Saturday, 3 September 2011

Return of the Tribe

I wandered around blindly alone. Smiling left and right, hearing mismatched sentences out many conversations. I needed cold air. So I sat on the stairs, the drafts from the air conditioning being the most concentrated there.

Sitting near the top, I saw it so clearly that it made me frown.
My friends had sectioned themselves off into groups. Though the term friends is used loosely here, it was a mixture of old friends, new friends and acquaintances.

Those hailing from Baghdad sat on chairs, their eyes heavily lined with kohl, speaking of university friends and gossip. Occasionally their laughs deep and mellow.

The Najafis and Karbalaies had taken next to the the decorative Islamic art and the quieter areas. Their clothes uncharacteristically colourful.Their smiles genuine the night long.

The few Kurdish girls were already setting the sparklers alight, their language distinct through the crowd. They conversed briefly with the Baghdad girls, generally talking about fashion.

The girls hailing from Mosul made me feel inadequate as a female, as they simultaneously held conversations and helped out with children.

My distant relatives from Diyala concentrated around the kitchen, their hospitality organized and generous, their shyness cute. Their dialect making me smile occasionally.

I wondered why despite positive attributes, that their conversation with the other 'groups' were limited. Seemingly only a gesture of politeness.

As the gathering drew to a close, I got my answer.

Each girl left on the tail of her mother.