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Rains talk of the town

Yusuf Awadh Al-Azmi

ALLAH the Almighty says in chapter 51:22 of the Holy Qu’ran “In the heavens are your provisions and whatever you are promised.” Rain has many meanings in the life of the people living in the desert. It’s the time when barren land becomes green and pasture for the livestock remain abundant throughout the season. In other words, rain is the symbol of sustenance.

The sight of clouds and rainfall instill optimism and hope in the souls of herdsmen; the rain brings special joy and happiness that can only be understood by a Bedouin, in addition to the positive impact of every drop. A Bedouin considers it glad tiding from the skies.

Socially, the optimism sparked by rainfall positively affects social communication. Tales of the rain are usually circulated, which become the main topic of almost every gathering. The news is about the rain and people’s feelings change at this point. It is not surprising to hear statements like “the rain is chasing away diseases; the rain is washing the land and souls, among other phrases”.

Naturally, we are not here to determine how those phrases would fair scientifically, the main point is phrases adorn the mouths of people during rainfall, and without any doubt, the phrases yield positive effect. Culturally, the rain has its special tradition, and it is not surprising to find the production rate of poems rising during rainfall— given that poetry is the master of literature in our region and the pop culture of optimism and romanticism that characterizes the love between people connected by the rain. In its capacity, the rain is considered a culture, and sometimes, literature.

With every drop, the verse of a poem is made or a paragraph of a tale or even a song is tailored … the rain has an incomparable beautiful culture. I remember the famous Algerian writer Ahlam Mosteghanemi’s wonderful word about the rain, which said “it is of no use seeking refuge under an umbrella of words. Under the rain, silence is better.”

One of my dearest friends said one day, while he was traveling to the City of Light, “Paris”, one of the things he wished for on his four-day trip was the rain. He watched the rain washing the streets, and based on his Bedouin mentality, he considered it to be good sign and good luck. Unfortunately, it did not rain again throughout his four-day visit, and just when he sat in his seat aboard the plane, the rain started falling, washing the side of his window— as if it was bidding him farewell. The rain has its own culture and philosophy in the life of desert people and the life of many people living in this world, as every raindrop brings optimism. ‘O Allah, send upon us helpful, wholesome and healthy rain that is beneficial and not harmful, now and not later’.

By Yusuf Awadh Al-Azmi


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