(This is a translation of another touching post in Arabic by my dear friend, Eve, who is blogging from Lebanon, braving the terror of the Israeli offensive there... She wrote to me in an e-mail today: "i'm at a coffee shop, the connection at home seems to have surrendered at last. . . i dont know when i'll check my inbox again...")
I’m here now. From the other side of the sea, from the second face of the moon. Where everything is sweet, and calm, even if always cold.
I had to leave, you know.
Everyone was taking a bite off this land. And I… couldn’t stand it anymore.
The scene at the border was painful.
They all wanted to stay; they all had to leave.
I wanted to call out to them, I was about to hold their shoulders, shake them like this, and yell at them: “How could you? Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves?” I forgot that I, too, with the departing am departing.
The worst way for one to travel is by boat, you know? The plane, a few minutes and you’re flying. The car, a step on the fuel and you go. But on the boat, you stay standing, contemplating the marina, against your will… Looking at the land getting further away, at the people getting smaller, at a hand waving, and a hand, choked, that couldn’t wave. At a bag flying in the air, at a girl pinning laundry on a clothesline, at shuttered houses with no girl pinning laundry or clotheslines. Looking at your dream that they lost… At your dream that, maybe, you let get lost.
He didn’t understand me, my friend at the airport, when my head fell onto his shoulder, and I started to sob.
No, I’m not glad to be safe now. I am upset, I am crestfallen, I am choked from the inside…I am here in safety, and you are still over there. I am here a living illusion, no more, but you are at least alive. I am here but not worth more than five minutes of the news. I am a number. We are all numbers. Our identity is corpses and the stone that is shattering… Here were are barbarians, we don’t know how to live together, don’t know how to love. We don’t know that a homeland comes, always, before religion…
I’m here and not there
Here and not here
Here forgetting myself there
Always, with you, there
I’m starting to ramble. You take care of yourself. Do sing me that song from time to time… if you still sing.