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Six months later ….Dec. 1948 - Essam Elyamani
Refugee

Now, I am a refugee…
What does it mean being a refugee?

You do not have to wake up on time
You do not need to have a breakfast or three meals a day…
You do not think how to loose weight…
It comes with being a refugee…

You enjoy camping through out the year…
Did not you always love being out doors
Watching the stars at night…
Thinking of Nahila….

You do not have to do go to work
Or to work in the family’s field
You do not have to milk the cow
Your mother does not have to cook your meals
It is provided by the UN Agency
They are there to help you,
How nice …
They even deliver to your tent
In some cases you have to stand on line…
do not worry not for a long time…
they are efficient…
they are nice people
White , blonde, blue eyes,
They even speak English…

How are you today?
You do not have to go school..
To learn and compete with your classmates
In the camp your math marks are irrelevant….
The teacher has been absent for the last six months..
He too, is enjoying camping in a different area…

You do not have to go to the mosque…
No one will listen to your prayers..
You left your god there…
Any how God does not expect people to pray while camping
And he does not listen to two people at the same time…
You are not the chosen one…..

You do not need to buy any thing…
When there are no shops, money looses its value….

You are not forced by your mother to have a shower…
In the camp, all of us smell the same
Smell dirty…
Does it matter? I do not think so, no one to kiss or to hug
So why to smell good…

While camping, you develop an excellent memory….
In the absence of any soccer field
The only thing you do is to have a brain exercise
That’s why you develop an excellent memory…

Home, farm, village, town, my grandfather, my grand mother’s stories, my favourite olive tree, figs, dried figs, my cousin Nahila who I promised to keep loving, my cousin Khlaed, my friend Kamal, the school, my teacher Khalil, my good math marks, the mawaaweel, al mejana and al ataba, our dabke in the field, the mosque, the sheikh who used to stare at the women in the village, looking for his third wife, my Christian neighbour, the shop where I buy sweets, my classmates, my uncle who was killed by the Jewish gangs…the British soldiers who were watching, the Arab soldiers who withdrew before the battle started….
Excellent exercise……
Excellent memory …..
Excellent memory ….excellent memory…

I shall return…
I shall return…


Canada - Suhmata
12/6/2010



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