A grainy photo from the 1970's is the closest and most precious alternative to a wedding photo of her Libyan parents... For Sunday Miscellany on RTÉ Radio 1, listen to The Non-Wedding Photo by Farah Abushwesha above.
There are no wedding photos of our parents, they got married in Granada, Spain, in a clean pair of jeans. But I recently restored a hazy 1970s photo of them in Tripoli's Martyr Square. I’m missing from this period of my parents' lives, as I’m in Dublin with my Irish grandparents. It’s one of few we have of them together, and was taken shortly before Dad was under house arrest.
My parents seem so glamorous, standing in front of a white car, dusklit palm trees in the background. Him, a writer, in dark jeans, blue open stripped shirt, buckled-leather belt, stubble. Her, an artist, in white jeans and pink shirt. Her long dark hair tumbling over her right shoulder. Her hair the envy and wonder of many - often touched by curious strangers on the Tripoli streets - she’d tie it up with a pen or wash it in the kitchen sink to the bemusement of her Libyan in-laws. The reconditioned photo reveals Mom is wearing silver, platform sandals - no doubt height-checked - I recall my parents standing before a mirror, to ensure Mom wasn’t towering above Dad when in high heels...
Listen to more from Sunday Miscellany here.