Mr. Saiid Nakhle Moussa, Abou Kamal, was in his 90's
when I visited him. He was born in 1907 in Mieh w Mieh, and he spent
most of his childhood working with his father “Nakhle Moussa” in land
that, he joined the army in the Cavalry brigade, for several years, and
then he left the army and came back to his previous job helping his
father, where his father gave him a camel to work on it, similar to many
Mieh w Mieh youth that owned camels at that time.
had worked hard for long time in order to raise his family a decent
life, and in the eighties, he was displaced with his family, and has
suffered the bitterness of displacement since he did not know any other
professions other than cultivation. After several years of displacement,
he returned to his village Mieh w Mieh, and he was very happy, although
the whole village was destroyed. He returned, rebuilt his house, and
dwelt it after a long forced displacement.
one evening, I visited him, to find him dirking a cup of Lebanese
coffee, and thinking deeply. Seeing me, he offered me a cup of coffee,
and after several questions, I asked him the following:
were you thinking when I got here?
answered: I was thinking about the old beautiful days, where everybody
was full of love, faith, and honesty, and not like today, where the
strong eats the weak. No love, no caring, only hate and everybody cares
After telling me several stories, I asked him specifically about the
story of his father, and how he fled the Turkish army, and he marched
from Istanbul to Mieh w Mieh, so he told me:
father escaped 14 times, and every time we had to pay 4 majidiyyat (a
currency that was used at that time) in order to free him from jail.
last time he was fleeing from Istanbul, the Turkish army arrested him,
and hit him hard. He was transported to a military hospital in Istanbul,
and he was reported dead. 4 soldiers carried him on a coffin, and took
him to the beach where they used to burry the dead soldiers. They dug a
hole, and put my father in it, but as soon as his body touched the hot
sand, he moved his hands, so the soldiers shouted: the dead man is still
alive. So they brought him back to the hospital, and the doctor examined
him, and put him in a special room. My father was not able to talk due
to his bad injuries.
After 2 weeks, he got better, and told the doctor that he is from a
village next to Saida, called Mieh w Mieh, and he wants to go back
there, but the doctor did not allow him to leave Istanbul. After that,
my father escaped again, and he walked for 15 days without shoes, where
he reached Halab in Syria, to the rail road, where he saw some
passengers getting off the train, holding a water gallon each, for some
holy ceremonies. So my father took one water gallon similar to them, and
joined them in order to continue fleeing without being noticed, or any
one to suspect him.
that, he continued his walk, sleeping during the day in natural caves,
and walking the whole night. After 25 days, he finally reached Mieh w
Mieh, but he was in a bad shape: a long beard, yellow face, without
shoes, and the blood covers all his feet, and long and dirty hair. When
he reached home, his wife (my mother) was making bread to the children
(my brothers), and I (Said Nakhle Moussa) was helping her by making fire
to bake the bread.
father stands to the door and said: God bless you woman. My mother, not
recognizing who that man is, said: what do you want? He replied: please
give me some bread, I am very hungry. She answered him: leave me alone;
don’t you see the hungry children?
I saw this man, I felt sorry for him, and I gave him something to eat.
At that moment, the men grabbed my hand, hold me in his chest, started
crying, and told my mother: Oh Hanneh (My mother’s name), don’t you
recognize me?? I am Nakhle, your husband. So my mother was so surprised,
and run to tell my grandmother who was deaf, so I explained to her by
making signs that this is my father, until she also recognized him, and
started crying badly.
the family was together again, and my grandmother was holding her son,
my father, all the time, not believing he is still alive.
is the story of my father, said Said Nakhle Moussa.
“Interview made by: Rania Georges Ondraos, in the late 90s.”