hotel in which the farmer, the father of Amir, was to stay for two nights only.

Timbuktu 1 - 15 of 17.0 - Top Menu / Bottom Menu

The next morning of the day of his arrival in Beirut, the father of Amir went directly to the house of the famous scholar whom he would consult concerning the academic and the professional future of his son Amir. It was before midday, and the respectful scholar was waiting for him at the main gate of his beautiful residence.

The famous scholar was astonished by the arrival of the farmer without his son. The agreement between the two was that the prodigy, the black boy, would be accompanying his father. However, the scholar welcomed the father of Amir and led him to the main salon of the house. There, it was the tradition that both men, the guest and the host, would be sitting on the mattresses and supported behind their back by real leather cushions of various sizes.

There in the middle of the salon, just in front of the two men, was placed a round low table full of all kinds of roses, and some other flowers that normally bloom in the spring season in all parts of Lebanon. The floor of the salon was all covered by very precious Persian Carpets. The salon was decorated here and there by a number of books in various languages which were in stacks and shelves of various sizes. Science books written in Arabic, Turkish and English as well as French were prominent and more numerous than books in other languages.

The farmer seated himself on a mattress which was designated for him by the old scholar who sat on a big mattress focusing more or less on the guest, the man coming from the East Bank of the Valley of the Spirit. Before talking was started between the two men Turkish coffee was served by two male servants, who looked more western than belonging to any part of the Middle East or North Africa. Actually, the two young male servants were of Greek origin. The two were trained how to offer Turkish coffee to male guests of the family and in accordance with traditions followed at that time for serving the Turkish coffee to male guests of the family.

es/ Pot On A Table Top
Above artwork is by the author's son... See more!
© 1980-2024 All Rights Reserved

In few minutes time the same two young blond male servants, came in walking carefully and cautiously carrying two of the traditional narghiles or hookahs. The narghile was traditionally used by the majority of men in most of the non-western parts of the Ottoman Empire. The farmer of the quarter was pleased as well as excited in seeing the two Greek servants carrying the nargiles and then placing them with much politeness, courtesy, genteelness and complaisance in front of each of them, the guest and the host. The two servants kept waiting for a while for further orders and instructions from the master of the house, the well known scholar. By a gesture from the index of his hand, the old scholar permitted the two young waiters to leave the salon.

The two men, the father of the black boy, the prodigy, and the scholar who was to be consulted, were looking at each other. Before talking and talking about the subject for which the father of the black prodigy came to Beirut, each one of them had a sip of the coffee which they were served at the beginning of the meeting.

Both of them moved their tongue inside their mouths and both of them moved their lips in such a way so as to test the nice taste of the served coffee. Both of them began moving in a masterly and mysterious way their nostrils so as to test and catch the impact of the odor and of the aroma coming out of the coffee through its vapor that was hovering around the top of the cup of coffee.

After a lot of gestures and movements, in the face, the mouth and the nose, the two men, the guest and the host, smiled a wide and a fascinating smile as a sign of their absolute satisfaction and appreciation of the coffee which they were taking at that moment. The men took another sip and both of them bent, inclined, bowed and lowered their head. This movement of the head was the climax of the contentment of the two men of the high and supreme and superb quality and the taste of the coffee which they were taking.

After taking their first sips of the nice coffee, the two men began to have some puffs of their narghiles. While having the end of the pipe in the mouth, in between the two lips, the two, the farmer and the scholar, began to suck and sometimes to inhale the smoke coming through the long tube from the top part of the narghile where there is usually the moistened tobacco and the burning small red colored embers. Both of them, the farmer and the scholar, stared at the smoke coming out of the whole apparatus. At the same time both of them looked with satisfaction at the bubbles being formed in the glass pot of the narghile full of water. The two found pleasure in listening to the musical sound of gurgling and of gobbling of the small glass pot of water of the narghile.

Of course, the two could not waste all their time in sipping the coffee or in sucking without stopping the tube of the narghiles. Both of them wished to continue sucking the pipe of the narghile and sipping the coffee from the cup placed on the low table on their small saucers. A lot of time has passed in the salon and both men were busy with their coffee and tobacco. At last the old scholar began to talk.

I am glad you are here in Beirut as it was agreed upon some weeks ago. I remember you promised me to accompany your son with you in your visit to Beirut. Unfortunately, I see you all alone in my house. I was planning to have some talk with the gifted boy. I could have talked to him in all the languages which he knows, Turkish, Arabic, English and French. I should admit and confess to you that I learnt French and English after the age of fifty years and not like your son at the age of eight or nine years. said the scholar.

I am sorry I could not bring my son, Amir, with me because it would have been tiresome and fatiguing to him. You know he is now just eleven years old. His mother, my wife, objected all the time to let her son undertake this long journey. In fact, he never left the farm-house all along his life. From time to time, he goes outside the house, in the courtyard, just to watch the other small boys of the quarter play either in the afternoon or in the morning. Otherwise, the black boy, my son, spends all his time in his small office space where the room is arranged in such a way that it will be easy for him to undertake his reading specially in books of science and technology. said the farmer of the quarter.

Frankly speaking, it would have been better if you had brought your son with you. The way you describe your son gives me the impression that there is an element of mystery in the whole life story of your son. It never happened in human history that a small boy has the ability to be fluent in four languages and to be able to read in these four languages all kinds of human knowledge specially the sciences. I could not tell you what to do with your boy in the field of learning and education.

In fact, there is no precedent like that of your son in human history. Of course, there have been prophets and wise men but no one of them knew of knowledge as much as your son knows. Indeed, all what he knows comes from his reading of books and not, for sure, as a revelation from heaven as it happened to all the prophets. No doubt, he is a highly gifted boy and he has mental capacities and competences that are superior to all what has been recorded so far in this respect in human history.

Frankly speaking, I congratulate you because you have this gifted son. The only advice that I propose to you is to take your son to Istanbul so that responsible and specialized persons in the center of the Ottoman Empire could advise you. At least they could propose to you to let your son be enrolled in an institute of higher learning in Istanbul. This would be a good and practical solution for the professional career of your son. said the old scholar who was advising the father of Amir regarding the education of his son.

The discussion between the two men went on for a long time. Lunch time has come and the scholar asked the farmer of the quarter to be his guest for lunch. Of course, the father of Amir accepted with pleasure the invitation and when lunch time came he shared the midday meal with the scholar in the dining room of the house of the scholar of the city of Beirut.

Still while they were taking their lunch meal, the main theme of the lunch time was the gifted black boy of the East Bank of the Valley of the Spirit.

The two, the farmer of the quarter and the scholar and the learned man of Beirut talked and talked more than they ate. The black boy, the prodigy and the genius, was really puzzling the respectable scholar of the city of Beirut.

There is something mysterious and enigmatic in the whole story of Amir, your black son. It is a unique life story. I never heard of a story like it. No doubt, and I should not hide from you, his black color puzzles me in the sense that you rarely find a black man who was or who is, a well known scholar. We already know how in the 15th, 16th and even subsequent centuries, the white people who colonized and settled in the New World have utilized the black manpower for the exploitation of the new discovered continents especially in the agricultural plantations. Cruel, savage, pitiless, inhuman and hard hearted men were specialized in the hunting of young Africans, especially in the Western parts of the black continent, and then, in deporting them to the new world to work as slaves. The black man was sold and bought as a commodity in the new world.

Timbuktu 1 - 15 of 17.0 - Top Menu / Bottom Menu

The cruel hunters of the black people were interested in the deportation of black young men and women from the shores of Western Africa to the two American Continents. Stories are being told of how the black slaves of Africa have been badly treated and exploited by the white man in the new world. While at the same time some black people were going eastward to the Holy Land to perform the pilgrimage to Mecca, their brethren in the other parts of Africa were captured and sent to the new world as slaves.

You know my dear friend, while we are meeting here and talking to each other in this beautiful city of the Middle East, Beirut, in order to plan for the educational and the professional future of your son Amir, news are coming from the New World, I mean America, telling us about the breakout of a brutal and savage civil war in the eastern parts of the American continent.

Now, while we are living here, in 1861, in peace and tranquility in Beirut, brethren, white people, who all speak the same language, of the north and the south in America, are now fighting each other, brutally and without mercy because their President, Abraham Lincoln had the absolute courage and conviction to decide the Emancipation of all the black slaves in America. As expected, the people of the South, the Confederate States, the owners of the vast cotton and sugar plantations, have revolted, with a lot of violence, against the Act of the Emancipation of the black slaves issued by Lincoln. The southerners depended mainly for their prosperity and richness on the cheap labor of the black people, the slaves brought from the African Continent.

News, astonishing and horrible news are coming nowadays to Beirut to the important American community of Beirut telling all the people of Lebanon about the bloody battles which are or have been taking place there in which a citizen of the north is fighting his brother from the south just for the sake of the survival and the victory of the idea of Liberty that should be enjoyed by the black man in the United States of America.

We are now in 1861, and the Civil War in America is developing from bad to worse. The innocent lives of thousands of people are being sacrificed for the liberation of the black people from their bondage and slavery. The situation is getting worse and worse day after day. It seems there is no compromise or end to this savage and shameful war. I feel that the Civil War there in the American Continent would continue raging and with no hope for its end at all.

I know few people here who come mostly from the northern states of America. They are extremely worried for the life of their President Lincoln. Extremists from the south think that their main enemy is Lincoln and nobody else. The Americans living here in Beirut, who are in charge of the Medical School of Beirut, are extremely concerned and perturbed regarding some unexpected negative developments of the Civil War. They are worried about the life of the President Lincoln and his safety. said the well known scholar of Beirut.

Please, let us forget the American Civil War and the unknown destiny of the black people there and let us forget the problem of the emancipation of the African slaves of the New World. Let us forget the danger menacing the life of Abraham Lincoln. I want to concentrate on the life, the education and the professional future of my son, Amir. This black boy has all potentialities and the talents of becoming the Real Prince of our world. I would like that we forget the problem of the Civil War in America and the emancipation of the black slaves there and only concentrate on the problem of the black boy, the genius, my son._x000D_ _x000D_ Chapter Fifteen_x000D_ 1) The farmer of the quarter the father of the black boy, the prodigy Amir, was not planning to stay for more than two days in the beautiful and the famous city of Beirut. His long consultation and the interesting discussion with the famous Beirut scholar about the academic and professional future of his son, Amir, were almost completed._x000D_ The Lebanese scholar provided the father of Amir with all the necessary facts and the relevant information that were necessary for him in order to have a plan for the future of his son, the prodigy, Amir. All the necessary facts were provided by the scholar of Beirut who believed that his only task was to provide facts about higher education institutions in the near and accessible parts of the world._x000D_ It was agreed that in the final analysis, the decisive decision of the choice of the medical institute in which Amir would be registered was left to the father of Amir, and may be at last to the black boy, Amir. The farmer of the quarter knew, as a result of his long and fruitful meetings with the scholar of Beirut, that a medical institute has started operating in the city belonging to an American religious institution. It was too early now to think that Amir at the age of twelve years could have been eligible to the medical institute. Amir was too young to be accepted as a medical student. Though he might be academically speaking eligible but in terms of age he was not qualified yet. The boy had to wait for admission till the age of seventeen or eighteen years._x000D_ Besides, the wise scholar of Beirut added that Amir should be ready when time comes for that, to sit for an entrance examination as it was the tradition in all the higher educational institutions in the Ottoman Empire as well as in the Western world. The scholar added that Beirut was not the only place where medical schools could be found. Istanbul, the capital of the Empire, was mentioned also as a possible place where Amir could study medicine and have the opportunity to be specialized further in one of the important medical fields._x000D_ The scholar added that he had good contacts in Beirut where he was born and where he was at that time living. He also had good contacts in the capital of the Empire, Istanbul. The admission of Amir in one of the well known medical institutes of the Empire would be easy and facilitated. The Beirut scholar was sure that all the educational authorities anywhere in the Empire would welcome the coming of Amir to their medical institutes._x000D_ The father of Amir could not decide where to send his son to Beirut or to Istanbul or somewhere else in the widespread Empire. It was better to let his son Amir himself participate in the decision making process for the choice of the place where Amir would be pursuing his medical studies in the future._x000D_ 2) The farmer of the quarter was preparing himself in the hotel to leave Beirut the next day. All the members of the family were waiting to know the results of his consultations concerning the academic and the professional future of the black boy with the famous scholar of the city of Beirut. The farmer of the quarter took an early dinner in the spacious dining room of the hotel so as to go to his room and start at once sleeping in order to leave Beirut early in the morning._x000D_ The manager of the hotel knew the farmer of the quarter because his hotel was the place where the father of Amir spent his nights whenever he was in his business visits to the city of Beirut. Before going to his room located in the second floor of the hotel, the farmer was invited by the manager of the hotel to have a cup of tea or coffee in the main salon of the hotel._x000D_ The father of Amir was really surprised and amazed to find himself invited to have a cup of coffee with somebody whom he did not have any close relationship or some acquaintance. His only contact with the manager of the hotel was that of a client, a faithful customer. In his previous visits to the hotel, the farmer never exchanged any conversation, short or long, with the young manager. Most of his contacts as a client were with the employee behind the counter._x000D_ Even, and in most of his visits to this hotel, the farmer was not supposed to use any word with the hotel employee. He only took the room's key in the evening and he gave back the key in the morning when he left the hotel to go to his destination where he carried out his business for which he was visiting Beirut once or twice in a year._x000D_ The young manager of the hotel who had an office space in the back of the counter never endeavored to come out of his office to talk or to greet and welcome the customers or have few words with them. Nevertheless, the young manager used to have a look at every new client through the door of his office which was left open all the time. The manager of the hotel did not stay long in his small, cosy and comfortable office. Sometimes, he spent most of the daytime outside the hotel making some visits to certain places, spots in the city. As expected, nobody knew where the young manager went during the long daytime._x000D_ The manager had all the time a simple smile on his face. He was of a pure rosy complexion. His head was decorated with a very fair long hair. Of course, his eyes were of the blue green color. These eyes had some kind of a charm in them. Lebanon as an Arab country has amongst its population a lot of persons with blond complexion and green eyes._x000D_ The manager of the hotel was dressed up, as it was the tradition in those days, in the usual swelling, bulging and bumping black trouser with a somewhat wide white silk shirt. The young manager had a small type of a white turban that was used by men at that time in Beirut and in most other parts of Lebanon. The young manager had no beard. Yet, he had at the same time a black moustache that was long enough to give the impression that it was of a crescent shape._x000D_ It should be remembered that it was the end of the spring time season and the starting time of the summer season. Beirut has its best days during the spring season. The weather is always excellent and pleasant in those days. However, most of the inhabitants of Beirut prepare themselves for the summer season. Many of the people of Beirut go to the mountains to spend summer months up there._x000D_ The manager of the hotel, who was sitting in his small office, was busy doing something related to the management of the hotel and its daily activities when the father of Amir entered the hotel in the evening after he had a daylong discussion with the brilliant scholar of Beirut. The farmer has so far spent two days in the company of the famous scholar. He enjoyed his visits to Beirut and he thought that the objective of his mission was more or less achieved. The Beirut scholar has already paved the way for the planning of the academic and the professional future of his son Amir._x000D_ The farmer of the quarter could have been of the age of fifty years or a little bit less or a little bit more. On the other hand, the manager of the Beirut hotel could have been more or less of the age of forty years. As expected, the manager of the hotel was married from his cousin of the white complexion, the blond hair and the pure green eyes. The wife of the manager was very beautiful and charming and has so far given birth to four children. She would give birth to more children because she was only thirty years old._x000D_ The manager of the hotel was the owner of the hotel. He was a member of an important Lebanese family that owned a number of well known chain hotels which were mostly established in the principal summer resorts in the Lebanese mountains. The young blond man was in charge of the Beirut hotel and it seems that the hotel was doing well and was very successful in attracting visitors coming from Europe specially France as well as some notables coming from the various cities and towns of the Ottoman Empire._x000D_ 3) As expected, the farmer of the quarter accepted the invitation of the manager to have a cup of coffee with him. He did not know why he made himself available for the young blond manager. The farmer felt as if some mysterious power was pushing him to meet the blond young man, a power that could not be resisted, that could not be opposed. Anyhow, he accepted the invitation of the manager without any hesitation._x000D_ When the father of Amir, the genius boy, entered the big hall he was stunned and astounded to see it completely vacant. Not a single piece of furniture could be seen there with the exception of the small table, a kind of an ancient type low table surrounded by some rich leather made mattresses and several cushions. Naturally, a lamp could be seen placed in a corner of the big hall on a big stool type table. In spite of the fact that the small lamp was the only source of light in the hall, it was not difficult for the farmer, the father of Amir, to see and observe everything in the big and the commodious hall. He could remark the two windows of the hall which were wide open and it was a little bit easy for the farmer to see what was going on outside the hall in the big garden of the hotel._x000D_ Still the farmer of the quarter could not explain the strange feeling which dominated him the moment he entered the hall. The farmer could observe outside an owl that was perching, sitting, on one of the branches of a tree in the garden. The moment he saw the owl outside the hall he remembered the owl of the quarter down there far in a remote spot of the Eastern Bank of the Valley of the Spirit. Indeed, the whole atmosphere in the hall was full of tension and confusion just because of the presence of the owl outside the hall. The farmer was really disturbed and upset and could not understand what was going on around him in the hall._x000D_ Really, the world in which he was at that moment did not look to be normal and ordinary. Certainly, the farmer was sure that things have changed inside the hall. The farmer thought that he was really in a strange world and he looked around so as to see where the manager of the hotel was, the person who invited him to have a cup of tea or coffee. The young blond manager was nowhere as if he disappeared somewhere. The farmer did not lose hope to see his host there inside the hall. For sure, the blond manager could not have disappeared in the hall or in the hotel at large._x000D_ All of a sudden, and unexpectedly, the hall was inundated by light coming from thousands of candles. The hall was illuminated by the light of some kind of a mysterious source. The farmer of the quarter was more or less relieved when he saw the light filling the hall._x000D_ Of course, he had no choice but to sit on one of the mattresses in waiting for the arrival of his host, the young blond man. The farmer remembered that the manager was with him but he abruptly disappeared. The waiting time was for the farmer a long one. Why was he, the farmer, left all alone in the hall? The farmer asked himself. Was it possible for him to leave the hall in order to go to his room and commence sleeping? Most probably, the manager of the hotel has forgotten that he has invited the farmer, the father of Amir, to take either tea or coffee in his company._x000D_ Of course, the farmer could not give convincing answers to many questions that were challenging him, his brain and spirit. The farmer did not want to be indulged in any activity other than that of looking for a suitable place where his son, Amir, could pursue his medical studies. Nevertheless, the farmer was exaggerating matters, problems and events. Actually, there was nothing wrong or disturbing in the whole situation. He was just worried, annoyed and could not imagine that he has almost entered into the big hall few minutes ago. He should learn how to be patient. In most cases of intricacies and difficulties, the best solution was to be patient. The farmer told himself._x000D_ All of a sudden, there was in the hall some kind of a noise, of an uproar and of a turbulence which frightened the farmer of the quarter. The farmer closed his ears by putting each of his two hands on each of the ears in order to avoid hearing the nasty and the disturbing noise. At last it came to his mind that he could have his seat expecting that the host, the manager of the hotel, would reappear in the hall so as to sit with him around the low round table with the main aim to enjoy having coffee with the young blond manager. It did not take a long time for the blond young man to appear in the hall and to present himself. The young man, the blond, smiled to the guest, the farmer of the quarter._x000D_ Excuse me, I was just outside to welcome to the hotel some important guests coming from Istanbul who would stay in the hotel for about one week." said the manager of the hotel.

Don't be worried. It was only a matter of few minutes. I could wait for even more time. said the farmer of the quarter.

It is really nice of you to be so much patient and forbearing. I hope you will like the coffee which I am going to offer you. You know this coffee is being prepared in following the Turkish way. In few minutes time you will taste this coffee, I mean the real Turkish Coffee. said the blond manager of the hotel.

You know, this is not the first time I come to this hotel. I already know the coffee of this hotel and there is no reason at all to remind me of the excellent quality and the perfect taste of the Turkish coffee offered here in this hotel. said the farmer of the quarter who was staring at the blond manager with some deep feeling of being lost or more precisely of being in a day dream.

The light of the hall was somewhat disturbing the farmer. He felt that the intensity of the light was more than he was accustomed to bear. The farmer had the impression or even the suspicion that something abnormal was about to take place in the hall. The whole atmosphere in the hall was frightening the father of Amir. The nature of the whole situation in the hall has become something mysterious and incomprehensible which he could not understand. While the farmer was deeply thinking that he was talking to the manager of the hotel who was seated on a mattress in front of him, he abruptly realized and unexpectedly discovered that he was all alone in the big hall. Even the owl, which was perching on a branch of the tree of the garden, has also disappeared for some special reasons which the farmer could not comprehend. The black owl was no more there.

Even more curious, extraordinary and unusual was the frightening silence that was prevailing in the whole environment inside and outside the hotel. The farmer of the quarter felt himself to be in the heart of a desert or somewhere in the Valley of the Spirit at midnight. He was under the impression that he was in Beirut. From time to time some kind of a strange low noise came from behind the door of the hall. What was the nature of this noise? The noise was something that could not be identified or known. Was it coming from a human source, from men, and children or from animals or from birds? The noise was so unusual that the farmer of the quarter was completely unable to determine the nature of the disturbing noise.

The disappearance of the blond young man, the manager of the hotel, from the sight of the guest, left the farmer all alone in the mysterious hotel hall. Then, and without any preliminary introduction, the farmer heard a kind of a low sound, monotonous in nature, which probably indicated that it was the sound of footsteps of a person who was coming in the direction of the big hall of the hotel in which the farmer, the father of Amir was listening to the approaching footsteps all alone. The farmer was more or less sure that the one who was coming was a man, not a woman nor a child. He could have been a young man. For sure, the nature of the footsteps indicated that the person coming towards the door of the hall was not in a hurry and was rather walking slowly and at ease.

4) In spite of the fact of his being middle aged, and of his various and diverse life experiences, and in spite of his courage and boldness, the farmer of the quarter was unexpectedly overwhelmed by some fear and he was overpowered by a real panic and may be some kind of timidity. He was wondering who was coming to the hall. Or was this mysterious human being, whose footsteps the farmer could hear without difficulty, coming to the hall of the hotel or was he going to the other parts of the hotel, perhaps to the dining room, or to the conference hall? The farmer was about to forget where he was at that moment and was about to indulge himself in a horrible confusion. Was he in a hotel or was he somewhere else in the mountains or in the plains of Lebanon?

The farmer of the quarter, who was in a visit to Lebanon, was perspiring and many drops of his sweat were about to cover all his broad forehead and he could feel easily that a drop of sweat has just reached at his upper lip and he could realize the salty taste of this drop of white and transparent sweat that was coming from his forehead.

The soft and low noise of the foot-steps persisted to be coming nearer and nearer to the area where the hotel hall was located. The noise was monotonous, repetitive and somewhat boring. The perspiration of the farmer continued to be flooding his body, specially his chest and all parts of his hands. At that time, when the farmer was living in a world of doubt and fear, the hall was lit by one small lamp.

Timbuktu 1 - 15 of 17.0 - Top Menu / Bottom Menu

But in spite of this small lamp, the hall was really and more and more losing the brightness and the brilliance and was being dominated by obscurity and uncertainty. Although darkness was gradually dominating the small world of the farmer, yet, and to the surprise of the farmer, he could see in the hall a number of phantoms, about ten, moving and walking, one after the other, all were moaning and sometimes crying.

Timbuktu 1 - 15 of 17.0 - Top Menu / Bottom Menu

As expected, the farmer could not go on seeing and looking at the phantoms which started to disappear from his sight one after the other. They were, in reality, going out of the hall through the big door in spite of the fact that it was, at that particular moment firmly closed.

Again, the farmer could not believe that he was once more hearing the noise produced by the enigmatic and the cryptic footsteps. At last, and after too much hesitation the farmer decided to go by himself to the door of the hall in order to open it and to see what was going on outside the hall in the long corridor. Unexpectedly, the farmer of the quarter, the presumed father of Amir, could not move at all from his place. At that moment, he was seated on a mattress but he was surprised to discover that he could not stand up from his seat. Was he paralyzed? He asked himself.

No doubt, he was overwhelmed by fear and horror and consequently he was paralyzed. But the foot-steps were heard by the farmer. Yet, to his surprise, they were about to disappear and to fade away. No doubt some new developments would take place in the mysterious corridor. Certainly, a surprise would take place, here in the hotel where the farmer was waiting for the arrival of the young manager of the hotel. The farmer at that time was feeling as if he was lost in a limitless desert. This was a feeling that lasted for few moments.

5) The big door of the hall was at last opened. The moment the door was no more closed a wave of a strong wind quickly penetrated into the hall carrying with it a lot of sand that was brought from the neighboring desert and insects whose source could not be identified. The insects filled the hall everywhere. This strange phenomenon represented by the unbelievable entry of the stormy wind and the insects did not last long.

Timbuktu 1 - 15 of 17.0 - Top Menu / Bottom Menu

What a surprise!! What a surprise!! Instead of the entry of the blond young man into the hall, the farmer of the quarter saw in front of him, with a pale but a smiling face, the young black man, Amin, the cousin of Jawhara, who was twelve years ago assassinated in the heart of the Valley of the Spirits by a plot prepared, master-minded and executed by the farmer of the quarter. The astonished and the stunned farmer was sure that Amin, who was supposed by the farmer to have slept physically with Jawhara, his wife, eleven years ago, was killed by the young two men who were sent to the Valley of the Spirits to kill Amin.

The death, the assassination of the cousin of Jawhara, was a well known fact by all the relatives and the acquaintances of the young black man, Amin. No doubt, the death, the criminal death of Amin, the accused lover of Jawhara, was verified and could be verified again and again and could be verified at any time because his grave was there in the small cemetery of the Valley of the Spirit. Certainly, anybody could verify the fact that Amin, the cousin of Jawhara, was there lying in the grave in the cemetery of the Valley.

The farmer remembered very well that Amin came to his house and the house of his wife Jawhara on the day of the circumcision of the black boy, Amir. Until that day of circumcision of Amir, the presumed father of the black boy, the farmer, was in a complete doubt that this black boy could not have been his son, could not have been engendered by him. He thought that there should have been a biological father for the small black boy, Amir.

Of course, the farmer of the quarter never knew where his wife had gone during the three days of her spiritual escapade. The farmer never knew exactly how his wife got pregnant. The whole story of the pregnancy of Jawhara was beyond the mental and the intellectual comprehension of the sterile man, the husband of Jawhara, the farmer of the quarter.

Notwithstanding all of these mysterious and enigmatic circumstances which were totally fantastic and beyond the comprehension of the ordinary human mind and reason, the moment the farmer saw the black man, the cousin of Jawhara, in the circumcision day of Amir, sitting next to the old black man of Timbuktu in the hall of the house of the farmer, he became sure that that young black man was the lover of his wife, and consequently he was the real father of the small black boy who was being circumcised. The moment the farmer saw the young black man, Amin, sitting in his house he decided to kill him. And so it was. Amin was killed after he went back to his family, his black wife and his children in the Valley of the Spirit in the East Bank of the Holy River.

From that day of the circumcision of the black boy, Amir, when he was seven days old, up till now, when the farmer was in the hall of the hotel, eleven years have already passed. In summary, the farmer was perfectly astounded to see the young black man, whom he assassinated eleven years ago, entering into the hall. Were they, both of them, the farmer and the black man, destined to meet each other here in this hotel in the city of Beirut? How could this young black man be alive with a smile on his face?

The young black man, the Spiritual or the real lover of Jawhara, the wife of the farmer, continued to walk forwards without any hesitation. Of course, nothing was there to prevent him from walking in the direction of the farmer. The hall was completely vacant. Amin, the black man, the lover, saw very easily that in the hall there were only he and his enemy, the farmer who master-minded the plot of his assassination. The person who was now walking in the hall was a real human being and not an imaginary person, a phantom, or a ghost.

The farmer stared without interruption at the black man who was walking in front of him. Could that be a miracle, a supernatural event? Otherwise, how could a dead man come back to life? The farmer, the frightened and the startled husband of the black woman, Jawhara, had no choice but to wait, to be patient, and to see what would take place next. Everything was possible including a violent confrontation between the two men leading to the defeat of one of them.

At that moment, the black man was almost standing in front of the farmer. What was the black man about to do? This was the important question which the farmer was confronting. When the black man stopped walking, the farmer wanted only to say a word or two, but he could not. His mouth remained firmly closed.

Before anything could take place, the farmer of the quarter, had the courage of posing to himself the idea of resurrection, the idea of resuscitation and the idea of coming back to life. Was it possible that the young black man, who was killed and buried eleven or twelve years ago, was really resuscitated from his death. Of course, the farmer was not convinced that his adversary, his rival, was resuscitated, was resurrected. This event could not have taken place at all. It happened once in human history. This possibility of resurrection was to the farmer an important and unique event that happened only once in the history of mankind. What he was seeing in front of him was nothing but the creation of his own imagination.

The black man, the lover of the wife of the farmer, Jawhara, was at that moment lying in his grave in the Valley of the Spirit. The farmer decided to live that fantastic moment just on the basis that he was really imagining things. Nothing real was there in the hall of the Beirut hotel at the particular moment.

6) Amin, the black man and the cousin of Jawhara sat down on one of the mattresses which were available in the big hall of the hotel. Silence was still dominating in the whole place, of course, with the exception of some low noise that was coming from the garden of the hotel.

Perhaps, the owl was there on one of the branches looking at the interior of the hall. The owl was very excited and was really very eager to see what was going on and what would be going on in the hall between the black man and his adversary, his rival, the farmer of the quarter. It was not possible at all to ascertain the possibility of the presence of somebody else other than the owl which was witnessing what was going on in the hall of the Beirut hotel.

The farmer was, while looking at the black man, asking himself about the destiny of the young blond man, the manager of the hotel. Basically, the farmer was invited by the young manager to have a cup of coffee with him in the hall of the hotel. No doubt, something unbelievable has taken place. Instead of the blond young man, there was standing in front of him the black man whom he saw only once in his life and that was on the day of the circumcision of his presumed son, Amir, eleven years ago. The farmer was extremely worried about the destiny of the manager of the hotel, the young blond man. He was afraid that the manager might have been killed by this phantom, the black man.

The only lamp in the hall was about to lose its light. But this fear of being without light had no foundation in reality. The lamp was still sending its light all over the big hall. For a moment, silence was the dominating factor in this meeting between the two men, the two adversaries, the two rivals. But unexpectedly, the young black man began to address some words to his enemy.

'You have never, never expected that I will come back to life. You are completely astonished and bewildered. You think that I was forever dead and that my burial in the grave on the bank of the Holy River, in the Valley of the Spirits signified the end of my life. But here I am, fully alive, full of vitality and vigor. I am a real living human being. However, I tell you now that I am resuscitated and I am alive again. I am full of life and I am here to take revenge. I am here to avenge myself from the person who planned my assassination, my death." said Amin, the cousin of Jawhara.

I cannot understand you. I don't know you. I am sure that Amin, the lover of my wife, was killed, and assassinated, twelve years ago. All people of the Valley of the Spirit are well informed of the death of the lover of my wife. Everybody is well informed about your death and the reason for your sudden death. What I am seeing now in front of me cannot be explained on the basis of a miracle. This is completely impossible. It is a blasphemy, a sacrilege and profanity. You are a dead man. I am not afraid of you. You are really a phantom, a ghost, or in reality, a riddle. It is not possible that you are a real living human being. I am here in the hall to see the manager of the hotel, to have a cup of coffee with him. That is all. This meeting with you can only be explained on the basis of a riddle, of a mystery and nothing else. said the farmer of the quarter.

The black man, the presumed lover of Jawhara, the wife of the farmer, laughed in a repeated manner. Then he asked the farmer to listen to him attentively and without interrupting him.

Listen to me and lend me your ears. Look at me with your eyes and with your heart and with your soul and spirit. Just look at me very well. I am, first of all, a black man whose ancestors have their roots there in the heart of the Grand Sahara, in the Immortal City of Timbuktu. I do not mind if you call me as the man from Timbuktu, or I am Timbuktu itself. My ancestors who are also the ancestors of my cousin Jawhara, have come since more than two hundred years from the City of Timbuktu with the main aim of performing the fifth pillar of our religion, and that is the Pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca. My ancestors and those of Jawhara came from Timbuktu to Mecca and from the Holy City their descendants have spread, have scattered all over the Middle East.

I know Jawhara since we, I and her, were small children. Our families, who were relatives, exchanged family visits. As children of the two related families, mine and that of Jawhara, we all the time played with each other. I know that once and at the age of fifteen years and as I was swimming in the water of the Holy River, as I used to do so often and only in the early morning, my cousin, Jawhara, who was having a walk all by herself, came to see me completely naked when I left the water of the Holy River. Of course, Jawhara, stood for a while when she saw me naked. She looked at my black body and I think she was wholly fascinated by what she saw. However, she felt very shy, bashful and somewhat nervous. The moment she thought that she had seen enough of my naked shining and seducing body she left the place in the direction of the house of her family which was not very far from the Holy River.

The strange thing in the whole story is that Jawhara thought that I did not see her when she saw me naked, nu. But in fact, I had a glimpse of her when she was leaving hurriedly the place. Thus I knew that she saw me naked while on the other hand she was under the impression that I did not see her. At that moment when I was seen by Jawhara naked I had the real feeling that our two souls were in one way or another united. We were from that moment spiritually united and forever united. We were starting from that moment spiritually united in life and forever.

I am sure that she had the same feeling as that which I had. A sublime, an absolute power united our two souls, our two spirits. Later on, life for me and for her, for Jawhara, went on in a normal and natural way. In five years time, after the naked swim in the River, I got married. I have six children, and also, it was the destiny of Jawhara to get married to you, and at the same year in which I got married. It was more or less eleven years after her and my marriage that the most blessed, sacred and divine event in my life and in the life of Jawhara has taken place. In one holy night and ten years after her marriage with you Jawhara had a Nocturnal Visit to the Valley of the Spirits and to Timbuktu in the Grand Sahara that lasted for three days, for three nights.

Of course, and as you know, Jawhara remained for eleven years deprived of her natural and sacred right to get pregnant in order to engender a baby, a child of her own. It was almost at the age of thirty one years that Jawhara had her holy Nocturnal Visit to the Valley of the Spirits. By means of dreams, reveries and day dreaming, I came to know all what was happening to my cousin Jawhara.

It was in the Valley of the Spirits that I have been living all my life with my family. Through dreams and reveries I came to know that my cousin Jawhara, by a miracle, would be visiting the Valley of the Spirit and that during that Nocturnal Visit, my Spirit would have a contact and a penetration with and into her body with the main purpose of the conception of a child. Through my Spirit, Jawhara would get pregnant. And so it was.

During that night, that of the Nocturnal Visit of Jawhara to the Valley of the Spirit, I never left my bedroom which I was sharing with my wife. Yet, I was sure at that moment, when my cousin Jawhara came in touch with my Spirit, that she conceived my son, her son.

I was aware that Jawhara was really in the process of continuing her pregnancy. Nevertheless, I never knew that my son was to be a prodigy, a gifted boy, a genius. I never knew that my son would wish to be a medical doctor and that my son would be a person who adores sciences and technology.

I admit to you and confess that since that Nocturnal Visit of Jawhara to the Valley of the Spirits and her becoming pregnant, I never saw her, neither in real life nor in dreams or in day-dreaming. From time to time I was fortunate and happy to hear some bits of information and news like that of the birth of a black boy to you, the farmer of the quarter. I was sure that this boy could not have been yours because you are sterile. Indeed, I was able, in an easy and accurate way to estimate the approximate day of the birth of my son. I tell you frankly, I never thought that my son could have been born at the end of the seventh month as many children do in all parts of our world. I am an example of this seven month birth. From time to time and after the birth of my son, all people in your house, your wives, and the people in the community were astonished to know that you, the husband of Jawhara, a white man, got a black son. I tell you in a very frank way that I was worried that my son would find some trouble for being black, purely black. As you know some people in our community look at a black person as something different and even strange._x000D_ After my death, a week after the circumcision of Amir, my Spirit came to know that the life of Amir has been normal. Through my Spirit I knew that my son has been and is being treated in a very perfect way. I came to know that my son was more and more treated in the best way which other boys in the well-to-do families are getting. I know that the main advantage of this black boy, Amir, is his being very intelligent and that by now, at the age of twelve years, he knows several languages and masters the Turkish language which is widely used and spoken in all regions and countries of the Ottoman Turks Empire as well as in most of the Central Asian Countries. He knows also the English and the French languages in addition to his knowledge of his mother tongue, the Arabic language.

I came to know through my Spirit about his love for books specially books of science and books of medicine. I came to know that his favorite book is that of Ibn Sina, Avicenne entitled 'Al Kanoon FitTib, a book of several volumes of medical reference that was in circulation and in use in the medical schools of Europe till the beginning of the preceding century, I mean the 18th Century.

I should admit to you that I wish I have known more about him. Unfortunately, I am a dead man. It is my Spirit which is talking to you now. I am proud of this boy of the Immortal City of Timbuktu. I think that being a human being whose roots go back to the city of Timbuktu, gives him, my son Amir, a lot of mental and intellectual distinctions, prominence, superiority and greatness. My spirit, alive, continues to watch the progress made not only by Amir himself, but also in the future by all his descendants in the whole Middle East. My spirit would continue watching the ever flourishing, blooming and ripening of my descendants in all parts of the region and the Middle East.

My son Amir will be a highly distinguished and a well known man of medicine, a doctor, and all people would speak about him. I cannot at present tell you in an exact way what will be the detailed development in the life of Amir. Nevertheless, I assure you that Amir would really be a prince in the intellectual and in the scientific domains. His kingdom will be inundated and flooded with light and illumination. His kingdom will be that of virtue, knowledge and science. All people, everywhere in the region, would talk about Amir and his being unique in his humanitarian endeavor.

All of a sudden, the phantom of Amin, the cousin of Jawhara, and the father of her son, disappeared from the mysterious scene in the hall of the Hotel of Beirut.

7) As for the farmer of the quarter, he was really perspiring a lot while lying in his bed in the second floor of the hotel of Beirut where his room was located. It was midnight and no doubt all the inhabitants of the beautiful city of Beirut were deeply sleeping as well as the passengers who were sleeping in the various rooms of the hotel that contained three floors.

The room of the farmer of the quarter was engulfed and completely inundated by darkness and obscurity. The only small lamp in the room was no more sending any light. Really, the farmer of the quarter, the husband of Jawhara, was really sleeping since early in the evening after he had a nice cup of coffee offered to him by the blond young man, the manager of the hotel.

The hall of the hotel, in which the farmer had his cup of coffee with the manager, was having other guests who were sitting in the hall in pieces of furniture which were all made in accordance with the French 'style' of furniture most of which were imported directly from Paris. The hotel, in most of its parts reflected, in a very obvious manner, the admiration of all the Lebanese for the French way of life. One could observe that the style of Louis XV was absolutely dominating.

The farmer of the quarter had some short talk with the young blond manager of the hotel. Nothing personal or private was ever referred to either by the manager or by the hotel guest, the client, the farmer of the quarter.

The husband of Jawhara told the manager briefly about his specific mission in Beirut. Of course, he talked in a very brief, concise and succinct way about his gifted son. Only once the farmer made reference to Amir as being black. However, the blond manager of the hotel was very polite, considerate, thoughtful and discreet. It was expected that the young manager of the hotel never heard of the black boy as being a prodigy, a genius or even a miraculous boy. Beirut is somewhat far from the Valley of the Spirit and the land of the East Bank of the Holy River and the Sea of Death.

The cup of coffee invitation did not last for more than half an hour. The farmer asked his host, the young blond manager, the permission to leave the hall and to go to his room because he had the intention of sleeping early and getting up early the next morning. The farmer, the husband of Jawhara, was not able at all to stay longer with the manager of the hotel. Precipitately, he left the big hall and rushed hurriedly up to his room. He changed his clothes, put on his night sleeping robe, went to his bed, covered himself with a simple bed sheet, closed his eyes and there he was already in the world of dreams, fantasy, imagination and perhaps nightmares.

After sleeping for a while peacefully and in tranquility, he all of a sudden started to dream and to have some fantastic dreams. In those curious and frightening dreams he saw the cousin of his wife whom he planned his assassination the day his son was circumcised. This cousin of Jawhara, the black young man, told the farmer in the dream so many curious and bizarre facts, ideas and stories about his wife and the black boy, the genius and the prodigy, Amir. The dream which he just had last night has really upset, disturbed and disrupted practically all his life.

The farmer first of all could not believe what he has already seen in the dream of last night. How could the young cousin of his wife appear to him in the midst of the night in a dream?

How could he know that what he was told in the dream by Amin, the cousin of Jawhara, was true and represented the verity, the reality? This idea of conceiving by the Spirit, told by the cousin of Jawhara, was for him something unbelievable and could not be understood by him. The farmer of the quarter, the sterile husband of the black woman, Jawhara, firmly believed before the dream of the visit to the hotel of Beirut, that his wife, the black woman, was really, actually and undoubtedly an adulteress who conceived her son by having a love affair, a real love affair, with a man, with somebody, whose semen are alive and active and not sterile like him.

Yet, the farmer decided firmly to behave and to pass his days as if this boy was engendered by him. He was in need of a boy, a son, to be his heir. He accepted Amir as being his son, the legal son, though this boy was black. But later on, and on the day of the circumcision of Amir on the sixth day of his life, the farmer of the quarter saw the cousin of Jawhara and took the decision, the judgment, that this man, the cousin of Jawhara, was the real father of his presumed black son. So he planned his assassination, his death in his home place in the Valley of the Spirits.

Timbuktu 1 - 15 of 17.0 - Top Menu / Bottom Menu

Again, the black man appeared to him and for a second time. The cousin of Jawhara appeared to the farmer in a very strange dream in the hotel in which the accused lover confessed what happened and in odd and bizarre circumstances. The already dead lover, who paid his life for his trespassing the holy laws of society and its sacred traditions, has told the sterile husband of Jawhara that he did not physically touch the body of the black woman.

The black man, the cousin of the wife, has emphasized in the dream that it was through the Spirit, his spirit, that Jawhara has got pregnant. The farmer was not in a position to understand what the dead man, the lover of his wife, was saying. In other words, the husband of Jawhara felt that he was drowned and submerged in a very complicated mystery, a riddle. He could not believe or understand that a woman could be fecundated, inseminated and fertilized by means of coming in contact with a spirit or with the spirit of somebody, a certain identified man.

The farmer of the quarter, while he was preparing himself to get ready for the long journey to the East Bank of the Holy River, decided that the black man was not able to convince him in his exciting dream that Jawhara conceived her son by coming in contact with the Spirit of her cousin. The farmer was insisting that Amir, the young black son of Jawhara could not come to life as a result of the contact of the body of the mother with what was called the spirit of the cousin. The farmer believed that his wife had a physical contact with her lover, her cousin. Therefore, the farmer came to the conclusion that the black cousin of Jawhara was the real culprit; he was the real person who slept with his wife.

Timbuktu 1 - 15 of 17.0 - Top Menu / Bottom Menu

The farmer, as a result of the dream in which he saw the cousin of Jawhara, was not sorry, regretful and repentant for having planned the death of Amin, the black man. In other words, he was not convinced at all by the theory of the pregnancy of the wife of the farmer by means of coming in contact with the Spirit of the cousin of Jawhara.

8) In that morning, in the hotel of the city of Beirut, when the farmer of the quarter was preparing himself to go back to his home in the Eastern Bank of the Holy River, he remembered the repeated mentioning of the ghost of the cousin of Jawhara, Amin, the name of the African City of Timbuktu. Two things the farmer was still remembering from the discourse and the conversation of the assassinated black man which were related to the Immortal City of Timbuktu. First was the fact that this Immortal City of Timbuktu was an important world cultural center for several long centuries. He also remembered the fact that in a nocturnal journey, Jawhara, after conceiving her baby from the Spirit of the black cousin, went there to the heart of the Grand Sahara and stayed for two nights in the Intellectual and Immortal City of Timbuktu.

Timbuktu 1 - 15 of 17.0 - Top Menu / Bottom Menu

The mother of the black boy Amir was also spiritually introduced to seven hundred years of the cultural heritage of Timbuktu since the 10th Century. With her, her son, the embryo has also come in contact with the rich cultural and scientific patrimony and legacy of the City of Timbuktu. In summary, the farmer of the quarter, the husband of the black woman, Jawhara, was determined to know later on more and more about this black African Immortal City of Timbuktu.

Early in the morning, the farmer was standing in front of the counter of the hotel. The clerk there surprised the farmer by telling him the following.

Timbuktu 1 - 15 of 17.0 - Top Menu / Bottom Menu

Sorry, Sir, my instructions tell me that you have been in the last two nights as a guest of the management of the hotel said the young clerk of the hotel in a polite, courteous and obliging way.

How could that be? Listen to me. I have to pay you as I used to do in the previous visits to the city of Beirut. In the past seven visits I paid all my accounts. I have been treated like all the other clients of the hotel. Can you understand me? said the farmer of the quarter to the clerk of the hotel.

I am sorry Sir. I am acting in accordance with the instructions given to me by the manager of the hotel. That is all. said the clerk of the hotel to the farmer.

The farmer of the quarter looked at the small office space behind the counter where he saw yesterday the manager sitting behind his bureau. The clerk said that the manager did not come yet to the hotel. In spite of all of that the farmer continued staring at the bureau of the small office space.

There behind the bureau of the manager the farmer saw the black man, the cousin of Jawhara, who was supposed to be already dead, was sitting there inside the office space. The farmer heard the voice of the cousin of Jawhara telling the clerk in a loud voice, 'kill him… kill him. This man is an assassin, a killer, a murderer. Take this dagger and kill him."

Who is sitting there in the office of the manager? I see a black man having a dagger in his hand. This is very strange. said the farmer in a panic and fright situation.

Listen to me. I can't see anybody there. The place is vacant. Nobody is there. I think you are imagining things that do not exist at all. said the clerk of the hotel.

es/ Red Smoker
Above artwork is by the author's son... See more!
© 1980-2024 All Rights Reserved

No, I insist that there is a person there who is about to kill me. said the farmer of the quarter. At that moment, the clerk came out from behind the counter. He carried the suitcase of the farmer and forced him to leave the hotel at once.

9) In his way back from Lebanon, or more precisely from Beirut to the East Bank of the Holy River, the farmer of the quarter spent at least two nights in inns and hotels of various kinds and used various means of transport ranging from donkeys, mules and horses to carriages drown by either mules or horses.

Sometimes, he was with a group of passengers and sometimes he was all alone with the company of his guide and the owner of the means of transport. The husband of Jawhara, the black woman, was perfectly accustomed to such hard experiences in travelling from the East Bank of the Holy River to the various parts of the Fertile Crescent of the Ottoman Empire at that time of the mid 19th Century. He had never any troubles in his travels in going from one city to another and from one province to another.

So far, it was only once that a bandit of criminals attacked the caravan in which he was travelling. The bandits took all what he had of merchandise of various kinds. The farmer of the quarter was very lucky that he was not killed with some other travelers who were destined to lose their lives.

During this journey which took him back from Beirut to his home in the East Bank, the farmer could not at all rub out and efface from his memory the dream which he had in the second night in the hotel of the city of Beirut in which he saw the cousin of his wife Jawhara, the black man, Amin, whom he planned his death and assassination twelve years ago in the Valley of the Spirits. The farmer was still remembering, before arriving at his home, all what the phantom of Amin told him in a dream about the meeting of his spirit with his wife that resulted in the conception of his son Amir, the black boy twelve years ago.

es/ Another Pot On Another Tabletop
Above artwork is by the author's son... See more!
© 1980-2024 All Rights Reserved

He remembered that his wife, the black woman, conceived her son Amir from coming in contact with the Spirit of her cousin Amin. This part of the story, he will never forget as long as he lived and till his death. He believed and even was absolutely convinced that this dream should not be told to anyone at all.

If he had told this story to anybody he would have been considered as a mad man who spoke only of ghosts and phantoms and who told stories that looked like fairy tales which were in those times told by very old women to their small grand children.

Timbuktu 1 - 15 of 17.0 - Top Menu / Bottom Menu

The farmer also decided not to tell anybody what the phantom of the cousin of Jawhara told him in the dream about the Immortal City of Timbuktu. He also, as a farmer who lived all his youth in his home and who travelled here and there in the provinces of the Ottoman Empire when he became a man, never heard of the City of Timbuktu. He heard of many other places and cities like Istanbul, London, and Vienna. Khartoum and Cairo but he never heard at all of the city of Timbuktu. He was told once about the Paradise Lost of the Arabs in Andalusia in Spain but nobody told him about the City of Timbuktu.

Regarding this aspect of the dream in which the City of Timbuktu was repeatedly mentioned, the farmer decided to make further and further exploration and inquiry. There would be no harm at all if he talked about the glory of this Immortal City of Timbuktu. There would not be any harm if he told his son, the black boy, about his ancestral origin, in the city of Timbuktu from his mother's side.

On the other hand, the exploratory trip to the city of Beirut was very fruitful, productive and enriching. The husband of the black woman had the feeling that he had at least realized the important objective of consulting the famous scholar of Beirut regarding the academic and the professional future of his presumed son, Amir.

All the residents of the house of the farmer were extremely happy to see the master of the house safe and sound back in his home, in his citadel. Jawhara was highly excited to see her husband coming back to his home and his family. The black woman wanted, with anxiety and apprehension to know what would be the future of her son, Amir. The moment the farmer entered his house, his black wife wanted to sit with him all alone so as to know what the result of his consultation in Beirut was and what the learned scholar told him about the future of his son, Amir. Of course, the husband of Jawhara was more or less in some confusion and perplexity after what he came to know of new facts and information about the secret, the invisible and the mysterious life of the black woman. The moment he saw his wife, the mother of Amir, he was absolutely convinced that he should behave in front of his black wife as if he never had the dream which he had in the hotel of Beirut.

It is nice to see you, Jawhara. Wherever I go you are the first one who comes to my mind and thinking and to my memories. Really I always feel that you should be near to me everywhere I go. I love you Jawhara. You are my preferred wife. said the husband of the black woman.

The black woman felt very embarrassed and in trouble. It was very rare in her married life that her husband met her in such a romantic and sentimental way. Jawhara thought, after staring at the worried face of her husband, that he was hiding something. Did anything unusual and strange happen to him during the trip to Beirut? Jawhara could not guess at all what was going on in the mind of the farmer. The black wife thought that her husband was all the time thinking of Amin, her cousin, who was assassinated according to a plan prepared by her husband and he was thinking of Amir, her son and the presumed son of the farmer.

Thank you very much, my dear husband. I always think of you during your absence in your frequent business trips. It is nice of you to speak to me in such a nice and delightful manner. No doubt, you have been highly successful in your mission to Beirut. I am sure that you have been well guided by the famous scholar of Beirut. I am anxious to know something about your possible decision concerning the future of our son Amir. said Jawhara, the mother of Amir, the prodigy and the genius.

The husband of the black woman could not say any word about his deliberations and discussion with the Beirut scholar. What occupied his thinking and his feeling was the dream in which he saw the real lover of his wife, the young black man of the Valley of the Spirits, Amin, who was killed about twelve years ago.

The farmer, the husband of Jawhara, was gazing at the face of the black wife and was seeing there in her eyes, the eyes of her lover, her cousin, the black young man, Amin. Could she ever forget that her cousin was assassinated by her husband, the sterile man? The husband of Jawhara was almost hypnotized by the eyes of his black wife.

In reality, and since his return from Beirut, he was no more thinking that his wife, the mother of the black boy, was a normal human being. No doubt, there was in her some kind of a secret element which he could not understand or explain. His dream which he had lately in the hotel of Beirut has totally upset all his life. He also could not understand fully his feeling towards his presumed son, Amir. He could not understand at all the fact that Amir was the product of a Spiritual Contact and could not comprehend that the Spirit of a black man, the cousin of Jawhara, had engendered the boy, the black boy, who was given the name of Amir.

The farmer of the quarter, who was the real murderer of the cousin of Jawhara, had to give some words as a response to what Jawhara has already said.

Oh!! Yes!! Don't worry my dear and lovely wife. The academic and the professional future of Amir are already taking their shape. In the final analysis, Amir would study medicine somewhere in the vast Ottoman Empire. Most probably, he will be going to the city of Beirut where he will join the medical school that has just been operating recently. In five years time Amir would be seventeen years old and I am sure that he would be able to pass the entrance examination to this recently born medical institution in Beirut.

After this short statement made by the farmer of the quarter, there was a complete silence that dominated the atmosphere of the place where Jawhara and her husband were sitting and talking. Again, the farmer looked at the face of his wife and was looking for an answer or answers to many questions that were presenting themselves to him. The farmer found himself in a state of confusion. For the first time since his return from his trip of few days in the city of Beirut, the farmer definitely decided to abandon, to discard, to forget the mysterious and the enigmatic dream of the city of Beirut.

The farmer of the quarter, and the husband of the seven women, the four wives and the three concubines, decided to forget, if possible, the dream, the horrible dream, which he had in the hotel room of Beirut in which he saw the cousin of his wife, the one whom he accused to be the lover of his wife and whom he killed according to a plan of assassination which he himself prepared, financed and master-minded.

The whole life in the farm and in the community at large would be completely upset and overturned. Obviously, no one would be ready to believe that the black boy, Amir, was conceived by the way of the Spirit, that of the black man, the cousin of Jawhara. The farmer went back to his old theory and the old story for which he killed the lover of his wife, Amin, that is, the story that his wife committed adultery and that Amin slept with Jawhara. Otherwise, no one would have believed in the theory of the pregnancy by the Spirit. Therefore, the cousin of Jawhara rightly deserved the death sentence passed on him by the husband of his cousin, the wife of the murderer.

All people in the quarter and in the community were supporting the story which claimed that in one of these nights of destiny and of life of a man and a woman, Jawhara had really slept with her cousin, with his body and spirit and not with his Spirit only. But at the same time the farmer would continue to claim that the young black boy, Amir, as his son although nobody could witness a single trace of the father in the physical features of the son, especially his complexion.

For the last twelve years, the farmer of the quarter has convinced himself that the inhabitants believed that Amir was the legitimate son of the farmer. Obviously it was normal that all the people of the community knew that Amir was a bastard and that his biological father was not the farmer but the cousin of his wife, Amin. This was why the farmer of the quarter killed, or planned the assassination of the lover of his wife just one or two days after the circumcision of his black son, Amir.

However, there could have appeared on the stage another serious and dangerous complication if the son Amir had been considered the son of a Spirit and not the son of an ordinary human being. The repercussion of claiming that Amir, the black intelligent boy, was engendered by a spirit and that his mother had carried him like any normal baby for about nine months, would have created in the whole community and even in the whole region and in the Empire an important event which most people would condemn, censure and severely denounce. No one, and in an absolute sense would believe in this theory of a boy to be engendered by a spirit. Being the son of a spirit would have serious consequences and results which the farmer and the community were not ready to tolerate and even to permit. Deeply in his soul, the farmer preferred that Amir should not be considered as the product of a spirit but rather the product of a physical penetration of man.

Timbuktu 1 - 15 of 17.0 - Top Menu / Bottom Menu

For the farmer of the quarter it was better for him, as a strategy, to consider his presumed son as the product of a physical contact between Jawhara and her lover, the cousin. Yet, in spite of all of that, and on the surface of the fact of life and on the basis of the legal basis and the foundations of the future of the boy, Amir, the farmer of the quarter would continue to consider himself as the official and the legal father of the son, Amir, who would be his heir. The farmer had no choice.

Go to Chapter

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17


Timbuktu 1

Go to the home page of the author Najati Al-Bukhari

© 1980-2024 by Najati Al Bukhari, Mont de Marsan, France

go to facebook page

To home page