Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘George

Something about my folks, (continue 3)

George, my dad

My dad, George Bouhatab, was born in 1924 in Segou, in currently the Republic of Mali in Africa.  Mali was then under the French colonial power and was named “Le Soudan Francais”. Dad was repatriated to Lebanon when a child and lived his youth in Beit-Chabab; first with his mother Saesta and younger sister Millia for a few years and then in his grand dad Toufic’s house to the age of twenty.

Although dad finished only the “certificate” in his secondary school, he is well learned in Arabic literature and is good in math; he could easily be an educated professional if he was permitted to continue his studies. He could easily be a good lawyer though not prosper because I figured that he would be very selective with his clients since he is too honest to defend scoundrels.

Dad is a handsome man and about 163 cm tall and looked somewhat chubby for his stature ,but was never fat looking or carried a belly. He has good health and even at the age of 83 does not suffer from blood pressures or high blood sugar content or cholesterol. He never wore corrective glasses except lately for reading.  He had a surgery for appendicitis in Africa but it turned out to be a false alarm but had to suffer the consequences of the surgery.   The other surgery that I am aware of is the removal of his right salivary gland, the parotid; I think that my left gland will eventually have to be removed, but mine is the sub-mandible salivary gland (I indeed did that surgery last year and I was not comfortable for two weeks and wrote about it in my blog). The echo graph has shown two stones in the gland and the surgeon has decided to take out the whole gland because the stones are not located in the duct and thus, would eventually fabricate more stones; I wouldn’t mind be a quarry if not for the constant low-level pain.

Dad has excellent memory and his recall capabilities for names are fantastic; mine and mother’s are pretty poor, especially for recalling names, and I keep the fear that Alzheimer decease might be my lot. The physical weak parts of dad are his skinny legs and feet that I inherited; he has terrible bunions and does not take care of his toe nails (I take good care of all these foreseeable deficiencies).

Dad started smoking early on and still is a smoker. He started drinking alcohol regularly during the civil war before lunch time and before dinner; it was “arak” first (local or national alcohol drink extracted from grapes) and then he turned to cheap whisky on account that arak was the cause for his frequent falling down when getting up off his chair.  Last year, he stopped drinking completely because he realized that he no longer could handle drinks:   we (my mother and I) several times left him lying on the floor for him to sleep off his dizziness.

I used to borrow Arabic books in libraries for him to read in order to keep his mental agility and I subscribed to dailies for him; mother barely can read on account that she gets dizzy when reading; actually she gets dizzy in almost every movement, in cars or airplanes or boats.

I never heard dad singing except when he was inebriated in a gathering that was sharing in the inebriation; neither did mother sing.  In 1963, my folks brought a fancy radio and disc player in an enclosed wood casing and placed it in the salon (formal living room) just as a piece of decoration; I used that decoration to playing the Beatles and French current songs a year later.




October 2022

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