Thursday, 24 April 2008

An Overdue Stroll With My Grandfather

I've never really noticed these dates, as they passed year after year, but today a thought went through me like it never did before, as I watched a program about the 60th anniversary of the Nakba, I suddenly remembered both my paternal grandparents, who passed away in the early 1990s, I've never really been interested in knowing their stories, how they lived before 1948, weird enough though, I knew their story after '48, and how my grandfather, walked with his small family away from Haifa on one summer day in 1948, and never went back. I know that my father was born on the beach and had his first bath in the Mediterranean, and I know that he carried his infant brother as they left their home.

I've never really sat and thought about the man who was my grandfather, but now it's only appropriate to remember the man, who despite all the troubles he lived, maintained a mysterious kind of patience, he never complained. I was in my teens when he passed away, and I wasn't really interested in asking him the questions I wanted to be answered now, How was it..having an ancestral homeland? what was it like to lose the house you were born in?

I remember my grandmother, that green-eyed woman, who despite her reaching her mid 80s, looked like a little girl, with her innocent smile, she used to comb her hair into two pigtails, and although the long dark nights made it grey, she remained the beautiful girl who lived on Mount Carmel, over looking the wide open sea, despite the time and space between them.

One of the most enduring things I remember about my grandfather was his gaze; he had that amazing gaze, one of determination..I was always amazed how this old man managed to walk for hours every day, even days before he passed away, he liked his strolls, and I was stupid enough to never walk with him even once, but he always brought me sandwiches on his way back, falafel tasted different when my grandfather brought it, it might have been blessed by God through the fingertips of that dark old man, with a white beard, and a white head-dress, I always wondered why he was dark, but later I knew that he loved to be in the sun, he was a man of open space, never liked the indoors.

I never got to say goodbye to my grandfather..I wish I did, and today, as I haphazardly mark an occasion of displacement, I remember the beautiful green eyes of Thuraya, that little girl who happened to be old enough to be my grandmother, and her Rock; Mahmoud, the kind old man, to whom both I recite a prayer, and ask for their forgiveness.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

On Solitude

Sometimes, we like to be alone, even if we're the bubbliest most sociable people in the world, solitude becomes a necessity at times, it's a self cleansing system of sorts, one's mind recharges with deep thought, and deep thought is only reached in solitude, it's quite amazing how a mental action is best executed with a physical action.

You reach great decisions in solitude, if you think a little bit about your own greatest decisions you'll be surprised to find that those most probably were taken after a day or night of solitude. Your senses are fine tuned to your own thoughts when you give all your attention to you, even if the decision is to seize your solitude; proposing to someone or accepting a proposal.

You're at your most transparent state when in solitude, so any mental attempt to play a game of strategy is void of its purpose, all the roles you play around people are removed from their element like you remove a coat when you reach home; the intellect, the considerate..etc, all the social "masks" are taken off, and you're left with the real you, the one only you know, with all your flaws, all your vices, the ones you always make sure to hide when not alone.

Its funny how when you're in love, you tend to want to be alone, away from people, and with one thought, about one person. Solitude becomes your destination, you intentionally go through that mental trip, and when you reach that certain "Nirvana", you willfully decide that your solitude is a pilgrimage for your love, a proof of your devotion, it's not a coincidence that we have only one heart and one mind! Longing too is an act of solitude, when you miss, your surroundings seize, you can't feel the people around, your soul is somewhere else, with someone else.

lovers don't finally meet somewhere, they're in each other all along.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

On Egypt

I've been reading some of the posts made about the events in Egypt in the past few days, and I have to admit that I'm impressed, people have had enough of whatever they've been fed -or not fed- for the past two decades, the corruption is reaching epic proportions, and it's very clear that people's life is getting harder by the minute. Now I don't mean for this to be a stereotype, but Egyptians are known for their patience, and for them to lose their ancient patience and declare mini-revolutions is a sign of change, a kind of change "suave" dictatorships is not used to.

Many times I find myself envious of Egyptians for their love of their land, their music, the lyrics all drip of an amazing kind of simple love, I sometimes want those songs to be for Jordan, instead of the noisy nonsense we're forced to call patriotic songs. Patriotism is Love, the deeper your love, the easier you express it, and the genius of the Egyptians makes their expression of love the simplest, most sincere of all expressions, Egypt is the woman who gets younger and more beautiful with every sunrise over the Nile.

One important lesson to us all, the suave among us and the not so suave; never take the patience of people for granted, and never underestimate the power of hunger. Moreover; change is in the air.