Mr Haidari would have been appalled, to say the least, at what they are doing to his country. He’d roll his eyes heavenwards, raise his hands in despair and return to his frugal meal of tuna sandwich and tea, resigned to the fact that peace is forever denied in his country that is
We met Mr Haidari one summer afternoon in our favourite Ice cream bar in Whiteleys. We had never seen him before this, but after several ice creams, my husband decided to befriend the old gentleman sitting quietly contemplating his tea, at the table that was to be his for several months if not years after that. His robes had seen better days and he was in need of a shave but his manners were impeccable, betraying his upbringing and his background. He’d rise to his feet as I approached his table and kiss my hand in the manner of a perfect gentleman. And he’d stand up again when we left. Several meetings with Mr Haidari at the Ice Cream parlour made him comfortable enough for him to tell us what had happened and what brought him here.
For most of the time, he’d stay in the spare room praying. He didn’t mind if we had to go out during the day but during the night, he’d be standing by the window, waiting for us to come home. One night he told us why.
He was to identify what was left of Mr Haidari. But he didnt ‘cos he couldn’t. Mr Haidari had been dead for a week during one of the hottest summers we had ever known. It was a very sad man who rode in the police van with the black bag containing what was once Mr Haidari . But he gave him a proper burial.