Fiction by Muhsin Al-Ramli
This is how our village acquired its own Rambo and Tarzan.
Translated by Yasmeen Hanoosh
Just as the thirteenth year of my life started, the Iraqi-Iran war began. Before it was even a year old, my oldest brother was killed and one of my cousins was taken as a prisoner of war. That is when I began hearing my father curse “Mr. President” whenever he found himself alone with my mother in the orchard, kitchen, or bedroom, or as she milked our cows in the pen. I was irremediably confused as I sat torn between these obscene curses and those beautiful pictures and songs they taught us in school, praising the president, the great teacher, the hero, the valiant, the genius, the powerful, the necessity, the inspired, etc.—among other names and attributes in a long list of big words. We did not understand all of them at the time, yet we began dreaming of seeing him even if only in our dreams. There were those among us who claimed that this wish had come true for them…………
bilingual version: http://wordswithoutborders.org/article/bilingual/the-one-eyed-radio