INFORMATION OM PRODUKTEN
This book first took its shape in the early 90´s. Like all Ericsson employees we get scattered all over the globe, while always ending up in Sweden in one way or the other. For shorter or longer periods of time. For us as a family we moved here a long time ago. For others like Gaby he used to spend long periods of time here, up to six months sometimes, doing whatever Ericsson employees need to do. As most of the readers will not be based in Sweden there is need for some clarification. If you spend six months during the winter in Sweden as a visitor and not a resident you will immediately react to the darkness and boredom. We who live here have gotten used to it, and move along, doing what we normally do. But without a social life that is rooted in the community is hard to deal with. Now in the beginning of the 90´s Gaby spent considerable time here, without his wife and his daughters. Obviously being a good friend of my fathers, he spent a lot of time with us. Having said that they needed a tool to deal with the boredom of everyday life. Gaby has a beautiful singing voice, and is a grand lover of life by the way. He is extrovert in the proper sense of the word. He is a beer connoisseur, masters Bridge and Canasta, and is always close to laughter. My father was the exact opposite. And introvert in every sense of the word. Drank a half of glass of champagne on New Year's Eve just because he had to. Come think of it that was one of his very few social compromises. If he disliked you he told it to you straight to your face and made sure to avoid you for the rest of his life. He would tinker and obsess, be it with a guitar, a flute or with words. He had a flair for languages. He learned Swedish on his own, using his German as a stepping stone. Although be it with a German accent and a middle eastern look, grammatically his Swedish was impeccable. So, in hindsight, obsessing and tinkering with words to improve the Zajal makes sense. He also loved music, only classical of course. Anything else was not music, it was barbaric. All their quirks are reflected in their Zajal, in some cases it´s accurate, in other cases they exaggerate each other's personality traits in order for the Zajal to work. Sometimes they flat out use lies. Anything for the Zajal to function properly. And that is really the beauty of it, and the title reflects it perfectly. It is Zajal in everyday life in times of boredom. They are not professionals in any sense. They did this to laugh, and hammer at each other, and intellectually bully one and another, friends and foe-and to deal with the boredom of everyday life. Nothing was off limits. It is a homage to friendship in maybe its most beautiful forms. And they have been doing it for years. As I said, they started in the 90´s in my parent's kitchen, but with internet and emails, this continued until my father passed away in 2014, while Gaby was working in Iraq, or when my father was in Sweden and Gaby was in Beirut. Now, in the 90´s there first Mijana was born, and by accident, I ran into my friend Ibrahim, with whom I studied at the University of Stockholm at the time. We had just met, and he a published poet in his own right, had met and knew my father from various poet gatherings. I recited the Mijana and he laughed as hard as he could muster. And there and then we decided that this should become a book. Then life came in between, and we forgot about this endeavor. But lo and behold, look where we are today. When I asked him to help me with this project, I had all forgotten about that we have already decided on this more than a decade ago. Now enough talk. For those of you who need context, I will try to the best of my ability to provide one before every piece-if the need arises. For those who know us, you know the background and who is who. If you are the victim of intellectual bullying, don´t be offended-enjoy it, all is fair in love, war and poetry.