Veiled PAGE

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Gadi

"Good morning, Murad! Do you have time?" I inquired.

"Sure, Gadi! Come on in. What can I do for you?"

"I came to talk to you about Fida, our little mouse. She seems to have a crush on our guest Amir Arslan. I should have asked if you' d like to make her his wife,' I said.

"That sneaky little bitch!" Murad thought to himself secretly and said:

"That's out of the question, Fida needs us before I give her to a man, she must work on herself. Amir was asking about you. He wanted to know who your father is and I gave him the name and address of al Gossarah. As far as I know, he's on his way to ask for your hand." I was paralyzed, I got nothing left. And so I stood in his office, petrified into a pillar of salt.

"What's the matter, dear? Aren't you happy? I do hope al Gossarah agrees. Soon you' ll be twenty years old. It's time for you to get married, my old damsel!" and he laughed out loud. Slowly I got the hang of it:

" Then Fida ought to be ahead of me!"

"Nonsense! You know, that Fida is way behind in her development. That would be just like marrying a child." His smartphone called. He asked me to leave his office.

"We'll talk later!" All I could do was obey, it was all too much to handle. I walked straight into my apartment and locked myself in.

Murad

I had al Gossarah on the line. A good opportunity to kick Gadi out so she could digest what I said.

"Salam aleikum, Halim. What can I do for you?" I greeted him.

"I like the young man you sent me very much. And to be honest, I want Gadi as far away from her mother as possible. I would like to come with him to your house this evening. I'll also bring Gadi's mother. What do you think?" he said.

"Wonderful! I'm really glad you like Amir. A warm welcome to all of you," I said.

"I do know that you would have hated it when Gadi moved in with us. This young man is our mutual salvation. By tonight, my friend," he said.

The Engagement

In the evening we all sat together, except Gadi.

"Where's Gadi? We're waiting for her," asked al Gossarah. Fida said:

" She said she was so ashamed she didn't want to come."

"Go to her again now and instruct her that her guardian orders her to appear immediately," al Gossarah was very angry and became loud.

Fida's self-esteem collapsed like a house of cards and she fled to her room.

"In my household wishes are expressed in the form of a request and a guest here should never raise his voice. I'll visit Gadi and pick her up," I said and would have liked to kick al Gossarah out. Amir was also embarrassed and remained only out of courtesy.

"Gadi, it's Murad. Please open the door." Opened up to me just to crouch down in the deepest corner.

"What's the matter with you, my child? You know the rules! Unless you want to bow to al Gossarah's wishes, then you will surely trust me," I said.

"You're my spirit-father, I trust you always. I want to obey you," she said. " All right! So come down and join us. Well, I'll be the one to promise you to Amir. If you' re okay with that, all you have to do now is a nod." She slowly got up and nodded.

" First, you stop by Fida's. She got all the rage from al Gossarah over your staying away, and I desperately want her to be there at your engagement. I swear to you, this disgusting package will never enter the threshold of my house again and you will follow a really good man to his homeland and be protected from al Gossarah by him forever. Your mother volunteered for her destiny to live with this man. No need for you to follow her! I'll meet you downstairs and get Fida with you."

I joined the others again and it was painful for me to lose my little Gadi. She's become my daughter over the years. Selima was naturally right as usual: that Gadi was just like me. We had so much in common. Oh, Allah! I'll miss her.

And then Gadi joined us together with Fida. Fida fled directly into Selima's arms. And Gadi said:

" My only and real father is Murad, to whom I love with all my heart and to whom I will obey. He is the ONLY one allowed to promise me to a man and nobody else. If you will accept that, I will be Amir's bride now. I solemnly swear by my faith that I will always be an obedient and pious woman to him and inshallah, the faithful mother to his children."

I was looking at al Gossarah. He nodded, was pissed off. He will never learn to treat devout and decently veiled women in the spirit of the Koran respectfully. A wahabit who could cut himself a big slice of the wisdom of our Sheik Kabir.

And I told those present about the life of Gadi and her mother. As they found Faith and grew into the most beautiful flowers in Allah's Garden. Every Muslim who owns a flower of Allah has taken a great responsibility and should protect it with love and care and my final words were:

"I pronounce you, Amir, to be the protector and lord of my daughter Gadi. Tomorrow morning the wedding will take place in the mosque. May Allah bless you!"

In the morning we all gathered outside the mosque. The Sheik and his followers, Peterson and his wife, almost all the 'young patriots' and many, many others had come. I guess Amir now understood what a darling he had recovered. Who lived in the fraternity, their celebrations were always directed by the community of believers, never by the family, in order to guarantee equality and to avoid senseless indebtedness. So the madrasah was a great place to celebrate. Of course without alcohol and divided by gender. Throughout the celebration, the bridal couple left us, um - you know.

The following week Amir and his new wife started their journey back home. Fida had to stay with my very pregnant Selima. I brought them to the airport. There was nothing left. I can't hold back my tears anymore. I hugged my Gadi for the last time and as I let her go, I felt my heart breaking. With the dignity, I had left I said goodbye to Amir and left without turning around again.