Cairo: and a tale of a man with {maybe} 2 or 3 wives - Part 1

We were driving, as usual, when he told me.

Ahmed 011
My brother died, he said. 

I’m so sorry, Ahmed, I replied.  {I knew that he knew a thing or two about death already.} 

He was my only brother, he said.  And now that he’s died, he’s left me his wives -- his three wives.  And all their children.

Ahmed 031
You have to take care of them? I asked.

Yes, he said.  I think I have to marry the wives. 

But you’re already married, I offered. 

Yes, he said.  But what can I do?  They’re my responsibility. And I’m allowed to have four wives.

Ahmed 019

I didn’t say anything then and he continued.

Wife #1, Hoda, she’s a kind woman.  She says I shouldn’t feel that I have to marry her.  But maybe I should.  Wife #2, Nehad, she’s a very good woman, very polite.  Even my own wife says that she doesn’t mind if I marry Nehad.  Wife #3, Fouzia, she’s very loud, very pushy, a troublemaker.  She’s Palestinian and so you know how they are. 

Ahmed 021-1

The phone rang then.  Ahmed looked at the number, his hand on the steering wheel.  It’s my wife, he said.  She calls me all day, asking me if I am going to marry these women. 

You’re not answering?  I asked.

No, he said.  I don’t know what to tell her. 

The phone rang again.  Ahmed looked at the number.  It’s Fouzia, the fast talking Palestinian one I told you about, he said.  She’s a problem! She’s making me crazy!  He exclaimed.  If I marry Fouzia, my life is going to be hell! 

Ahmed 026-1

He let the phone ring until it stopped.

He was quiet.  And then he said, Did I tell you….Did I tell you that Fouzia is beautiful?  Very beautiful.  You know how those Palestinian women are – that beauty they have.

We were at a red light when he picked up the phone and punched in a number.

Who are you calling? I asked.

I’m calling Fouzia, he said.  And then he smiled a small smile.  

Ahmed 035-1

 Read Part 2 of this tale here.