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Timbuktu 1

Najati Al-Bukhari

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

1) Time was passing by very quickly. Months were running away and the blond and the beautiful wife of the farmer did not show any sign of pregnancy. Her husband was very active in his conjugal life. He slept with his wife several times in a week. Sometimes he slept with his wife in the early morning, some other times at midnight or at the beginning of the evening. Sometimes, he slept with her at day time especially in the afternoon after the lunch meal.

Of course, the wife found pleasure in this love making endeavor on the part of the husband. She was as enthusiastic as her husband for such an exciting thrilling bed activity which had the aim of getting pregnant. She was very cooperative with her husband in responding to his sensational demands and his emotional inclinations and desires.

In spite of all efforts of the farmer which aimed at having in the final analysis children, his wife did not show any sign of pregnancy. It was, in fact, the seventeenth month of the marriage with the blond wife and still she was not yet bearing the fruits of all the efforts exerted by her husband with the main aim to have posterity.

With the passing of months and without showing any sign of getting pregnant, the wife began to think that she was the culprit and the guilty and that her husband was not sterile at all. She has been seeing him with complete erection and full penetration in a very frequent manner. She could feel the semen and the seeds of life of her husband going into her. The husband has his pleasure and ecstasy every time he made his penetration. Then what was wrong in the whole affair?

2) Really to be late in the first pregnancy for as long as thirteen or even seventeen months was an enough reason for gossips and talks regarding the matter in the community. The inhabitants of the quarter and the community at large talked about something wrong or missing, lacking or absent either in the husband or the wife. They talked not only of sterility but also of possibilities of diseases, sicknesses, ailments and all kinds of the possibilities of the negative aspects of the human life.

Naturally, the farmer heard all of the rumors that were circulating in the community regarding his possible sterility or that of his wife; He even came to know who said what.

Evidently, he had no other solution but to be patient. He decided to behave as if he heard nothing concerning the delay of his wife to be pregnant. He was determined to be patient and to wait and wait. Perhaps one day his wife would give him his aspired child, his heir.

Finding himself submerged in this campaign of rumors and confusion, he revived his hopes and his confidence in the amulet of the sorceress. There was no other solution available for him. He would wait for few more weeks, probably one or two months.

At last, and after waiting for so long, the farmer decided to consult again the sorceress concerning the delay in the pregnancy of his wife. He did not support waiting for more time for the arrival of his son, his heir. Therefore, he wanted to consult the sorceress once more regarding the delay of the pregnancy of his wife.

3) Evidently, the sorceress of the quarter was well aware of all the recent developments in the private and in the personal life of the farmer. After she gave him the amulet; the sorceress never met the farmer. She knew that her amulet was of no use at all and that the wife of the farmer was still without a child. The young blond wife was still not pregnant. The sorceress was sure that one day the farmer would come again to her for consultation and to seek her aid. Yet she never expected that he would wait to come to her for twelve months.

I hope that you know by now the situation in which is found my wife. I would like to tell you that she has not been pregnant till this moment, till this day. She is not yet pregnant and since more than seventeen months when both of us got married. I am sorry to tell you that the amulet, which has been given to us, was not useful at all. I ask you to find for me solution. I want to have children, many children. I am in a desperate need of a son to be my heir. You must find for me a solution for this embarrassing problem. All the inhabitants of the community look at me contemptuously and with disdain and scorn. said the farmer to the sorceress.

There is no other solution except to get married to a second wife. Although this is not a common practice in our community, but there are some men who practice polygamy; up to four wives. Listen to me, you are very rich, you have the money necessary for any new marriage project. You are the only farmer of the quarter and you have shops and stores in which all sorts of commodities are sold. Therefore, you can afford to marry as many wives as you want and as you wish. You could marry and divorce so as not to exceed the legal limits of four wives. said the sorceress to the farmer of the quarter with some nervousness.

4) This idea, or this advice of the wicked sorceress of getting married to as many wives and concubines as he wanted and as he wished, appealed to the troubled and the worried farmer. He saw hope to have children if he married several wives and as many concubines as he wished.

Since the upper limit allowed for him is four wives, so he should make arrangements to get married to three more wives in the coming three years. The idea of getting married to more wives has appealed to the farmer and he found it very attractive and plausible.

To get married to three more wives did not require the consultation of anybody. He had to decide for himself in this respect. However, he discussed this idea with his wife who did not show any objection to it. He also discussed the matter with the old maid who encouraged him too much.

By miracle, joy and happiness the farmer was married to three wives. Each year he added a new wife with the result that at the end of the third year, he had already four wives, the three new ones and the already existing one.

All families in the quarters of the community were anxious and enthusiastic to offer their daughters as wives to the rich and prosperous farmer and landlord.

It did not make any difference to these families whether the future husband of their daughters was potent or impotent. Their only aim was to get rid of their marriageable daughters at whatever price. The fathers thought that their daughters would be lucky if they became the wives of the rich and the influential farmer.

In fact, the mothers of such marriageable daughters made some indirect contacts with the farmer when they came to know that he had the serious intention to marry several wives in three years time. They talked about the availability of their daughters for marriage in the morning social meetings. They gave the impression that their terms and conditions for offering their daughters as future wives would be practically tolerable, negligible or possibly amounting to nothing.

At last, the farmer fulfilled his intentions and his short term objectives of getting married to three wives in three years time. When he declared about his intention to marry three wives offers started to come to him either directly or indirectly. His first wife, the blond woman, and the maids, especially the old one, were so often contacted by women who had marriageable daughters.

In a short time notice, the farmer had already a long list of candidates of young girls from whom he could select his second wife. The first of offers contained candidates of all types of races and colors. All the candidates were young not exceeding the age of twenty years. The list of names contained several family backgrounds, the rich and the poor and the literate and the illiterate. The list also contained all kinds of complexions, the white blond hair, the brown and the black with frizzy black hair.

5) The second wife the farmer of the quarter married was a black girl of eighteen years old. Compared to all the beautiful girls of the community, this black girl was one of those who were superior to others in grace and charm, in attractiveness and in appeal and in beauty and prettiness.

The black girl who was called Jawhara belonged to a peasant family who was working in one of the plantations of the farmer on the eastern banks of the Holy River. Her future husband, the farmer of the quarter, has noticed long ago that this little girl was charming and that she would be more charming when she would attain the age of marriage.

When the farmer asked the father of the black girl the hand of his daughter, the father could not believe that the farmer of the quarter, the landlord, the important man, the richest man in the community, was asking the hand of his daughter for marriage.

Even all the well known families of the community were amazed to know that the richest man in the quarter was about to marry a black girl, the daughter of a family living in one of the plantation belonging to the farmer. The black girl knew that she was beautiful and that it was normal and natural that the farmer of the quarter chose her, and not another, a white girl, to be his second wife.

The back girl, Jawhara, was finally integrated within the family of the farmer. She was given a wing in the farm house. Her marriage ceremony was of the normal type. Celebrations were not exaggerated.

The first wife of the farmer, the blond one, welcomed the new black wife. She did not feel jealous at all. On the contrary, the blond wife helped the second black wife a lot in the process of adapting herself to the new life style and norms.

The blond wife, the first wife, warned Jawhara that she would be the object of love-making activities night and day. The blond wife explained to the black wife that their husband was desperately in need of a child, of an heir. The blond wife explained to the black woman in a very frank manner that she has failed so far to give this aspired child to her husband.

For twelve months, the farmer was sleeping with his black wife for several times a month. Her husband asked her to put on the amulet prepared by the sorceress around her neck. But these efforts did not give results. His black wife remained to be not responsive to the husband's efforts to make her pregnant.

6) As was arranged and planned in accordance with the plan and the advice of the sorceress, the farmer married still another wife, the third. She was of the pure white race similar to that of the first blond wife. The same story of the first and the second wives was repeated. The third wife was unlucky like the previous two. It was not her destiny to give her husband the posterity which he was wishing and aspiring to have.

Still and in accordance with the advice of the sorceress, the farmer married a fourth wife after thirteen months from his marriage with the third wife. Several months passed by and the fourth wife did not get pregnant. The farmer was in a complete mental confusion. He could not have a fifth wife according to the rules of the religion.

In fact, the fourth wife, who was called Suha, was the daughter of the second uncle of the farmer. She was really as beautiful as the black wife, Jawhara. Suha, like all other wives, could not give the farmer any child.

The house of the farmer continued to be deprived of life and vitality created usually by the presence of children. In spite of the fact that the farmer had so far four wives he remained to be a man without posterity.

The farmer, after his marriage from his cousin, the fourth wife, and his discovery that none of his wives was able to give him children, decided to acquire three concubines whom he treated in the house as his legal wives. Each of the three concubines had a special wing in the house like all the four wives of the farmer of the quarter.

It was not only polygamy which the farmer applied as a way to have posterity but also the various ways and practices given and recommended by the sorceress including the amulets. All the four wives had amulets as necklaces around their necks. The farmer put around his neck and for two days a week four amulets belonging to the four wives.

The concubines were not asked to carry the amulets around their necks. But, anyhow, they were given by the sorceress other things of sorcery as powders to be put in their tea, or some small pieces of paper on which was written something that could not be understood by anybody.

However, and after several years of an active married life with all the wives and the concubines not a single wife showed any sign of pregnancy. Also, not a single concubine showed any sign of an aspired and wanted pregnancy.

For ten long years since his first marriage with the blond wife, the farmer was patient in waiting for his son, his heir. Yet after that, and month after month, life for the farmer has become full of tension and anxiety and full of suspense and apprehension.

Not a single wife showed any sign of pregnancy. He was hoping that one of his concubines would bear for him a child. Unfortunately, neither a wife nor a concubine could show any sign to indicate that a miracle has taken place in the house of the farmer of the quarter.

Thus at the end of ten or eleven years of married life, the farmer arrived at the final conclusion that he was the sterile and the cause of all misery and suffering in the house. It was he, the farmer, who failed throughout the last eleven years to engender a single child.

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For ten years, the farmer slept with all his wives, and he made love with all of them. But, unfortunately, not a single wife had shown signs of being pregnant. Instead of having children and a posterity, the farmer was having horrible dreams and dreadful nightmares.

7) One night, a strange night, the farmer had a dream, an unbelievable dream. In that dream he saw his black wife, Jawhara, bearing for him a child. He saw her in her last days of pregnancy, perhaps the eighth month. The pregnant black wife was walking in the house proudly and gloriously in the corridors and in the various spaces of the house. All the other wives looked at the black woman, Jawhara, with some feeling of jealousy, suspicion and distrust.

The pregnant wife who came from the Valley of the Spirits was constantly followed by a maid just to be ready to render any service or help asked by the pregnant wife, Jawhara.

However, this entire story of the pregnancy of the black woman of the Valley of the Spirits was only a dream, just a simple dream and nothing else. The next day in the morning, when the farmer got up from his deep sleep, he came to know that what he thought to be a reality was just a dream, a simple dream and nothing else. His black wife, Jawhara, was not pregnant at all. The farmer wanted to cry, to shed his tears and even to shout in a loud voice. He was about to be a fool and to lose his mind.

Few days later, the farmer was sleeping all alone in his spacious bedroom with nobody sharing with him his bed. He was all alone. It was still the beautiful spring season and everything in the environment was showing the signs of a vivid, a dazzling and a colorful life. All the components of nature were blooming, blossoming and flowering. All the landscape around the farm house had a glittering lively green color. The trees in the surrounding gardens were illuminating with their green branches and leaves.

In that night the farmer had another dream in which he saw his black wife offering him a child, a baby, a son, a boy, an heir. In the same dream he saw himself escaping from his wife who was carrying the newly born child, a completely black and charming child.

The farmer could not see the child because he thought that the child carried by Jawhara, the black woman, could not be his child because he was certainly sterile. He was convinced that the father of the child was another man and not he, himself, and that his black wife was tarnishing the honor of the family and the community. He reasoned that this wife, beautiful and attractive, was having a lover and that this lover could have been of the young three agricultural laborers. He was asking himself what he should do to his wife who committed this horrible sin, adultery.

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He thought that his wife has committed the sin of adultery. She has already contaminated the honor of the family. The sin of his wife was unpardonable. The farmer thought that the adultery of his wife was completely disgraceful, indefensible, deplorable and shameful. She should be punished by death.

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All of these bad, satanic, criminal and pernicious ideas passed in his soul in a flash of an eye in his deep sleep, in his horrible and terrifying dream.

Because of this evil imagination during his dreams and during his day life, the farmer began to live a horrible life of suspicion and doubt, and awful life of nightmares and horror. He was under the impression that always, night and day, somebody was about to penetrate into his house in the farm. The high wall surrounding his house would not prevent any intruder from forcing his way to the bedrooms of his wives and his concubines.

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Timbuktu 1

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