Destination Gauntanamo

Abdullha  4 


I decided to take every one out for dinner that night. I wanted to get to know my mothers niece from London and I didn’t want anyone to have to slave over a stove preparing for a little army. Sadia wanted us to split the bill with everyone but I refused, because I can afford to spend on my family and friends especially since we have much to celebrate with Rahim getting married in a few days.  

I got dressed, the cold was bitter so I decided to put on a track suit and layer every vest I have in my bag. By the time I was done I felt as if my mother had dressed me for the cold. I missed the kids a lot but was enjoying the time with Sadia. It was nice to see her relaxing for once, reading a book or taking a bubble bath without having one of the kids banging at the door. With work, household chores and school runs I really have no idea how women still find the time to do the things they enjoy. I honestly could not imagine my life without this women. She put a coat on over her abyha and added a plain headscarf. She looked elegant and dreamy. To me she was the most gorgeous woman in the world. Don’t get me wrong I’m no saint, I have an eye for beauty but every time I fell I’m faltering, I look away and make pray to be stronger.  We all have our tests, after all we are human and life is full of temptation. 

During the ride to the restaurant we spoke about the weather in London and whether, if we moved here we would manage to live without some of our proudly SA brands. 

The restaurant was a nice cozy indian one. It was quite busy, the aroma of the spices drifting out of the kitchen reminded me of my granny’s cooking when I was little. The aroma alone would make me so hungry, I thought I would die of starvation if my granny didn’t feed me soon. 

We were seated near the rear of the restaurant facing the door. My mother’s niece Aneesa and her husband Luqmaan arrived earlier than expected. We got talking about London, she was sweet and funny and I wondered why we never  visited her before. Luqmaan and Sadia were in deep conversation about her work. Then he made a patriarchal remark about how women didn’t need to work and they got into a bit of an argument. Sadia laughed calling his thinking ‘old fashioned’ and asked him to imagine a world where there were no females in the work place and if he would be ok with a male doctor seeing to his wife. I looked down, to hide the smirk growing across my face. Thankfully she got him to shut up. Here I was thinking he was trying to impress my wife using religion incorrectly and she schooled him. We forget that Islam empowers women but often culture is patriarchal and yet it is religion gets blamed. 

Supper was amazing and my mother got her first cup of indian tea since the flight and the ‘oohs and ahas and how I missed this’ speech was hilarious. The food was aromatic and scrumptious. I felt as though I was in india sitting at at fancy Mumbai restaurant. The conversation flowed and it was fast turning into one of those memorable nights.

That was until Luqmaan took a conversation over the top. I had tried to keep the situation calm but he wouldn’t stop. It was almost as if he hated us and hated the fact that Salma was getting married to Rahim. To make matters worse, the idiot even yelled out ISIS, which mae everyone turn around and stare at us. Gosh he made me so angry I wanted to punch him. Lucky I managed to keep my cool, after all no good ever comes from a fist fight. The kids and my mother left and I paid for the bill, got Sadia and Rahim’s crew on their feet and we all left. It was awful because e a perfect evening was wrecked by an idiot who made a debate personal.  

by mumtaz saley


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