Tag Archives: books

More home

My heart’s been itching to write all weekend. There’s so much I want to write about, but sometimes, for one reason or another, I find myself retreating to the comfort of reading rather than writing.

A lot has happened since I last posted a blog post.

I attended DIFF (too late to blog about it now, but please do watch Room and Mustang asap, and NO, Jennifer Lawrence did not deserve a Golden Globe for her non-joyous role in Joy). Mr. Love and I celebrated Christmas in Cairo (which I loved, and more on that in a separate blog post), and then New Year’s in snowy Bekaa (covered in a blanket of snow and much needed family loving). I have counted my blessings, caught the flu, joined a (real) book club, missed Dubai Sale Festival, celebrated two years of squeezing with Mr. Love, and ten years of making Dubai home.

- where is home -

– where is home –

Ten years is a long time. It freaks me out a little. When I first moved here, there was no Burj Khalifa. Mercato Mall was the talk of town, Shocho’s the ultimate outing, Dubai Taxi the only “uber”,  but there were friends who became family, and work that I loved, in a country that treated me (and still does) as its own, and I am so thankful, everyday. But I also want more. Is it the selfish nature of human beings: rarely satisfied, always yearning for more? I would like to think of myself as unselfish, but I do want more of the world.

I want more winter for starters, I want a chimney I can cozy up to, I want a local bookstore (that is not in a mall and that) I can walk into and find any book I ask for (KinoKuniya, I swear I love you), I want a hole in the wall I need not reserve in if I want to pop by for a bite. I also want museums within reach, I want a park, like Safa park that’s been taken away from me, and I want it a walk away. I want tiny shops that I can discover on my own, not from Instagram. I want a bagel shop. I want more randomness, less planning. I want small but big things.

I love #myDubai forever and a day, but on this specific day, I want more. I want more home.

 

 


Emergence

I’ve been avoiding reading through Marion’s previous adventures. I feel as if I have disappointed her. I left her trapped inside the electronic pages of a fool for words’ blog, from which she never emerged. I tried, but the thing with writing (or with me) is I can’t force it. It has to call for me. It has to come to me. I can’t sit myself down and decide to take Marion places. She calls on me to go wherever she wants, and I take her: to her love and back, to her hometown and back, my words take her wherever she wishes –  the romantic fool in me – and she’s always been happy that way. I always got her, and she got me, never forcing me into an area of discomfort. She’s been one of my realest friends for a very long time, but this year, she is laying so incredibly low, I can barely sense her presence, and it pains me, because Marion and I, we grew older together, we lived each other’s realities and fantasies, whilst always somehow managing to stay side by side.

-courtesy of a first full of bolts-

-courtesy of a fist full of bolts-

I just finished reading Paula Hawkins’ Girl on the Train, and throughout the whole novel, I kept thinking to myself: how could her main protagonist be so rough of a character? How did Paula manage to bring her into life so vividly whilst preserving her own sanity? She seemed very much alive to me that I’m so envious of them both right now. I’ve got to make this happen, and I will. Hang in there Marion. I am coming for you.


Fields of Green

I’ve always been a bit “stingy” when it comes to my readings. I tend to dedicate more of my time for works of Arab authors, because naturally, I take part in their cause, relate to their uncertainties, share their sense of belonging, and then every once in a while (just when I’m about to overdo it), my very wise cultural Guru (and dear friend Georges) gently pushes me to indulge in books of different nature. His latest was “The Lowland” by British-born, Indian-American and Pulitzer Award winner Jumpha Lahiri.

A trip back in time to India in the 1960s, the book depicts a poignant story of two inseparable brothers who grow up happily in Calcutta but part ways years later, due to political affiliations, insecurity, and immigration- only to remain bound by an epic tragedy of love and loss and broken family ties,  across four generations and two geographies.

photiopo

I do not wish to divulge further details of the book here today, for I strongly recommend you read it (it was shortlisted for the Man Booker award of the year but The Luminaries just nailed it). I just woke up itching to give credit to authors of the world this morning, and to also give a major shoutout to all Arab and non- Arab immigrants and families away from their homeland this Christmas.

May you live to see your children running happily, and freely, in their homeland’s fields of green.

May you live to see them starting a family- in their homeland- showered with flowers of jasmine, rice, and zaghareet (to each his own)

May you live to see them standing tall- in their homeland-  in times of peace, stability, and goodness, as responsible and compassionate citizens of the world.

Meet Jumpha below- she’s definitely a keeper!