I don’t have much knowledge about the Arabs except the pictures of the present Arabs on TV, newspapers or magazines or the Arabs of the ancient times which I have read in some old story books or texts taught in my school classes long ago.The rich and the wealthy Arab merchants with long white robes and veils travelling on camel backs were the immediate reminiscents of the Arabs flashing on our minds on hearing about the word Arab, let alone the present high profile and modern Arabs.

On last 31st, I had a very pleasant and memorable meeting with an extra-ordinary young Arab from Baharain, contrary to a traditional Arab image, at a marriage function at Calicut.He is Mr.Ali Darwish, a business man from Baharain.Why I found him extra-ordinary is that this man came all the way from Baharain only to attend the marriage function of a Keralite employee working under him.Inspite of all his hectic schedule there, he took a break for a week to attend the marriage and the connected functions in Calicut.When we find so many excuses to evade from many a marriage function on family front or avoiding other family engagements for various trivial reasons, the act and gesture of this young man from Baharain is a classic example of love, concern and humanity, which are the qualities we hardly come across from anyone now.

Mr.Ali came to Calicut to attend the marriage of Dheeraj from Calicut, who is an employee in his firm in Baharain. Smartly dressed, he was all in the forefront in all the functions, keeping frienship with each and everyone with all niceties. He was feeling ‘at home’, in a strange place with mostly unknown people.He seemed to be enjoying the customs and traditions of a quite unfamiliar land.He was in a jovial and enthusiatic mood throught with the people, irrespective of old or young or children.

We had a long talk on the various customs prevailing here and in his country on the occasion of the reception of the bride’s party in the bridegroom’s house.I found him to be very friendly and ameanable. He was wonder-sruck to know about the dowry system prevailing here.In Baharain, he told me, there exists the contrary , wherein the boy has to pay the money and gold to the girl for the marriage.All festivities are there in connection with the wedding.The girl has to remain indoors for 3 days in her husband’s home and the relatives visiting her and presenting her with gifts and so on , he told me. He was very eloquent on the education system in Bahrain, when he came to know that I’m working int the University of calicut He was quite abreast of all subjects like education, culture, art, nature etc.It was a very pleasant experience to talk to him on various topics of life and society.

At last, it was time to bid adieu to him.He will be going back to Baharain on Friday afternoon.We shook hands together while parting.He told me ‘see you’.I don’t think I would ever be able to see him during my life-time.But he left me an everlasting impression of an embodiment of true and abundant love, care and concern for his fellow human-beings, a traditional unending Arab love for ever.




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