Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Ode to the Unnamed

Each semester, I get asked "Miss, why did you come to Saudi?" I would pause, and ponder upon this unexpected yet logical question. I would explain. Then, they would ask again "But WHY Saudi?". 

I am yet to give a fully satisfying answer. I'm in the process of finding out...which is awe-some.

Sometimes ignorance and prejudice prepares you for the far worse, until you see what there is to see....
Then, the veils melt..and WHAT a sight,
what a sign.

During my two years in Saudi, some people said they enjoy their time here. Alhamdullah (Thanks to God, in Arabic), I am one of them.

Yet, only one person has ever said "I love Saudi" and she truly meant it. That's my friend Clare. I am deeply moved and inspired at her ability to express such a profound and beautiful feeling. At the time, I was struggling to get my head around things...including setting up the veil (tarha) around my head. I wondered...what is it that I am blind off?

The other day, while walking I pointed to the wild plant growing between the pavement panels and confided to her "I LOVE this plant". She looked at me, rounded her eyes in wonder-puzzle. The same wonder I had before. "But it's just a weed", she said. I smiled.

Her question answered my old question.
Said nothing of its peculiar umbrella shape, 

of seeing it in the most neglected-by-man corners, 
of Cyprus, UK and Saudi Arabia....
where everybody thinks nothing grows 
but God or whatever you like to name it, cares.

Its name might be unknown to me, 

but each morning we bow to each other. 


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