Friday, November 29, 2013

Feeling Like a Child: Turkish

I registered in a Turkish Language course last week, and classes will start this coming Sunday.
When  I paid the fees I was too disappointed when the secretary told me that I will not be handed the books until Sunday.

I have been hearing drum rolls inside my own head ever since I registered and I cant wait until Sunday comes ...  A new Language is a new person, and Turkish is not a only a "New Language" but it is a memory of 40 days of "linguistic vagueness" and a hard and long experience of not being understood.

I remember that evening in Istanbul when my friend Ufuk came from Ankara and we got to see each other in my very last night in the city. We sat there and talked about the language, the countries and ethnicities that formed the Ottoman empire, and the originally Arab words in old Ottoman and in current Turkish.

In that very night I felt my traditional "linguistic greed" kicking in, and ever since I knew that I am doing this! I am learning Turkish :))   

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


It was a transition of my body from one country to the other. I felt pain in my shoulders as I dragged around my heavy bag, and I felt unease in my soul as I left my "loneliness" behind me and came back to be surrounded with dozens of friends and relatives.

It was a complicated kind of restlessness and anxiety, I felt like a nomad ever since  I left my house in Istanbul until got to my parent's house in Amman. But even after I got rid of the suitcase and the "stuff" I still felt lost and tired.

When I crossed the narrow sidewalk towards you, when I saw the slight quiver in your eyebrows when you recognized my face in the crowd, then, only then I felt that I was finally home.

فلتأذن لي بأن أراك

 وقد خرجت مني وخرجت منك،

 سالماً كالنثر المصفى 

على حجر يخضر أو يصفر في غيابك. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

For a Moment I Caved In

I am in Turkey (Yes Blog!! Things happen and I dont post about it because I am unbelievably lazy and somehow busy). I have been here for a month now, and today as I as sitting in the forest of Yildiz Saray (Enshalla I will post about is sometime during this decade) and I suddenly felt so weak, so tired and desperately missing Granada.

The forest looked like Alhambra forest and I just missed it so bad, and I felt like I am too old to adapt to a new country, to learn a new language and to work in a different "journalistic style" (and dont get me started in journalistic style in Turkey ,,, I will never stop) and I started looking for journalistic jobs in Spain on my phone browser.

I found some cool jobs in Madrid and they were actually well paid, I just wanted to flee the country and go back to my "habitus".

I just forgot about all the battles that I dont have to fight here in Turkey (basically cultural battles, not being the only veiled woman in a room, and to easily and magically find a place to pray whenever it's time to pray) and I just wanted to go back to Spain, and go on with my Hispanista life-long experience.

When I came back home, I was home alone cooking, and ranting to Nawaf on Skype about everything (I just enjoy doing this, and he is a good listener) when someone rang the door bell.

As I dont speak any decent Turkish I usuaully tend to ignore the door bell when the girls are not home, I looked through the peephole and I saw an old lady.  I ignored the ringing and went back to cook, but she insisted ao I opened the door and I found our neighbor from across the hall holding two plates of sweets (the one in the picture).

She is celebrating Ashoura and she brought us our share!! My heart melted specially that the woman was extra nice to me when she found out that I am a foreigner and that I could not speak Turkish. She said some prayers in Turkish and closed the door for my as I was holding the plates.

She looked just like a nice old Jordanian lady, you know, she is not "The Other", she is just a nice old lady who shares a huge background with me although I cross her for the very first time in my life.

Her nice gesture touched me deeply, and she got me thinking.. I am still thinking and I dont know what to do with my life.

What I know for sure is that I dont want to go back home. That "Jordanian" ship has sailed. I dont want to live there anymore and I cant even handle it, but where do I go? what do I do?