A Surprise Party!

I began suspecting that something was up during the short Metro-ride that separates us from the Dupont Circle. The “surprise” birthday was scheduled to take place at the Front Page, one of our most favorite places in DC and where my daughter works as a hostess, on May 30, my very day of birth of dubious auspiciousness. But then, Khawla told me that we need to go to take to the management at the Front Page and finalize the arrangements, and of course, Oula was already there, but that was one of her work days, then Mouhannad decides to join us at the last minutes, because he doesn’t want to stay alone at home (!!!), and so the three of us ended up going together, and Oula will be there, of course.

But so far, I still suspected nothing, and how can I? I could be the very definition and embodiment of the absent-minded professor at times, albeit I am an activist. Indeed, the absent-minded activist, that’s exactly what Syria really needs.

Be that as it may, it finally dawned upon me, not the certainty of it all, just the possibility that something might indeed be in the works. It’s only when I entered that restaurant that the certainty of it all hit me. But I have to say, some certainties can be very pleasant, and some hits can very soft and assume the form of a barrage of hugs and kisses. The entire evening was like a breath of fresh air, until we started “sweating to the oldies” of course. Well, not exactly, there was plenty of off-the-charts hits as well, and a few songs by Haifa Wahbeh and Nancy Ajram, courtesy of a CD burnt that morning by Oula, as I later learned.

Yes, we did get a bunch of bar-hopping American students and marines and to actually dance to the somewhat oriental rhythms of Haifa’s and Nancy’s songs. Now, I wouldn’t have thought this would be possible within the setting of a regular American bar/restaurant. But DC is cosmopolitan enough to make such a fusion possible, I guess. This is one of the many things I like about it.

So here I was celebrating the highpoint of my midlife crisis with my family and friends. Duh, sometimes, I think I am just too bloody dependable. But that’s me, folks, Mr. DependableI’ll never give you up, I’ll never let you down. It also helps to have a wife that features those selfsame qualities of course, and a couple of wonderful kids that, for all their teenage rebelliousness, are only gently severing that umbilical cord.

But, of course, I have to rush to say, before Miss Pouty-Head here kills me, that Oula is well-nigh 20 year old folks, and Mouhannad, that Montgomery Blair High School’s Top Male Model (and I am not joking here, folks, that’s how his friends at the school’s Fashion Club refer to him) is well-nigh 16.

Will I and Khawla still be around when he and Oula celebrate their 40th birthdays, I wonder? Perhaps. But, for now, I look forward to the 18th and 21st birthdays. Next year’s birthdays will also do. I want to live my life one day at a time, one year at time, I am tired of all that angst and longing.

But I do also need to shed a few pounds. I moved with well-nigh bovine grace on the dance-floor.

22 thoughts on “A Surprise Party!

  1. Many many Happy Returns dear Ammar!And may your dreams come true and the coming ones be devoid of angst and longing…….

  2. Happy Birthday, your’re two days older than me, and some many other years to count:-D. May all ur dreams come true.

  3. Well, my friend, when I turned 40 some years ago, I was told that life begins at forty!.. Well, nine years later,I am still waiting!!..My conclusion: Life might not begin at forty, but MOST CERTAINLY, I made sure it does not END there!..Happy Birthday, Old Man!..

  4. I hope you sang سنة حلوة يا جميل with a proper Syrian prononciation! 🙂

  5. Thank you very much guys, indeed, we did sing Sana Hilwa with the proper accent and all. Now, if only I can shed those pounds. Anyone has any ideas about an easy stomach filling appetite suppressing diet? Well, I think if you do, you’ll be rich already.

  6. Ammar,Ps read my last comment on my post on syria comment (regarding the syria-news story)

  7. I just did Ehsani2, and, indeed, keeping such obsolete laws in the books is one for the Baath Party to keep its controls over the country and its institutions. Many of these laws were tailor made for this, others predated the Baath era, but Baath lawmakers were all too happy and eager to preserve them as useful relics. Thjis is why daily subsistence in our country requires all to be proud law non-abiding citizens, for all the risks this doe entail. How can we ever learn to respect laws again, whether role of law in our lives has deteriorated to this level?

  8. Happy Birthday to you Professor Ammar. Old is, whose candles are more expensive than the birthday cake. So? Luck, dear Ammar, means for old men, to feel like 20 just for half an hour daily.Plenty of luck and all the best for you, Ammar.

  9. Well, Gina, I was pretty confused when I was 20, let’s settle for 30, I liked me better at that age. Still, thanks a bunch.

  10. “Well, Gina, I was pretty confused when I was 20, let’s settle for 30″Best line ever.

  11. No bread, no desert (sugar). And decreased angst and longing, definitely. That is my recommendation. I am last I guess…awake with the sunrise…..still…….Happy Birthday, Ammar. May you be like Dostoyevsky, and create your finest work even at 80. You are only half way there.

  12. Dear Ammar: . . . . . ……in the fortieth memory of your visit to planet earth, I wish you a pleasant stay with the rest of us stuck here! ….a friend of mine has an interesting theory! that Mankind came originally from outer space, and this is why they are destroying this nice planet with wars, chemical industries, killing animals for their skins, spoiling the environment! And killing each other!Other explanation comes from Angles in Quraan:وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً قَالُوا أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَنْ يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ الدِّمَاءَ وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ قَالَ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ That Allah knows us better, but it seems we always choose the hard way! …..Will we make a difference?! And what will we say when looking back at the end of our stay?! I don’t know! …. I wish you success in your efforts to be whatever you want to be, and hope that it is on the right path, as long as you are straight, honest, and sincere in your search for truth, love, and freedom!

  13. Happy Birthday Ammar, and may the next years bring you continued good health and prosperity. I’m sure the best is yet to come!

  14. Thanks Yaman, Zenobia, Hammam and Rime. Zenobia Dostoyevsky is indeed, one of my main sources of inspiration, if not the main source. Hammam, may I wish you the same, my friend, brother and brother-in-law.Rime, I agree, the best is yet to come.

  15. Happy Birthday Ammar…Hopefully you’ll be back soon to a new better Syria (after Assad) and you’ll be celebrating your birthdays thereFaresfreesyria.wordpress.com

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