A terrorist to love – part 4

A terrorist to love – part 4
26 February 2022
Courtesy pinterest.com
She looked again at Manas’s beautiful black face filling the screen with his lips parting on pearly white teeth in such a beautiful smile that it made her heart ache with longing. His face seemed to pop out of the screen.
She smiled back, yet she wanted to know the truth, even if it were to hurt her.

­- Did you order my torture, Manas?
­- How could you think that my angel?
­- I don’t know. It seemed impossible that your supporters would do it without your permission.
­- Those who have tortured you have been castigated. I know I cannot make it up to you, I can never remove the effect the torture had on you, but I have punished those who took it into their hands to punish you for my imprisonment. As soon as I was let out of prison, I tended to that.
­- It was awful
­- I know. I am sorry. Please forgive me. I should have left instructions that you should not be touched but everything happened so fast, and we had to run away from your anti-terrorist team.
­- I forgive you. I see now that it could not have been you and you did not have time to make sure nothing happened to me.
­- Meet me alongside the Thames, near the London Eye at 4 pm
­- Tea-time! I see you are getting acquainted with the locals
­- Anything for you, my angel. I have followed the change of your career and know that it is now here that you have settled down. I want to be with you and give you the best of myself.
­- What about your terrorist gang? Are you going to be attacking civilians here?
­- I wish I could answer you, my angel. Let’s not think about things that separate us. We have so much to catch up about. I have missed you so much
­- Me too

The words almost suffocated her. She had missed him so much that it actually hurt her. She felt as if her chest had been bashed in, so difficult it was to breathe. She quickly put on her clothes and ran towards the tube. It would not take her long to get to the London Eye from Canada Water. She kept wiping nervously her hands on her jeans as she was sweating profusely, and her hands were wet too. She wondered what it would be like to be in his arms again. Would his love for her be the same? Had he been with other women while they were not together? What had he been doing after his release from the Cameroonian prison?

She got down at Waterloo and walked towards the London Eye. From far she could see Manas. He was disguised and now had a beard on as well as a wig, but she could easily recognize him. Suddenly she felt someone gazing at her on the side and turned to see one of her team members from the Cameroon operation. She also felt someone staring at her from the back and turned around to see another of her team members. They were closing in on her and she realized that her phone must have been tapped. 

The good thing was that they had not yet recognized Manas so she turned around and looked squarely at the team member behind her. She pushed him and he fell to the ground. The other team member at her side closed in on her and caught her wrists. Stop fighting, he said but she started throwing punches at him while kicking at the other man who was trying to hold her legs. She saw Manas slowly back out of where he was and then turn and walk away. At least he is safe, she thought as her two team members jointly held her by the wrists and legs.

Norah Jones - Come Away With Me (Official Music Video)

A terrorist to love – part 3

A terrorist to love – part 3
20 December 2021

Courtesy istock.com
She thought back to those dark moments when she had been tortured while Manas was in captivity. It had seemed to last ages although it was only two weeks as she had discovered later. At the beginning of the torture, she was full of the resolve to fight and avoid giving crucial information, but it did not seem like they were searching for any information at all. They had put her feet in a bucket of water and periodically one of the three torturers present would put a wire in the bucket making her experience what seemed like a thousand shockwaves jolting through her body. They had kept doing it systematically until she lost consciousness. She could hear the prayers throughout the day while she was being tortured and that gave her the sense of what time of the day it was. 

She was never left alone, even during the time for prayers, as there was always one guard watching over her. The second day they had attached wires to her genitalia and every time the electricity went through it felt like her genitalia were on fire. Later, when she attempted to urinate, she found it was even more excruciating to pass urine than to suffer the electricity going through her genitalia as the effect of the burning lasted. She pleaded for a bucket of water but there was no moving them it seemed, even though she had started pleading in Arabic and invoking the name of Allah in her request. At last, one woman she had not seen before came to her and gave her a sponge filled with water so that she may wipe herself. This apparent mercy was no doubt due to the fact she had invoked the name of Allah and had done so in Arabic.

That temporary mercy did not last long though and they resumed torturing her. This time she was whipped repeatedly until she lost consciousness. She was then awakened with salts and whipped again. She could feel the skin on her back tear in smaller pieces than she could imagine possible. At the same time, they were repeatedly telling her something in a language she could not understand. A few moments later, one of the torturers who had understood her plea in Arabic came forward and said that she was being punished because she had persuaded Manas to give himself up. She understood from him that Manas was their leader and him going to prison exposed them all to getting caught if Manas talked under torture in prison. She answered that it had been necessary to keep him from being killed. She tried to explain to the man that being in a Cameroonian prison was a better option than him being caught by the US anti-terrorist squad operating in Cameroon. This did not end her ordeal though and she was tortured day after day with only a few hours of rest in the evening when they went to rest leaving only one guard watching her.

One day, without any warning, she was given new clothes and taken into a house that was in front of the shed where she had been tortured. The woman who had given her the sponge earlier took her to a bathing room where she was cuffed at both the hands and the ankles before the woman gently eased her into a bathtub full of warm water. Instead of soothing her, the contact with the water just seared the scars all over her body. She did not complain though as she realized they may be reaching an ending of some sort. It could be that they would kill her or that they would release her. She prayed it would be the latter and indeed, after slowly applying the sponge all over her body gently and attempting to clean her skin as much as she could on the back and with a bit more vigor on her front side, the woman asked her to stand up. As she stood up, the woman applied gently a balm to her back and gave her some asking her to apply it to her genitalia. 

She was then clothed gently with a white linen shirt and a matching flowing white linen skirt. She was then blindfolded and left in front of the US embassy where her boss had taken over from the embassy officials and told her she would be leaving in a day or two to Dubai. Her thoughts were immediately for Manas and she wondered whether she would ever see him again. She felt saddened and at the same time angry at her boss for his lack of empathy considering what she had endured. She also wondered: was Manas the person who had ordered her to be tortured in that way? Could it possibly mean that he did not love her anymore? She tried to soothe herself by thinking back to the days when they were together and to how much she had been happy with him. No, undoubtedly, Manas had not been the one to order her torture. She closed her eyes and could see behind her closed lids the beautiful image of Manas smiling at her. It was only that which had kept her sane during the torture.
Fadl Shaker &Yara Akhedni Maak فضل شاكر و يارا - خدنى معك

We were once swans

We were once swans
9 November 2021
Courtesy pinterest.com
I was once a swan
gracefully gliding 
I conquered surfaces of waters
gleaming as they slipped 
tickling my under belly
working their way to my neck
that revealed itself to slaughter


Daytime picked its grind 
tossing me sideways
ripping parts of my wings
as I lay flat on the lake
a sacrifice to my ineptitude
my commonplace fantasy
of being no more


What is left of me loosens
at the edges; it parts
revealing scintillating facets
of places hidden within
where I search for my traces
when I moved head held high
unveiling my togetherness


I am still sometimes a swan
patching feather after feather
through my insides laid bare
retrieving lost wings 
carved inside my memories
They speak of lost paradise 
when we were all children


I see now the swan in her
fleetingly visible in the sun
shadows of her wings soaring
high above the green lake
I see her and feel the ache
She hides it gracefully 
We were once swans


Reading of the poem: 
Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" - Piano Sonata No.14 - Arr. G.Grant

A terrorist to love – part 2

A terrorist to love – part 2
20 August 2021

Courtesy pinterest.com
It had been difficult to get Manas to surrender to the police in Cameroon. Not only because he would not have volunteered himself but also because she did not feel like turning him in. The time before she had taken him to the police was filled with days of laughing and visiting the forests and nights of lovemaking. One night though, she had realized that her team was closing in on them and she had confessed everything to Manas. More important was the fact that she confessed to him that his case would be better off with the local policeman than with the anti-terrorist team who had been asked to either bring him alive to justice or just shoot him if their mission was starting to be difficult. The morning after she had the realization about her team, they hid in a truck which was then driven towards the police station in Douala, Cameroon. The truck had dropped them off at the police station where she had asked to be dispatched to the US Embassy as a US Citizen with diplomatic status. Manas was immediately taken by the police and put in chains. Before being put in separate rooms he had walked towards her, his eyes shining and a smile on his face and told her that they would soon be together again.


She did not hear from him again for several weeks and she had been demoted and posted in Dubai where her anti-terrorist expertise was not used. She dwelt very little on the terrible things that had happened in the first two weeks before she was relocated. Her boss was seething at her initially for not having brought Manas to the drop off point as agreed when she met him or at least put the explosive and plant the trigger so they could bomb the shack where the marriage was taking place. After some thought, she was not fully let go off but was assigned to the trade commissioner’s team and meant to bridge between the UAE nationals’ companies and the US corporate interests in the UAE. While she was in the UAE, she had been contacted several times by someone who wrote to her at the UAE number that she had got from one of her procurement associates that she worked with, out of the sphere of her official job. The writing seemed extremely similar to the words that Manas would use. She started getting used to the daily communication and wrote as if it were Manas himself indeed writing to her. At one point her correspondent suggested meeting at a café in a mall and she went there but did not meet anyone. Just before she had left the café, however, someone with the stature of Manas but with hair had attempted to get inside the café before looking pointedly towards the right and aborting his attempt. She had then seen stroll through three emiratis in their national outfit. It was obvious, however, to her trained eyes that these were secret service agents. It looked like they just did not want the encounter to happen but disturbed neither her nor the man who had fled the mall.


After that potential brief encounter, the job she was doing was no longer sufficient to take her mind of Manas and was not even remotely connected to what she wanted to do so she had resigned. She was now an adviser on security in the private sector and most of her work was around choosing the right security teams for different types of jobs as well as building secure hideouts or camps for different types of individuals or corporates. Initially recruited by a security company in Dubai, she had slowly branched out of the Gulf and then started her own security company in the UK, advising high net worth individuals and corporates on security. She was based in London and had very few friends but was all the much better for it. Friends were a liability that brought you down in hostage situations and she did not want to have that kind of a weight put on her shoulders. It was then that Manas had reached out to her directly first sending a message to her phone and then contacting her over whatsapp. She had watched with longing as his face filled the screen, smiling like he had done when she had first met him. “Hello my angel”, he said and the tears had welled in her eyes. She knew that it was not him but his terrorist gang who had got to her the first two weeks after he had been turned over to the policeman but his face rekindled those dark memories. At the same time, she could not look at his face without feeling such elation.

3 Daqat - Abu Ft. Yousra

A terrorist to love

A terrorist to love
29 June 2021
Courtesy pinterest.com
She was walking for almost an hour now, always with the Thames by her side. Her thoughts went back to Manas and how she had met him first in a small hut-like construction in Cameroon. She had landed quite abruptly in the field near his house and had hid the parachute under the sand and foliage beneath the trees. She had removed her jumping gear and shoved it under the sand before straightening her clothes. She could not see the remaining members of her team and remembered that she had seen no member of her team jump after her. She knew what her mission was anyway: look for and then report Manas once she had identified him. She had headed towards the house and found the household in great agitation and fuss, celebrating a marriage. 

Without further warning, she had been whisked into the cohort and had become part of the celebration. With her local clothes on, nobody suspected her of any ulterior motive than just the wedding celebration. She had looked around for Manas and identified him sitting next to the bride. She looked at the wristwatch with the small camera, but the camera place seemed damaged. She had turned it nevertheless towards Manas and the bride, hoping that the camera would transmit the images of Manas to her team in the airplane that seemed to have vanished in the skies. 

They probably will come back after viewing the images sent by her camera she had thought. She had sunk into a small couch next to several other women and joined the celebrations, keen to keep her identity safe. Manas had walked over towards her, his smile engaging and charming like she was told it would be. Her boss had predicted accurately that she would be Manas’ type and that this would lead him to bring his guard down. Manas had bowed towards her, with his hand extended, inviting her to dance alongside him like the Muslims in Cameroon did. She had stood up and had slowly been taken by the banter and the dance and almost forgotten what she had come here to do.

She looked back at the Thames and threw a stone in it, watching the ripples grow as the water was displaced by the impact. One of the images that haunted her mind was Manas standing in front of the policemen in Cameroon where she had taken him, and he had not fled. He was free now, walking sometimes in the streets of London when he needed to but all she could think of was the Manas in chains in Cameroon smiling at her, with his followers at his side. She realized that the only reason Manas was free now was because some policemen in Cameroon admired his jihadism and one of them had released him making use of the lax state of security in Cameroonian prisons. 

Her story with Manas had been a very controversial one when her boss realized that she was actually falling in love with the man she was supposed to bring to justice. She had been demoted and was no longer on the anti-terrorist team so she resigned and joined the private sector. She thought back to how the story had evolved. It seemed so long ago now while it had only been 6 months since she had first met him. She remembered how he had reached out to her when he had first got out of prison. She had wondered how he had found her in London as she was not on the phonebook and not a registered voter. She threw another stone in the Thames and realized that it was raining, making more ripples than with just her stone. Her love story with Manas had begun in a very strange way so it was probably just as well that it could lead to strange things. She let her mind drift…
Amr Diab - Osad Einy

The waters flowed calm

The waters flowed calm

1 October 2020

Courtesy pinterest.com

 

The elements raged

Pelting rain tore at my cheeks

The storm’s pace quickened

 

A raven called hoarse

a mild reminder of death

beak lost in twister

 

Rising in the skies

Gusts of wind shook free my frame

I recounted time

 

A single line drawn

across my heaving chest’s throb

The tempest, silenced

 

Soothing thoughts surfaced

As hurricane receded

into oblivion

 

The waters flowed calm

Monsoon surge a memory

Its downpour wasted

 

Reading of the poem:

Amber Mark – Monsoon (Official Video) ft. Mia Mark

 

Written in the context of Ronovan writes weekly Haiku challenge using the words “Calm”, “Storm” and their synonyms. Rules and other contributions available here https://ronovanwrites.com/2020/09/28/ronovan-writes-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-325-calm-storm/

Words interrupted

Words interrupted

20 September 2020

Courtesy pinterest.com

 

Folding unfolding

myriads of images strewn

Memory a lark

 

Beams of crescent moon

tugged slow at my lips’ corners

A nightingale sang

 

Words interrupted

stilled my heart in deep silence

like water it flowed

 

Reading of the poem:

Dance Me To The End Of Love – Francis Goya

I yearn for your untouched skin

I yearn for your untouched skin

29 July 2020

Courtesy freewallpapers

 

I want to seep into your bones

like the chill of a winter night

I yearn for your untouched skin

its shadows now forever closed to me

like a book of secret pleasures

stowed away in a convent of nuns

 

With the yearning of a lifetime

I haul myself through summer

burdened by the winter’s pull

It hangs like dead leaves

fallen from a tree

where spring had once made its way

 

The fruit now lays barren untouched

like the skin of dead virgins

stopped in their tracks by an unknown war

their unseeing eyes swallowed

by the onslaught of darkness

 

I yearn for your untouched skin

Its light now a pale moon

rising in the midst of the hollow night

where only the waterhen cry

in a place I now call home

where the seagulls laugh no more

 

Reading of the poem:

Flam Monsoon Buddha Bar

Bitcoins to go

Bitcoins to go

22 July 2020

Courtesy ccn.com

There was no explanation for what had just happened. He seemed to think that everything was her fault and she thought that he did not seem to have outgrown the childish level where everything was always the fault of someone else than himself. She decided that this time she had had it with the accusations and all the heartache that he had been giving her over the past few weeks. It had first started when something went awry in the business and he had resorted to her for help but she could not and he had then blamed her for being so incapable of helping him while he was in dire need. It was not that she had not tried and try she had repeatedly with shady figures that she would have normally never dealt with, but it was simply that the outcome had been negative. He had of course only looked at the negative outcome and ignored all her efforts to reach that result.

 

Every time the accusation had been either that she did not love him enough to try harder or that she did not trust him enough despite all the love he had showered on her. When she thought back to it, however, she realized that it all seemed like a puzzle painstakingly pieced together to create the illusion of reality with ready-made items of the puzzle springing from his past. The more she thought about it the more she realized that it had never quite felt like real love although the declaration of it had been overly intense. At first she had been puzzled and her natural instinct had been wariness, especially with what her sister had to say about it, but in time the sheer quantity of love messages had gotten to her and as she had a soft heart, she had let herself be persuaded that it was indeed an intense budding love.

 

The last time he had resorted to her for help it was for something that could have put her livelihood at risk but at first she had jumped up to help without paying attention to the request despite all the news she had heard and her work training. A few minutes later though, the doubt on whether what he was asking of her was legit started gnawing at her mind which had buzzed alit from the previous training. When she went to the bank, sure enough, they confirmed to her that what was proposed was illegal and that she could get into big trouble for it. As a result of her discussion with the bank, they had closed her account and she was left without a bank account and without time to open a new one in time for her salary to be paid to her.

 

With hindsight she realized that this was the least of her worries as she could have gotten into much worse trouble had she not reached out to her bank. Indeed, she would have been suspected by their compliance of being a money mule and potentially charged with money laundering. What had she been thinking when she had given him her bank details, especially after he had asked her to transform the money received from his contact into bitcoins and send it across to his bitcoin account! There was no justification for her foolishness and to add insult to injury, he was now angry with her that she had gone to the bank to check in the first place whether such a thing could be done. Their last exchanges were cold and bitter and she thought to herself that the next time she would be wary of anyone who professed so quickly to be intensely in love. You live and learn she thought. What an experience!

 

Dalida & Alain Delon – Paroles, paroles (1973)

My chest blazed alight

My chest blazed alight

11 July 2020

Courtesy wallpaperUP

 

I painted the skies

the colour of you and me

It rained like monsoons

 

The twilight stood out

The moon shaded its surface

The night breathed tremors

 

My chest blazed alight

Fireflies hid in spaces

your hand now held high

 

Reading of the poem:

Stevie Wonder – Overjoyed