You left Lebanon looking for a better future. What have you lost and what have you gained?
I was just a kid; “Saturday Night Fever” starring “John Travolta” was the biggest movie ever for the Lebanese audience. “The Bee Gees”, “Boney M”, “Abba” and Julio Eglesias were the most famous artists to hit the music scene. “Fame” was the show to watch. Music, dance and acting were affecting how we were looking at life. The life we wanted to live and the life we dared to dream of living. The influence of the film and music industry was tremendous. Everybody wanted to go to America and a lot of us did.
Some of us lived in America, Canada, Australia, Great Britain and in different parts of the world for a couple of years, 5, 10, 20 or maybe more and some of us are still dreaming of coming back home one day.
Well, it took me 10 years to come back the 1st time I did, but what did I come back to? I came back to find that most of the kids in my neighborhood whom I spent endless hours of my childhood years, playing, laughing and sometimes arguing with, were no longer there. I couldn’t recognize the faces of the little kids in my family, the ones I left at the age of 5 and 7, they’re now 15 and 17, and they have become men and women. I was only able to hug them and kiss them, but I wasn’t able to carry them the way I used to when they were little.
The small roads and the alleys where I used to meet my friends so we could hang out together have changed and some of them don’t even exist anymore. The picture in my mind of the place where I was born and raised has become a distant memory and it’s starting to fade away. The houses and the old buildings that were a part of my childhood memory are gone. The school I went to doesn’t look the same anymore. I felt like a stranger in a strange land. I stood there with a tear in my eye that started rolling down my face expressing the sadness of such a horrendous loss and at that moment I realized that nothing in the world would ever make up for it.
I went to America looking for a better future, but along the way I missed out on living 10 precious years in the land of the country that will always be close to my heart “Lebanon”. And what made it all worse is that I had to go back to New York and live another 5 long years there. I will forever wonder what it would have been like had I lived all those precious years in Lebanon amongst all the people that I love so much!!!
All The Best
Author: Faris El-Mohamed copyright © 2007
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