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My Meeting with Ashur Panipal: Using a Time Machine to Explore our Past! ( Part 4)
By: Ashur Sada. Dec. 15th, 2005


I am now in the Guest House, and been given my own room. It is a good room by their standards, but for me, coming from the 21st century, the room was very boring. In fact, boring was an under-statement. There was no TV, no Internet, no newspapers or magazines to read. It didn’t even have a bed. The only fun thing it had were all these Assyrian art pieces hang on the wall. I spent close to an hour gazing at them, switching from one to another, back and fourth. I looked at them for so long, I got dizzy and finally fell asleep.

It is now late in the morning and I have just woken up. The guards woke me up and offered me honey with a morning drink that tasted a lot like coffee. This was my breakfast. Oh yeah, there was also some bread on the side, that tasted great. I ate all that I was given, not that it was a big portion. I then sat down in my room waiting for something to happen; for the guards to come and take me to meet his highness King Ashur Panipal. I waited for hours, and nothing happened. Occasionally, I would hear people passing by my room, speaking in various languages, some of which I picked and understood.

I am still locked in my room, and suddenly there was a group of people speaking in a very old English dialect, who passed by my room. I am sure I heard it and it was English. But who could they have been and where did they come from? Unfortunately, I didn’t think about opening my room door to see who these people were and what they looked like. It is very likely that they too were tourists or possibly pilgrims from Europe, here to pay tribute to Assyria and its great king. Boy have times changed from then to now!

Hours passed by, and I think it was already in the mid-afternoon. Suddenly, there was a very polite knock on the door. I opened the door and to my surprise, there was a guard, and behind him were three people; one male and two females. The guard had a big plate in his hand full with food. He served the food for me and then asked me to pick one of the three persons behind him to entertain me. I was puzzled at first and didn’t know what type of entertainment he was talking about. He then introduced me to each one of them and what they do. His Assyrian was so hard to understand, I will rephrase in English

"It is a habit and tradition for us to provide our guests with the best fun and entertainment possible. Based on your age, gender and where you came from, we have determined that one of the following three entertainers can help you pass some good times while you are in our hosting. Let me tell you what each one does and then you are free to choose whichever one you like:

-The first male is named
Nimorod, and he keeps guests and visitors entertained with his amazing magic and trickery.
-The second is a female and her name is
Atreena, and she will entertain you with her traditional solo Assyrian dance and signing. She does both!
-The third is also a female, her name is
Beleet, and her skill is poems and Assyrian Dialogue (a form of philosophical debate, done by one person alone)

To help you choose, each one of them will give you a short demonstration of their skill, and then you got to choose one. "

After each one of the three did their part, I was amazed, and confused as to which one I should choose; they were all pretty damn good at what they did. But for some reason, I fell for the last girl, Beleet, and her amazing mastery of Assyrian poem and dialogue. So I ended up picking her. I then asked the guard about how the girl would entertain me and whether she would do so while I ate, or after that? He told me that she was mine for a few hours, paid for by the hotel, so I was free to pick any time. I was quiet happy with that, after all, the room was so boring before. Moreover, the girl was stunningly beautiful. She was more on the white side, big black eyes, and silk-like straight hair.

I told the guard that the girl can come back after I had finished eating. Having left the room, I now sat down to eat. The plate was full with different food and appetizers. To my amazement, I saw some foods which I recognized like Dolma, Riza w Shorba, and even something that looked a lot like Dikhwa. Could these foods be originally Assyrian?  I don’t know what these people were thinking, but the plate had so much food, too much for even three people to finish. I started eating, a bit of everything, until I was full. The Dolma and Dikhwa tasted so good, I thought about stealing the recipe and taking it back to the 21st century with me, so that my mom can do these two foods just as delicious.

Now that I was done eating, the guard came back along with the girl. She came with nothing; she had literally hundreds and hundreds of poems and dialogues all memorized. Before the guard left, I asked him about the status of my future meeting with the king. He let me know that he had no knowledge about the status or progress of this issue, but promised me to look into it. I thanked him, and he left. Prior to leaving, he told Beleet something in Assyrian (I think it had to do with her scheduling and commitment to other guests in the hotel that day)

The girl introduced herself with a big and sweet smile. And with no waiting, she went into reading poems. She wasn’t just reading them, she was more like acting them to me. Her first poem was about her love with a male lover named Ashur. Was that a coincidence or what? My name is Ashur too! Her poems were nothing like what I had heard before. Her poems were so good, it made the poems in our Assyrian songs today look like simple words. Imagine if this girl was living in our world today and writing songs for our singers? Having finished the first poem, she gave me a short synopsis of what the second poem was about: it was a poem dedicated to Assyria, its people and the king. This was a poem that Ashur Sargis would have paid all his money to get and sing . The poem was about ten minutes long, and I couldn’t believe how good it was written and rhymed. It was simply legendary. I tried to remember as much as I could from it, so I can re-write it again and offer it to one of our singers today.

The girl spent close to two hours reciting poems and doing traditional Assyrian dialogues. She then told me her time was up and that she had to leave. But there was no way I would let this sweet and amazing girl leave just like that. So I preceded to ask her:

-Masyat yawatlee Cell Phone number dyakh?
parmoye modele awa?

Ahhhhhh how ignorant of me, how would this poor girl know what cell phones are. Then I apologized and went one to ask her an even more stupid question:

-Spay etlakh ICQ yan MSN?
Leshana byet hamzemoete?

Again, I did the same mistake, not knowing that the girl had no idea what the internet was, let alone MSN or ICQ. Finally I got fed up and decided to ask her the ultimate (dumb) question:

-Beleet, raba shapertat, w etlakh kha parsoupaeet raba m’agbana, qa bout hadakh bayen yaten, etlakh khora (bf)?
-Hawet Baseema raba, ena la pormele rabs spay mo boqeroukh. Ana hala sourtan, akhche 19 shenen, len mpelta gu khoba khesh…”

I then realized that no matter how close I could get to this girl, it was impossible for us to have anything together. After all, how can I make her time-travel with me?  She left the room, and now I become more depressed and miserable. Beleet occupied all my thinking, and I had nothing to think about other than her. But I had to forget about her and focus on the task at hand: my meeting with Ashur Panipal which was very near and soon.


Coming up next, the guard deliver the good news to me: I was going to finally see the king in two days. There was no other security clearance to go through. I now sit down and think about what will I talk to the King about. Then I finally get to meet the great King, and what an experience. During the meeting, I dare to do something very risky that could lead to my death…





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