Away From Home
This weekend, I headed to Florida for my brother’s engagement party. It was the first time I’ve seen my family since leaving Missouri for New York two months ago (yesterday marked two months since I arrived in NY shortly before midnight after a 16 hour drive).
Needless to say, I’ve missed them. I was able to catch up with family and still have time to wander. Still, I was sad to see them go.
Above is a photo of my dad, on our way to the car en route to the airport. I dropped off my dad, mom, uncle and sister at the airport. Then, instead of going back to the hotel (I was in Boca Raton for an extra day), I made a detour to try and catch a sunset. I regret not spending more time at the beach when I was living in Haifa this summer.
Then, another reminder of home.
When I got to the beach (the same quiet, sparsely populated one that my little sister and I visited earlier in the morning), I came across these two women. Shortly before I left the beach, I approached them and asked if they spoke Arabic. They did. We got to talking and I asked where they were from.
“Falesteen,” was the elder, Ghada’s, response.
I always get especially excited when I meet fellow Palestinians scattered along the road. Maybe it’s a common feeling that most Palestinians experience—when I told them I too am Palestinian, Ghada (left) and Tasneem’s faces lit up. I asked where in Palestine they’re from.
“Gaza,” Ghada again replied.
I didn’t know what to say. Should I tell her how the rest of us mourned? How so many outside of Gaza felt heartbreak and horror at the summer’s atrocities? Finally, I settled on, “Allahy e’einhoom.” God help them.
“Allahy e’ein al jamea’a.” God help us all.
Ghada left 22 years ago.