the marriage of the parents of General Khaled AL-ZAHAWI
by Edward Yamen Milan
letter of Ms Z. Zahawi showed a sincere and serious interest
in searching for facts, in contrast to the typical attitudes
of other persons in similar cases who disregard the past,
ignore it and against all logic do consider even yesterday
a day of an era already passed.
would like to seize this opportunity to appreciate and applaud
her noble sense of belonging and strong will for fact-finding,
as she proved to be validated as a person who matters.
relation to the marriage itself, I should say that it was
a very rare event and strictly an isolated case in our community
for many years right across the spectrum.
find it not enough from my side to stop here while I can
say a word about two sons from that marriage, namely, Khaled
and Naji whom I had the chance to meet and remember very
Just four or five days before the end of the pro-Nazi revolt
in Iraq while I was walking with my father in a torrid afternoon
in the main street of Baghdad, he bumped into Khaled Al-Zahawi
by mere chance just across the street from the shop of the
latters relatives from his mothers side. I was
at that time a 13 year old kid and am glad that I can still
remember that casual encounter with clarity and brightness.
shook hands very warmly and had a cordial talk while I remained
a silent observer looking at that charismatic person with
his enthusiastic and jovial gestures wearing a very new
SIDARA and a wide smile.
Meantime, I could not forget for a moment the tense, crucial
and upsetting period we were passing by, whereat the shops
which belonged to the non-Jews over the street were already
marked and painted with the words "MUSLIM" OR
"CHRISTIAN". (It was by itself an easier job than
to write "JEWS" on the shops of the Jews, as they
were more numerous"! without a shadow of doubt,
that scenery gave the broadest hint that an act of violence
was in the offing against us at the zero hour.
enough, Khaled Al Zahawi pointed up with disapproval and
disgust to all those things, saying to my father something
like "we are not going to stand by and let them do
what they want....NEVER!"
Those assurances were surely very helpful especially to
me as a kid, frightened to death from all those upsetting
was really an incredible gift; I felt so refreshed and rejoiced
at that news beyond description but at the end when the
time did come all the good intentions and expectations of
Al Zahawi were transformed into a pious hope
when the attacks of the mobs started to take place and the
Kafka-esque nightmare came true as Jewish people were falling
dead and shops and homes were being attacked, robbed, plundered
and looted. Degradation and death showed their ugly face
in no time. Oddly enough, the unrestrained ruthlessness
of the British so-called liberators exploited
that terrible situation as a vested interest for themselves
and as a scapegoat weaponry leaving Baghdad for more than
36 hours in full disorder, disarray and lawlessness.
Zahawi informed the Dangoors privately as I could see from
the last paragraph of the Scribes article under reference,
that he wasnt given the permission to disperse the
rioters neither by the British nor by Noori al-Saeed,
not even by firing into the air only.
years later just by a historys twist of fate, Noori
al Saeed himself was killed in the streets of Baghdad
and had not a better end than those innocent civilian Jews,
killed in that event and who could have been saved if he
wanted to. Though I would like to declare that I wasnt
happy to what has happened to him just as I wasnt
happy for what happened to the Jews in June 1941. Nevertheless,
I should say that I had given a thorough and well meditated
philosophical thought to how things happen in life of which
to take note of; just at the manner of the Ecclisiasticus
in the Bible.
speaking about Naji Mahmood Al Zahawi, the younger brother
of Khaled; his that full name was enlisted among the customers
of my fathers banking bureau. He was honest, reliable
and punctual. Surely these high marks couldnt be given
to every customer; I can add that he was extraordinarily
meticulous in his those virtues and qualities. Whereas Khaled
was so extrovert, Naji was so introvert though very quick
in talking and walking, modest and mild he was shorter
and thinner. As he was a Judge, I daresay he
was a lenient Judge because looking at his characters
he couldnt be otherwise.
Enclosed: a photograph of my father with a Sidara. Date:
article on the marriage of the parents of General Khaled
AL-ZAHAWI from issue 73
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