A pink taxi

A pink taxi

October 31, 2010

My Afghan Rose

I selected my daughter's name years before I gave birth to her, one Ramadan Day. Her name is mentioned twice in the Fatiha, the opening verse of the Quran. It literally means "path" and it symbolizes the right choices and decisions and actions that we take in life. I always tell her it is a unique name,  one that nobody else has and that it is up to her to make it worthy of name sake.

The doctor seemed alarmed when he told me the baby needed an emergency c-section, perhaps because he knew I was always keen on  a natural birth. I then looked at my husband and pleaded for the name Syraat if it was a girl, which was an unusual name for him. We didn't know the gender of the child till the doctor at the Geneva clinic proclaimed: "it's a girl!". Soon later, my father was distributing dates as she was born right before "iftar",the breaking the fast dinner during the month of Ramadan.

Six years later the house is full with her fiesty attitude. She wakes up with and maintains her eyebrows in an upside down V. (We call it a Farsi 8). Those eyebrows settle in the company of teachers and coaches. When she walks into class, or at ballet or aikido or riding, her eyes, the color of black olives, soften and she smiles at her instructors. They all appreciate her eagerness and focus. No sooner does she leave her classroom or jump off of her poney that her eyebrows rise again, and she begins her lamenting.

When back from school, even before lunch, she darts to her room where she draws. Her style is akin toNiki de Saint Phalle's, with minute colored details and motifs of stars, hearts and butterflies. She creates a feminine world for us at home with imported glitters, stickers, accessories, arts and crafts. She stands between being feminine and a tomboy. She has decided to host her girlfriends who would refuse to touch a soccer ball at a ballet birthday and then will co-celebrate with her brother at a soccer party when she will invite her boyfriends. She does indoor climbing without fear and uses her agility to her advantage.

She is turning 6 today and I have enjoyed each and every moment with her. I do wonder about her development as a teenager. Of my three children, she is the one with her own mind and her determination. Her aunt and uncles have predicted a "goth" or bohemian style in the future! Her favorite character is the Manga girl, Sakura. Naruto's best friend.


  1. Tarek and I have been listening to the following song for months now, and we couldn't wait to sing it to our beautiful and special Syraat on her 6th birthday.

    She is the only girl in our family, the sweetest girl you can imagine with the strength to stand up to her brothers and cousins. Embrace her character because it will take her far in life, Inshallah. We love her so much.

    "On n'a pas tous les jours six ans,
    Ça nous arrive une fois seulement,
    Ce jour-là passe hélas trop vite !
    C'est pourquoi faut qu'on en profite.
    Si le prof nous fait les gros yeux,
    On dira :
    "Faut bien rire un peu !
    Tant pis si vous n'êtes pas content,
    On n'a pas tous les jours six ans"

    We will call her and sing it to her live, but in the meantime read her these words.

    Happy birthday Syraat!
    Khaleh Amira, Dai Dean, Tarek et Zayd

  2. Happy Birthday Syraat! You are a wonderful and spirited little girl who is full of affection, warmth and a natural innate curiosity for life and everything around you. You truly are an Afghan rose.

    We love you,

    Nadimeh, Afchine, Ava, Vida and Tara

  3. Dear Syraat,

    Happy 6 princess! You are truly our princess as you are the only girl cousin in an army of boys and you are also their coat of armour. Your mom's entry today read like a fairy tale. Enjoy your special day our Afghan rose.

    We love you,
    Khaleh Nissreen, Dai Croco, and Baby Saad

  4. Swiss landed in Geneva Cointrain Airport on a cloudy autumn day on November 1,2006.It was Ramadhan,we were fasting,so we went directly to the beautiful flat overlooking the Jet d'eau on Lake LeMan.My wife insisted the blogger sees her doctor for a check up.So I was left with the four year old boy who was wondering what his mother was surprising him with as a sibling.The proud husband went with her to the exclusive hospital,where delivering mothers are pampered for a week(unlike the US or Canada where the mother is discharged in 24 hours after delivery!).
    We got a phone call in the afternoon that the blogger was taken to the delivery room and that the arrival was immediate.By that time it was iftar,and we broke our fast with few dates and a glass of water in the waiting room.Few minutes later,the happy father came out with the bundle of joy saying:it is a Girl!
    Syraat or Amira Syraat after her only aunt,is our only Princess grandaughter surrounded by six-boy grandchildren gang and the seventh boy on the way.The Scorpio with a unique character,the leftie with determination,is our only female todate.
    We love her and cherish her so,and wish her a long and successful life ahead.

  5. Happy Belated Birthday Sweet Syraat! You need to come our way and spend time with Nina who is also amongst her two brothers and many male cousins. She walks around with a purse in one hand and a sword in the other. May all your wishes and dreams come true.

    Lots of love and kisses,

    Reza, Keon, Nina, Vida, and Behnam