This story was told to me by my cousin Fawaz a long time ago and I thought I should share it with you. Don’t miss it, its a great one. Here it goes:
A long long time ago in Arabia there lived two men in two different cities. One was called Baghdadi, who lived in Baghdad, and the other was called Hasawi, from AlHasa Regio in Saudi Arabia. These two men were sent to Egypt to be schooled and to learn what they couldn’t learn in their own countries. They met there and became very close friends. Hasawi, who was from a wealthy family took care of his less wealthy friend, Baghdadi, and the two men became like brothers to each other. Then years later, when they finished their schooling, they each went back to their countries. But they both promised to keep in touch and visit each other soon.
A year later Baghdadi, who missed his best friend a lot, took the long journey to Hasawi’s village, in Saudi, to visit his old friend. Hasawi showed him the very best of Arab hospitality and did his best so that Baghdadi would have a great time. When the two men discussed their future plans, Hasawi told Baghdadi that he was in love with his cousin and that ever since he was a kid he planned to marry her one day. Baghdadi told Hasawi that he also would like to get married. So, Hasawi promised Baghdadi that he will marry him off before he goes back to his country.
The two men walked the streets of Hasawi’s village while Baghdadi looked at the different women in hope of finding a wife to take back to his hometown. Baghdadi’s heart was taken when he saw a certain beautiful woman. He told Hasawi that he found the girl he wanted to marry but that he did not know anything about her. So the two men took to the streets again, in hope of finding the woman he was taken by, but with no luck. A few days later and by coincidence, Baghdadi finally saw the woman he wanted to marry. Hasawi was crushed when his friend pointed out the girl he had his eyes on! Baghdadi had his eyes on Hasawi’s cousin. The very woman that Hasawi wanted to marry since he was a kid! But Hasawi didn’t say a word. He loved his friend and he had promised to help him marry. So he told his father to allow his cousin to marry his friend, the Baghdadi. Baghdadi had no idea. He said goodbye to his old friend, took his new wife, and left back to his home in Baghdad, Iraq.
Years came and years went by. On one of those years a terrible drought hit Hasawi’s village. Death and poverty swept through the town and his family lost all of its fortunes. So, Hasawi decided to make the long journey to Baghdadi’s house. He wanted to seek out the help of his old friend. He knew his friend would never turn him back and would help him in his misfortune.
So, he traveled through the deserts of Arabia and it’s many cities. His clothes were ragged and he had little to survive. He finally made it to Baghdadi’s village and he asked the locals where his friend’s house was. One of the locals looked at him with surprise and laughed at the thought of someone like Hasawi, who looked miserable and poor would know someone of the stature of the famously wealthy Baghdadi. When Hasawi finally found Baghdadi’s home the guard stopped him at the door. Hasawi insisted he wanted to see his old friend but the guard did not believe him and would not allow him in as he looked very poor and an unlikely friend. The guard finally agreed to go tell his master that Hasawi was there and Hasawi waited and waited at the door for the guard to return. But the guard returned and told him that Baghdadi was too busy to meet him.
Hasawi left feeling heartbroken and disappointed to no end. How could his old friend neglect him in his time of need? How could this dear friend of his, who he sacrificed his cousin for turn him away so coldly. He didn’t have food nor shelter. He wandered around the city aimlessly, hopeless and most of all disappointed. As he walked through an empty spot of land two men, who looked like thieves, were running away from something and were carrying what looked like big and heavy bagys. When they saw him, they looked very frightened, so they dropped their bags and ran as fast as they could. When Hasawi looked inside the bags he found stacks of gold. He did not know what to do with them so he buried them in a place and marked the place so he would lose them. After some contemplating, he decided to live off the gold till he finds a plan or a way to survive his loneliness away from him home. So he chipped away at the gold every day. He bought a tent and some food to survive.
On one of his days sitting in the tent a hunched old lady passed by. She begged him to help her. She said she was old and had no where to stay. She just wanted a place to stay and she was willing to clean and cook for him. He welcomed her into his tent and allowed her to stay there. He told her the story of his journey to this village and his friend who deserted him and the gold that he found. She advised him that instead of just chipping away at the gold which is sure to finish one day, He should become a merchant. She also told him that there was a gold merchant in town who was going out of business and that he wanted to sell his store. Hasawi went to the store salesmen and asked to buy the store. He bought the store and before he knew it he became very successful at his trade. He bought the next store. And the store near the next store. Sooon, he became very very wealthy. So, the old lady told him that since he is now rich, he must find a wife! And she insisted that since she was born and living in this town all her life, that she should would find him the best woman in town for him.
The old lady found Hasawi a beautiful bride. He decided to have a huge wedding and invite everyone in the town to his celebration. All the important men in the city came and Hasawi couldn’t be any happier. But at some point in the evening he saw Baghdadi! His old friend was coming to congratulate him. Hasawi was furious! He immediately asked Baghdadi to leave. He told him that he neglected him in his time of need and that he had forgotten the kindness he had showed him and that he never wanted to see his face again. Baghdadi begged Hasawi to let him speak but Hasawi insisted that he was a liar and that he must leave! The other important men in the village tried to calm Hasawi and told him that Baghdadi was known to be an honest man, a man who never lied, and that he just have to give him a chance to speak. Finally, Hasawi agreed to listen.
Baghdadi told him that on that day, when Hasawi came from his city hungry and in torn up clothes, he was watching him from the window of his home. He couldn’t stand the thought of seeing his friend like that and he couldn’t stand the thought of having his friend beg him for anything. Thats why he turned him away, and then sent some of his servants with bags of gold to him in an empty spot of land so that he can live off of this gold. And that the old woman he sent and pretended she was a helpless old lady, cooking and cleaning for him and was like a mother to him, That old lady was his mother. And when she advised him to buy a gold store, that the owner of the store and all the ones next to it was Baghdadi’s stores himself. Baghdadi wanted his friend to become a merchant in his own right. And when the old lady, Baghdadi’s mother, finally told Hasawi she would pick the best wife in town to become Hasawi’s wife – she picked her daughter, Baghdadi’s sister.