Tag Archives: reflections

An End of the Year Post

A very personal post with some reflections on the year to put things in perspective…

This was the year I lost my mother, and in a few days, I will have my first birthday on this earth without her.  Wisdom from an older aunt: “I never felt old until I had no one to call mama”…

This was also the year I said a final goodbye to a man I called home…and it was the year when my concept of home got shaken.

This year was just a continuation of a very long era of wars and hatred in this region; it was also a continuation of the descent into a time of intellectual and spiritual darkness.

My way of coping in these past years has been to prioritize happiness: no easy task because it means that one must become more selfish, unfeeling, and apathetic.  One must stay shallow and abandon the dark depths where real life happens. I was successful most of the time, but I missed being who I was when I was younger: more passionate about my beliefs, more emotional, more vulnerable, and much less jaded. I believe that as we grow we must shed some of our older attributes, and even if we miss them, we must leave them behind: every station in life needs a different ticket to ride!

Through it all, and on the rare occasions when I let my guard down, I let some new and stimulating people into my life to shake things up a bit.  I also developed a deeper fondness for the ones who have been here all along, the friends and family who create a circle of comfort.  Still, I spent a lot of time alone questioning my roots, my wings, what I knew, and what I didn’t know.

No year passes without illuminated moments, and I had my share of those, and it is always those moments that I grab on to and highlight to the world outside.

Thank you 2015 for the lessons, for the friends, for the lovers, for the losses, for the wins, and for the changes. You will not be missed and you will not be forgotten…

 

 

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Filed under Literature, soul searching

Yabroud of my Childhood

Back when Lebanon was going through its own civil war, when we were little children, we lived in Yabroud for a few months.  This city that has been in the news lately and whose name has become synonymous with conflict, death, terror, and war, holds a very different image in my mind, one I’d like to share…

Through the eyes of the child I was, Yabroud was a green village, a beautiful oasis with strange looking rock formations on the hills that surrounded it.

In Yabroud, people dropped fruit baskets at our doorsteps and showed us great friendship and hospitality.  The women there still walked to river with their laundry, little boys smoked in the streets, and they cooked wheat in large communal vats in its little neighborhoods.

Some of the older women still wore the traditional colorful costumes of what they claim was “Queen Zenobia’s” time.  They were still proud that the once powerful queen had taken Yabroud as her summer residence.

We even went to school in Yabroud, and it was an unforgettable experience for us; coming from a Western style multilingual system of education we found it strange and foreign to be in a totalitarian traditional type of teaching environment.  What I remember most is that me and my cousin had short hair, unlike all the other girls in our class, and for physical education we were required to tie white bows to our pony tails (which we did not have).  It was mandatory, so we had to pin two large white bows to our short tresses to conform….

We made friends easily there, and although I don’t remember names or faces anymore, I remember the feeling of being welcomed into beautiful homes, I remember the older girls making us ‘Tabbouleh’, and I also remember sitting on beautiful balconies overlooking lush fruit gardens and having a first experience with ‘Matte’ an herbal tea drink very popular in the region.

I do believe that places become part of us, and Yabroud is a part of me.  I will always hold on to the image of this beautiful place through the eyes of the child inside of me, as I try to do with all other places that I am rooted to.

We have lived to see too much violence in this region, it robs the soul of its innocence if you let it!

Today I will pin two white bows to my head in remembrance of a childhood, and adulthood spent in times of war….

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Filed under Literature, Social Organization