Sunday, November 18, 2012

My World

I was listening to a song by Adele, "Hometown Glory", and it blew me way to a world long ago that I used to live in. It was just coincidental that I had just finished a meal with my small lovely family in Bangkok and then saw my beautiful supportive parents on Skype from Jordan. It might have also been coincidental that I had seen such terrible red and black pictures and news of my own version of "Hometown"plastered on all different corners of the media; each taking sides facing one another, forgetting the whole global, maybe even universal, picture which affects both you and I. That song blew me away... a place that I no longer know or barely remember were it not for the weekly pictures of my past that my dearest uncle Said posts on his Facebook.  I am thankful to him for the positive energy. 

Adele's voice transported me on the winds of change back to one of my earliest memories. I was standing in the streets of Amman (3rd circle to be exact) covered in snow, spending a beautiful gray (grey for English speaking readers.. or is it the other way around?) afternoon with relatives and having a marvelous time. It was on a piece of land that was empty (a rare sight in Amman at the moment). I miss those days where everyone laughed a little more, smiled wider and had a good time. ....(Or was that just my seven year old mind playing tricks on me? Were the adults stressed out about the situation more than they showed?)

I miss those feelings of utter peace and the picture of a white snowy day where everything was so soft and untainted. I miss those days when people used to have innocent playful snow fights as it never hurt anyone.

....and her song made me wonder... Will we ever touch that again? Will our children fathom what we tell them of our past as our elders used to do?

When my father painted fairy tale images of the world he grew up in, in Baghdad, I used to look at him with dreamy eyes wondering why I never got the chance to take ballroom dancing in that same boat club. He tells me stories of his days at the American Jesuit School where he spent most of his teenage academic life amongst students of all religions and political view points. When he speaks to me about how difficult it was to go back to his hometown, I have to stare in disbelief at those eyes who have seen hurt.

When my Tata (maternal grandmother) speaks to me of her joyful childhood in Wadi Hunain,  her betrothal which ended her marrying the love of her life, her childbirth  in a cold hospital when family members were not allowed in after visiting hours back then, and her dreadful experience of a forced diaspora, I have to shake my head in disbelief that she had gone through two extreme opposite experiences in her life; one of utter joy and the other of ultimate suffering. I had never fully fathomed the latter experience of her life and I do not think that whatever I go through in life would ever come close to it....I wish that my children would never have to go through that ever. 

...and yet, this is what I see currently happening to the children, men, women and elderly people in my version of "Hometown Glory"... This cycle of fear, anger and suffering is continuing from one generation to the other visiting every nook of that area not forgetting a single cranny. When will we , as humans, as comrades of this Earth, stand up and say enough is enough. Our children deserve a better future... one which is void of extremities of all kinds, shapes and sizes, one that is empty of ego and military power, of crimes and of greed.

Even though the targets, peace and tranquility, which many of us put on a pedestal seem high to reach and too far to touch, we have to start somewhere; opening the windows of our eyes, fighting for our rights, standing up for justice and humanity and welcoming everyone into the rooms of our hearts.

Tonight, I will be thinking of the world and its civilians!