HABANIA
Habania (A British camp in Iraq)


Albert Oscar Baba

The military base of the British served as a refuge camp served as and barraks for the Assyrian Levies (conscripted soldiers),
"The Smallest Ally" as we were called by the English.
Here is a sample of the life lived there by the Assyrians.

YAA KHLEE-TAA[1] HA-BAA-NEE-YAA
Oh sweet[1] Habania
A-NAA BA-RAAKH DOOR-DEE-YAA
How I suffered after you.
KOO-LEH TE-VEL[2] KHDEE-RAA-LEE
I traveled the universe/world[2]
AAKH KHAY-AAKH LE-WEN KHEE-YAA
But haven't lived a life such as your life.

A-LOOL-YAA-TAAKH EE-QEH[3] WAA
Your alleys/roads were narrow[3].
BET-WAA-TAAKH MIN 'TD'EE-NAA[4] WAA
Your houses of mud[4].
OH MIN-DEE BOOSH SO-DAA-NAA
The thing most enjoyable
KOO-LEH[5] NAA-SHEH[6] KHID-YEH WAA
was that every/all[5] people[6] was happy.

KHLOO-LAA-NAAKH SO-DAA-NEH WAA
Your weddings were enjoyable
EE-MAAN KA-LOO[7] PAAL-TEE WAA
When they brought out the bride[7]
HAAY MOO-YAA-LAAN[8], MOO-YAA-LAAN.
"Haay -we brought her-[8], we brought her"
GOO OOR-KHO KEY ZEM-RREE WAA
In her way they used to sing.

KHIT-NAA[9] L GA-REH[10] KA-LEE WAA
The groom[9] stood on the roof[10]
QLAA[11] KHA-BOO-SHEH[12] RRA-PEE WAA
And threw three[11] apples[12].
KOT QAA-PEE WAA KHAA DAA-NAA
Everyone grabbed someone at the same time.
NEE-SHAA-NEH D GWAA-REH EE-WAA
Their goals for a marriage of their own.

SHAA-RAA-NAAKH MAAKH-MIL-AA-NEH
Your festivals were pleasurable
KOOL KHAA WAA-DAA DOOKH-RAA-NEH
Everyone doing sacrafice/rememberance
BNAA-TEH[13] MAJ-MAA-TEH[14] REE-SHEH
Girls[13] with trays[14] on their heads
PAA-LOO-YEH[15] SAA-MAA-NEH
Dividing[15] their portions.

EE-MAAN YOO-MAA[16] GAA-NEE WAA
When the day[16] used to set
NOO-RAA[17] GOO-RAA[18] KEY ME-LEE WAA
A large[18] fire[17] was lit
KOO-LEH ALO SHO-REE WAA
All jumped across it (a good luck tradition before they cooked the lamb for sacrafice)
TOOKH-ROON-YEH[19] EE-DAA SLEE-WAA[21]
The memories[19] of the Festival[20] of the Cross[21].

EE-MAN GOO-TAA[22] 'TD'AA-LEE WAA
When they played ball[22] (soccer)
KHAA YOO-MAA GOO-RAA EE-WAA
It was a big day.
KOO-LEH LE-VEE, EM-PLOY-EES
All the Levies and Employees of the British (the English terms were used but with an Assyrian accent)
'TD'AAL-TAA D SHEE-TAA[23] EE-WAA
It was the game of the year[23] (The Levies vs. The British Employees)

EE-KAA D MA-'TD'EE JA-MEE WAA
Wherever they reached, they gathered.
JWEN-QEH[24] D ATOR[25] PAAR-JEE WAA
The gentlemen[24] of Assyria[25] used to watch.
EN QREE-ME-LEH YEN MOOQ-RIM-LEH
If they won or if they lost
KHID-YAA L BE-TAA DE-REE WAA
They returned home happy.

ET-KHAA WI-RROON YOO-MAA-NEH
This is how the days passed.
RAA-BAA KHIL-YEH OO SO-DAA-NEH
Very sweet and enjoyable.
PISH-LOON TKHAA-REH 'TD'EE-MAA-NEH[26]
Valuable[26] memories stayed
AKH-TEN EE-WAA KHOOL-MAA-NEH[27].
As though they were all dreams[27].

SHAP-REH AA-WIR MIN KHA-YAAN
The beauty passed from our lives
LE A-TEH SHO-PREH KHEE-NAA
No other beauty will come.
JAAR-BAAKH HA-WAAKH KHOO-BAA-NEH
Lets try to be loving
MAA-KHIB-AA-NEH KHA L DO KHEE-NAA
Loving to one another.


DERR-DEH = sufferings
TE-VIL = universe/world (DOON-YAAH is arabic)
KHDAAR-TAA = travel (verb)
SAA-PAAR = travel (noun)
SAA-PAARR-CHEE = traveler
KHLOO-LAA = wedding
GWER-TAA = mariage
SHAA-RAA =
EE-DAA = festival / feast (usually religious)
EE-DAA GOO-RAA = Easter (the big festival)
EE-DAA ZOO-RAA = Christmas (the small festival)
DOO-KHAA = sacrafice
DOOKH-RAA-NAA = the sacrafice (when we cook lamb for religious holidays)
SAA-MAA = portion
GNE-TAA D SHIM-SHAA = sunset
ZRAAQ-TAA D SHIM-SHAA = sunrise
(you can use GNE-TAA and ZRAAQ-TAA with moon (SAA-RAA) OR day (YOOM/YOO-MAA)
QYEP-TAA = to grab
QAA-PEE = grab (verb)
KHAA-YOO-TAA = life
N-DE-TAA = jumping
SHWARR-TAA = crossing
BE-TAA = house
NEE-SHAA = goal
QRRAAM-TAA = win
MAA-QRRAAM-TAA = lose
KHOO-BAA = love
MAA-KHI-BAA-NAA (m) / MAA-KHI-BEN-TAA (f) = one who loves
'TD'AAL-TAA = game
JWEN-QAA = gentleman
KHAA-MAA-TAA = lady






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