As the velvet night sky grew dark with the moon glistening over the dark blue ocean you can hear nothing but the quietness and stillness of all forms of life sleeping in country of Algeria. Anisa was born to a family of farmers and warriors in a small village in the South of the country. Her childhood was very pleasant and stable playing with the various other children in the village and tending to her families various farm animals.
Anisa had the spirit of a great leader with fiery burning passion of integrity, courage, honor, and self-esteem. Anisa was the youngest of twelve children and the most intelligent. Her family always said, “Anisa, you are so smart and intelligent one; you must do something with your life.” As Anisa grew older, she attended a local school in the village and took up an interest in playing the piano.
Her soft angelic tunes became very popular among the village and she was often called to play during village weddings and other important events. Anisa’s piano soon became well-known in the region of Algeria and she was often called upon during special ceremonies at the Ambassador’s home in the adjoining village. One day they came to her father and told him that the head of the country, Ambassador Askia was going to be visiting the State and they were having a grand party in his honor. They would like Anisa to play the welcome song as he walked in to the hall. Anisa was elated, in her 18 years; this was the biggest opportunity ever to show her skills. Her mother dressed her up in Mali skirt suit with African gold print and an asymmetrical cut in the colors of purple and gold. She also wore her grandmother’s valuable brooch which had been given as a gift to her by a visiting British missionary many years ago.
That evening, she was sitting on the promenade with little lights flickering around her and then they announced His Excellency Ambassador Askia. That was her cue, she began and her angelic soft tunes sang like never before. The Ambassador stopped as he passed by and stood there for five minutes hearing her play and smiled as he walked on. That night she couldn’t sleep, she was so excited that he had stopped and listened to her play. A few weeks later, the village headman called her father and said that Ambassador Askia had sent a message of twelve white and pink orchids that he wanted to marry the sweet girl who played the piano. When her father brought home the message, they were all very delighted, Anisa would be Queen. The next six weeks were a whirlwind of events, parties and shopping trips and finally they left in courtiers for the big city.
The Wedding was a spectacular gala affair. Anisa was his 13th wife and that was said to be a position of honor and wealth. She was then taken into the Palace and given the special rooms on the right-wing on the 3rd Floor. Ambassador Askia came in that late evening of the velvet night and was very loving towards her and did things she had never experienced before but she thought, this must be what queens are supposed to be treated and do. Ambassador Askia left in the early morning hours and she did not see him for the next several weeks. Her life was pampered, bathing in milk, eating exotic fruits and vegetables, getting dressed in the finest garments, and being waited on hand and foot by servants. The food, she had never seen such a spread of delicacies.
Every Monday and Saturday, there would be a market place of goods and treasures organized in the palace grounds when all the Queens would come down. The grounds would be full of stalls from the town where the queens would pick whatever caught their fancy. Anisa selected some gowns and a strong axe which she asked to be sent to her parents back home. They also sent three bushels of grain and rice with the consignment. Months passed by, and one morning she woke up feeling a bit unwell and the palace doctor was called. Congratulations Queen Anisa, you are with child said the doctor. The palace was full of festivities as the Ambassador would be soon having another heir.
A son was born to Anisa that winter, and they named him Askia after his father. Anisa was visited less and less in the months that followed and she wondered why that was so. They said that you do put on weight during childbirth and so her becoming twice in size should have not been the reason. Ambassador Askia now had his 20th Queen and during the Monday and Saturday marketplace Anisa would see how slim and pretty the new Queens were. But as time passed and she never got any visits by the Ambassador anymore, she started to get angry. How dare he keep her closed up in the palace, never allowing her to wander out into the town, never allowing her to see her family or friends even her own child, never visiting her in the night and soon also stopping all gifts.
Her piano begins to rust away under the hard breeze of wind. Her piano keys needed repair but no one bothered about that too. She was so antagonized that day when she could not take it any longer and against all rules, barged right into his private quarters to bring this up once and for all. Fireworks went off that day and tales like this would be told to all the Queens in Algeria in the future. But as far as Anisa was concerned and realized, she found out that certain body parts do get cold in the freezer.