Bedtime Stories

Bedtime Story [6]
Sheikh Baha’i’s full name is Baha al-Din Mohammad ibn Husayn al-Ameli. Mama tells me he is the Persian advisor to a shah in another time. He studies numbers like my big brother Ramine. He studies letters like me. Once, he advises Shah to consider how we turn for the sun. Once, he writes love poems to God. Once, he heats an entire public bath with a candle. When Isfahan pulls the bath apart, no one can heat it again for centuries. For centuries the family passes down one of Sheikh Baha’i’s hand-inked poetry books, but now it’s gone. When I look him up on Wikipedia to see if he is really real, I find another version of the story. I tell the family, Look, look we are Arab. Our family name is an Arab family name. Sheikh Baha’i was born in Syria, maybe Lebanon, where they speak Arabic until an aunt refutes my version of the past as tale. The way her baba told it, Sheikh Baha’i spent his life in Iran, married a Persian woman, fathered Persian babies. Besides, the remnants of his body lie in Mashhad. His Arab blood is now generations thinned. When the rial crashes, the family sells Sheikh Baha’i’s hand-inked poems for nothing.

Bedtime Story [7]
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