Oh, it was long time ago, when sweet Dr. Irene had visited my country Baghdad; where a long journey of friendship has started, announcing faithful relationship before wars' announcement had even started!
I was sort of six years old when aunt Suad called me to introduce Irene Mannheimer, her best friend, to me. We were preparing to visit Babylon in a family arranged journey as Dr. Irene wanted to make short tourist round in this area, the time that I was so curious to make round tour to her, scanning her beautiful hair, rosy cheeks and discover why my aunt had never stopped talking about her, and her beautiful nature.
Spent most of her life studying and teaching Latin Language, she made sure that Philosophy is even involved. But she mightdidn't knowthat she was translating her teaching letters and words into love and devotion for all those who surrounded her, too.
When we reached Babylon, which is 85 km south of Baghdad and where it considered to be as the first small town spring up thousands yearsago from Iraqi history, Irene was full of joy as the Greece old name had attracted our friend, and since then we started our own history.
With her even sweetest Camera, she started picking up picks for all. Lion of Babylon was on top list. My father was so happy to have the chance to be our tour guide; and aunt Suad made sure to embrace the whole day with complements. I was that annoying child to interfere every now and then when they talk! I wanted to know Irene homeland, and what was it look like. Irene was so patient with me and spoke of her homeland mountains when covered with snow, and rainbows across Zurich lake when spring comes along. She brought chocolate from her homeland; famous and delicious,and there is no way to forget how they tasted.
Irene went back home, and I had grown up. Year followed another year and Irene kept sending letters, and I respond. With humble English language, and with the help of my father I managed though. But words were not just those arranged letters to carry meanings; they were inspired by allot of passionate senses that carried other meanings, of life and relationships.
Wars started hitting my country one by one, and Irene kept on writing asking about us; she even offered help through medication and aids. Packages took along time to reach my country, but fortunately they always find their way to ourhome. Letters, postcards and medical aids kept us peaceful and warm inwar days long.
In 1998, Irene made another tourist visit to us; and it was even a more joyful one. Though we grew up, and shegot involved with PhD and other large issues while I got married and got involved with kids and housekeeping, we never stopped writing to each other with a slight different that we used more emails than regular letters.
It is really amazing how Irene is taking care of my own children now. It was just couple weeks ago, when a package of gift story books reached my apartment where I am currently living in Amman, and a cheerful joy and "jumping around" of my kids "whom started to write to her now" filled our new lives with even wormer feelings.