Local mother Ruqayya Iddis imitated the sounds of missiles and gunfire while feeding her toddler lunch again on Tuesday, part of a comprehensive effort to ready him for an upbringing in the Middle East.
Iddis said she takes great care in preparing appropriate sound effects to accompany her son Hammouda’s every meal in order to acclimatize him to the daily rhythm of life in the region.
“I usually turn on the news and start a countdown before lifting the spoon from the plate, then I make a loud boom that sounds like a missile launch,” she said. “Of course I make sure I use a new sound with every bite so he can learn to distinguish between different types of weapons, followed by the sound of explosions once the food is in his mouth.”
Iddis said she sometimes smacks Hammouda with a spoon on his eyes or fingers to simulate indiscriminate bombing and friendly fire.
She said her son was reacting positively so far to her efforts to lower his expectations of life in the Arab world.
“He seemed frightened the first few times but with consistent, targeted punishment slowly began accepting it in later meals,” she said. “His ability to accept and live with this sort of adversity and oppression shows he is going in the right direction.”