I miss you. I miss you so terribly. I miss how you made me smile no matter how I was feeling. I miss how safe you made feel. I miss how we talked for hours about nothing and it all seemed so important. I miss how you put a spring in my steps and made the world pop with color and life. I miss how full you made an empty room. I miss how words seem to fill the blank left by an unfinished sentence. I miss the words that tumbled and spewed out of my keyboard from the simple ideas you put in my head. I miss the inspiration you put in my life. I miss our morning conversations and our endless nights filled with the radio waves of a lonely hearts station even though our hearts were not lonely. I miss the turmoil of not touching you despite your closeness. I miss feeling all the way to the deepest darkest core of my soul and knowing that pain meant I can feel where there was nothing before. I miss you. I miss you so terribly. But I don’t want you anymore. I miss you, but I don’t want you.
December 10, 2010
March 27, 2009
OK for those of you that read my post about my birthday celebrations and want to partake I have an update. There is a lot of coordination and collaboration involved in making these things happen so I would like to thank everyone who expressed interest in joining me and more importantly those of you helping me make my thirty second birthday a celebration of us rather than me. And so here are the various events and ideas that all or any of you can help in and by doing so give me a fantastically rewarding birthday:
- Jabal Al Qalga Kite making and flying with the kids of the neighborhood with Hamzet Wasel Initiative
- Renovating and fixing of Women’s Center in Gaza Camp in Jerash with V-team Initiative
- Undecided event with Zikra Initiative
- Buy a tree and plant it in Palestine with APN – Arab Group for the Protection of Nature (http://www.apnature.org)
- Give me your old clothes, recyclable paper, tins and plastic and I will send them to a community center or the recycling center
- And finally for those that just want to hang out a walk in Jabal Amman and a walk in Jabal Al Weibeh (two of my favorite places in the city) the weekend following my birthday
I will post more info these initiatives and events and include dates, times, places and costs this coming week. And for those of you on Facebook I will create events for them. All are welcome even if I don’t know you and you want to do these things Ahlan Wa Sahlan.
March 18, 2009
Growing up I didn’t realize that what my mother made us do nearly every summer was going to be monumental to me later in life. We hated being dragged over the bridge, being humiliated, taken away from our creature comforts at home to go to see our grandparents in Palestine. I don’t think I realized then that my relationship with MY Palestine was starting and being formed.
But my relationship with Palestine was always defined by my mother’s, aunts’ and uncles’ stories of Palestine and their relationships with the places and the people. It was their relationships, views, ideas, prejudices, like and hates that I took on to be mine.
But 1998, when I was 21, I finally crossed into that beautiful land alone. I visited my grandmother, I visited my uncles and aunts, I visited the land, the cities, and the trees. I even went to Jerusalem for the first time. I started to see Palestine through my eyes and not anyone else’s. I started to form my own relationship with Palestine. But I may have been seeing it through my eyes I was still influenced by the anxieties and fears and thoughts of others.
In 2000 I went again, a friend of mine wanted to go and another friend was visiting her family there and so I decided to accompany one and meet the other there. It was a different experience for this time my grandmother had passed and it wasn’t to her home that I went and that too started to shape my relationship with Palestine and my family that lives there differently. I traipsed around the Palestine then with both my friends and was learning to navigate around the cities and was proud to show it off despite not knowing the lay of the land. I left just four days before Sharon entered into the Haram in Jerusalem and the second Intifada started.
With the violence escalating and oppression at its height, my solitary trips ended. Until last spring, a friend of mine was organizing an exchange workshop that was to take place in Ramallah for 10 days, I jumped on the idea despite being apprehensive for I had not crossed over in eight years and I had no idea what to expect. In eight years Palestine was an image on the TV screen, ink on paper, an idea, a slogan, a statistic. We very easily forget that it is a hop skip and jump away. We easily forget our family and people and their everyday struggle. We simply live in oblivion. I especially was in oblivion for up until then Palestine was where we went to renew our papers and visit our grandparents. Israel was embodied by the TV my mother shouted or cried at when something was terribly wrong. We were never very political.
But last spring that all changed, I spent 10 days in Palestine. I went again in June and once again in December. I am reclaiming my relationship with Palestine and everything Palestinian. I bring back pictures and stories for those that can not go home or visit Palestine. But more importantly I am building my relationship slowly and clearly with My Palestine. The Palestine of olive groves and family gatherings; of uncles who love to laugh and cousins who struggle to live their youth; of cities and villages torn and divide by walls of cement and electricity. My Palestine where the fruit is that much sweeter, and the air that much purer. My Palestine, on my terms, with my impressions, my connections, my expressions.
March 17, 2009
I will soon be 32 and I have been asked what I want for my birthday whether it be for celebrations or for gifts. These questions got me thinking about past birthdays and gifts and what they’ve meant to me. I’ve done the crazy parties with the cakes and sparklers and massive amounts of booze, the traveling for my birthday and the quiet dinners. But this year I want something different, and I know exactly what I want.
This year what I want involves none of the above in any way, shape or form. This year I do not want any parties in bars or restaurants or cafes. I do not want any celebrations with cake, or alcohol or food. I do not want all that money spent for such a selfish and self centered purpose. My birthday! There have been many and who knows there may be many more too. But I do not want to be the excuse for a night of drunken revelry, I do not want massive amounts of food consumed at some lavish dinner in an expensive restaurant, I do not want anyone to go out of their way for me to celebrate in frivolity a day that comes a long often enough and there is really nothing special about it except that I popped out from between my mother’s legs like thousands if not millions of others on that day.
I do not want any gifts either not matter how big or small, grand or symbolic for I have enough stuff in my life and I am trying to get rid of a lot of it! There is nothing I really need at this moment in time and the things I want I can do without. So thank you but no thank you.
When I made these declarations to my friends their faces were so puzzled, confused and some were upset and said that was unacceptable! And so I told them that what would make me happy instead was for them to do something selfless, something that gives back to the community, something outside themselves and me.
One of my favorite quotes is “Be the change you want to see in the world” by Ghandi and this year this is what I want for my birthday. And so to celebrate I want organize an event that gives back to the community in some way or form. That recognizes the pleasure in working together to make a difference. If there is any money to be spent then it would be on the event and it should go towards your local community. And if you insist on giving me a gift then make a donation in my name to an organization that makes a difference to people’s lives like a cancer foundation, orphanages, NGOs that work on community development, and if you don’t want to give cash then clean out your closet and give the things you don’t want to people who can use them like the Gaza aid souk or the King Hussein center for the mentally disabled, or Ruwwad in Jabal Al Natheef, if you want to do this and don’t know how give me a call and I can help you or just drop things off with me and I can take care of it. Spend a day volunteering. If even that is too much trouble then just do something nice for a stranger in the street, it can be that simple.
If you still insist on giving me something personal then give me a good memory. Walk with me in the streets or Jabal Amman, come over and watch a movie, let’s have a good conversation, send me a letter or an email or help me paint a new bookcase I’m getting, take a picture and send it to me. I will also personally be arranging an outdoor activity that will focus on giving something back to the world we live in. Let me know if you want to be part of that activity, it will make me really happy to spend time with my friends doing something along those lines and I will post it here once the details are sorted out.
Help me be the change I want to see in this world we live in and embody some of the ideals and beliefs that I have. Yes I am an idealist and to some I may be foolish, but I think we can make a difference one small step at a time. Will you walk with me?
July 7, 2008
I was chatting with a friend about commitment and change. The context of course was meeting people and being with someone. Now if you’ve read my previous post Tarnib vs. Tricks you know I am a Tricks player. To go a bit farther and explain myself a bit more, I am afraid. I am afraid of commitment. I am afraid of change. I am afraid of losing myself. I am afraid of losing my freedom, which I have struggled hard to achieve. I am also so comfortable in my life and so used to enjoying being single that I do not want to give up this happiness for something completely unknown with someone unknown. I know that there are those people who are in relationships that will now rush to tell me I am missing out on the best things in life because of my singlehood. That being with THE ONE is incomparable. Well I’m going to go at this from two angles: the first is the concept of THE ONE, the other is THE ONE.
The concept of THE ONE is so depressing to me. To think that in this whole wide world of six billion people there is only one person for each of us is just unfathomable. The odds of meeting that one are so miniscule that you have to be one lucky bastard to find that person. What if my one was in Timbuktu? How do you go about finding this elusive ONE? Where do you start? How do you start? How do you know its THE ONE? How do you recognize THE ONE if they are standing behind you in the line at the bank? What does THE ONE look like? Can you see why I don’t believe in the idea of THE ONE?
I am a firm believer in multiple partners throughout life. I believe this for many reasons not just the odds of there being just one. I think that every relationship has a beginning and an end. Even if two people are together faithfully until death parts them, then that is the end of that relationship. And so others may form. Another reason is people change, and grow. With that growth your needs change and your needs aren’t always met by the first person you meet. So you move on to someone else. Yes, yes there are those cases of two people being together and growing together and being able to spend their whole lives with each other, and lovingly so. But call me a cynic, I somehow don’t believe in Hollywood endings. Or as Fergie sings “Fairy tales don’t always have a happy ending.”
I want to come back to the question of “what does THE ONE look like?” Well I know that as a kid me and my friends always had these lists of what Mr. Right would be like. I even carried it around in my wallet for a while. I now have no clue where that list is but I can remember a few of these desirable traits: good looking, funny, a good dancer, makes me laugh, strong shoulders and has a jeep. I know the list was a lot longer but the rest eludes me. I smile every time I think of that list because, well it’s a funny teenager’s list. Today if I were to even try to compile a list of desirables then it will be very different. Secure would be up there on the list, as is challenging, someone who can be in a relationship autonomously and give me my space and autonomy without begrudging them. Someone with a full life that complements mine, not completes it ,or competes with it. Someone who has shared values and similar goals. These are a few qualities that would top the list; And from my teen list I would keep good looking, funny and I would tweak good dancer to loves to dance. The jeep and shoulders negotiable !
Putting the list aside though, people are important to me. Relationships are important too. I don’t think they are easy, especially romantic relationships. I know that I like invest the tiem and effort in building friendships, and learning about someone, one layer at a time. I thrive on this. I take these relationships seriously. My life is full of wonderful people that I have gotten to know and am getting to know. Romance and love is usually not on the agenda when these relationships are forming. My take on that is if it happens it happens if not… oh well no worries nothing has to change, and hence I don’t have to jump. That doesn’t mean I don’t have the willingness to face those fears; I know that I am willing to jump. However, when I jump, I want a parachute, or I want to jump in tandem with someone I know I can trust to pull the cord when we need to. Until then Tricks anyone?