Christmas 73-Painting by Dr Taha H Malasi

First Christmas in England-73My First Christmas in England-73


Christmas 73 -Painting by Dr Taha H Malasi 

I arrived to England in July 1973. The Summer was brilliant. We spend the first 3 month in the hospitality of the British council, accomodated in The International Hall residence in Russel Aquare, London.I had;  with many other overseas student three month of orientation. There was students from the Sudan, Afghanistan, Uganda, and many from South America. The orientation included teaching English and introduction to the English culture and way of life. So we had free visits to Hyde Park, theaters, opera as well as pubs crawling. It was the most exciting and illuminating introduction! The British Council also arrange for us to be invited  by a British family where we enjoyed British hospitality and British food! 

Immediately after this fantastic holiday I started to work in the Maudsley Hospital and the institute of Psychiatry in Denmark Hill, Camberwell Green in the South London. I lived in princess Marina House-residence for nurses and doctors. Suddenly I was on my own experiencing real Isolation. People seem unfriendly and do not talk to each other or even greet each other!  That was not just applied to residence of Princess Marina & the hospital but people in the streets also! That did not just apply to English people but all the other in the city?  With opperessive dark wet british winter setting,the sense of isolation was complete. With complete lack of social contact the Pub was the only place you can be with people even if you are not really with them. Off course the British can be quite friendly after few pints and that was a bonus. 

I spend Christmas 73 in the Fox on The hill -a pub nearby. Needless to say the experience was painful. The pub and the people were in celebrating mood.  The typical shining X mass decoration was beautiful , the atmosphere was brilliant with people dancing chatting and laughing and I was on my own, feeling  even more lonely and worthless! I went home late by night and as usual wrote some poetry to express my feelings. Later as usual I painted the ideas from the poetry- andChristmas 73 was born. The short poetry was written in my language Arabic- and translated to English.

Christmas 73 

What is the use of diamonds

If the false ornaments is glittering brighter than the sun

What is a Diamonds worth?

If false ornaments is glittering brighter than the sun

And I am alone

 sitting in silence  

Drinking a glass after Glass  

The whispering noises fills my ears  

And the sound of dancing steps  

What is the use of diamonds?  

If the false ornaments is glittering brighter than the sun  

I am Alone

And today is Christmas 


كرسماس 73

ما جدوى الماس

والزينة فارغة تلمع

تتلالاء مثل بريق الشمس

ما جدوى الماس

وانا وحتى فى صمت اجلس

يملانى ضجيج الهمس

وحثيث الخطواذ الراقص

خطو الناس

ما جدوى الماس والزينة فارغة تلمع

وانا وحدى

واليوم كرسماس

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