A pink taxi

A pink taxi

February 28, 2012


"You can think up some birds" recommends our favourite "doctor", the Seuss! He uses the verb to "think up" so we can crank up our imagination. Jacques Prevert  wrote a celebrated poem about a bird that distracted every student in us, as we peered out the class window.

Birdie is my favourite golf term. It is simple word, fun and it represents an attainable feat (one point beneath par).Because an eagle, for me, is beyond reach! Your Aunt, otherwise called Khaleh in farsi, may have won gold at the Golf Creek club's Ladies Par3 championships but this only happened twice in a row. Notice the humility!

My mom, your grandmother, by mere coincidence, while this blog post was "work in progress", mentioned she was going to AbuDhabi on a "bird watching" trip with her friend. "Bird watching? How fortunate of you! Did you know that Jonathan Franzen is an avid bird watcher? That he wrote lengthy essays about his passion? That bird watching is an important part of the book Freedom?" My mom laughed at my zoological/literary allusion the same way I would have at bird watching had I not read about Franzen's unusual passion a year ago.

Dr Seuss''"you can think up some birds" has lyrical echoes in the languorous song by Chris Martin "Up with the Birds". This particular song is divided into two parts: the very slow and poetic beginning and the more instrumental and rock second part. Oh how he declares that the "sky is blue!"

My personal experience with birds is that I never fancied caging one at home. But did you know that in your cousins' country Afghanistan, the Taliban forbid the quasi-folkloric pastime of keeping birds in cages, because it translated in love for music?

I also never noticed the variety of birds till Franzen pulled my attention towards them. I now paid closer attention and discovered the variety in Dubai. Indeed, I see them without being able to name them all, certainly not in English. I spot them on the golf course, but also on a random roundabout. In gardens the most impressive peacocks, sometimes a pair of inseparable wild parquets (reminders of the inseparable swan couples I love in Geneva), further in the desert, the majestic falcons, always on the arm of their trainers and my favourite pink flamingos in the marshes of our city. Did you know your toddler cousin calls all birds flamingos?

Dear Nephew, I know with certainty that you will golf one day, because golf runs in the family, on both sides. Your dad is an avid player, as are his brothers and uncle. On your maternal side, I have kept the first generation passion alive by playing myself and watching your cousins, my kids, play too. Before you know it, you will soon perform the attainable birdies and the miraculous eagles.

I cannot believe you are 6 today. This post may be difficult to understand today: complex as it is with its music, sports, poetry and meagre zoology.....but close an eye open an eye, at the speed of flight, you will be old enough one day....to edit it! It is written for you. All these pictures are dedicated from my blackberry camera to you.

"It was nice to sort of pick up birdies along the way" Rory McIlroy.


  1. Happy Birthday Tarek! May all your wishes come true! We can't wait to celebrate your sweet 16!

    Khaleh Nissreen, Dai Croco, Saad,Amir

  2. I used to sing to my children to wake them:"wit wit ya asfour",which translates in Arabic to wake up with the birds singing.I wish I thought of Twitter those days,since Witwit has the same meaning.
    Our Six year old Big T was born on a cold day in NYC at the Roosvelt Hospital where his brother and two cousins followed.The day they brought him home in upper East side,I had my back operation,and we were room mates for couple of weeks.
    I visualize a promising future for my lovely grandson,since he has a sharp and determined character,with bird watching as one quality together with love for collecting like his maternal grandmother