Teahouse Memories

Hello there! My dearest loyal reader,

Do you know that feeling when something just always makes you reallllllly happy no matter how disappointed, upset, angry or even content you are?

Mam Khalil

For those who have followed the blog for a while know that Mam Khalil and his little teahouse was one of those places where I would visit and leave knowing I am happier than how I entered. It was my friend Narin who introduced us first, and ever since that summer afternoon I fell in love with the place and with the grand-father like figure who owned it.


For some reason every time I visited Mam Khalil’s little teahouse I forgot the world, its pains or any stress I had. His little teahouse and his presence reminded me of the simplicity of life, it reminded me of what’s important in life, it reminded me that in this little world nothing really matters. I don’t know what the magic was. Maybe it was the atmosphere, the traditional songs he had in the background, the simple tea he served or just his warm hospitality, kindness or wisdom-rich conversations.

The last time I visited I remember I posted a picture saying he doesn’t seem to be doing too well, he looked energy-less, and…. tired. Even though Mam Khalil was always strong, smiling and full of energy.

The first time I ever met Mam Khalil (I have used this picture of me as a DP everywhere ever since, it was a very special day) Photo: Narin B. Qaradaxi

It was hard seeing him get older over the years. In my life I have met many great people, many outstanding achievers, politicians, decision makers and celebrities. Many with more than one degree under their belts from the world’s most prestigious universities. But none have taught me  about life as much as Mam Khalil did.

After his death, I never went back. I feel I can’t walk into that teahouse and not find him there. And this is the first time I write about him, because I just can’t bring the right words together to express how I feel.

Mam Khalil

The very last time I saw him, just over a week before he passed away he gave me a packet of chewing gum, I said I will take only one, he insisted I take it all. I ate one and placed the rest in my purse, to this day mam Khalil’s packet of chewing gum is in my purse.

One of my first visits to Mam Khalil’s tea-house/ chai khana

I don’t know, maybe this is silly, maybe I am being a child, maybe I am just one of those over sentimental, over dramatic, really ridiculous people. Maybe you’re right, maybe I am. But it always reminds me of him, of life inside that small teahouse… it reminds me to live life in simplicity.

Chai (tea) and good company brings happiness, almost always!

When I have those dreary feelings, when I need to visit somewhere special where shall I go? Who shall I see? Who shall I talk to in the narrow maze of the ancient citadel’s bazaar?

Mam Khalil

It is my dream to have a little teahouse, inspired by Mam Khalil’s one, but with two strict rules: No smoking, and no wifi. I want this teahouse to be a small book shop at the same time while open to young people to come and write, read, or have their little meetings.

Back in the good old days 🙂

I want it to be simple. I want people to come and have the same feeing I had every time I stepped into Mam Khalil’s little world: Live a simple life, enjoy the little things, be kind to everyone who comes your way and live each day as it comes.  I want people to come and be reminded to appreciate the little things in their life.


I wish he lived to see my little boy…. more importantly I wish my son saw him…

I guess as I write this, I need to admit to appreciate the fact that I met Mam Khalil, and learned lessons from my many visits. In the end, my dearest reader, this is life!

Lots of love from

My Nest in Kurdistan


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