Tuesday, February 2, 2016

From the stories of displaced Yemenis; when I met a Yemeni fellow in Jordan

*Raphaël Khouri suggests going to a Yemeni restaurant in Amman for dinner. She thinks Yemeni food is sophisticated. And we go. We arrive and I tell her, 'it's been almost 5 years; I haven't gotten the chance to have food at Yemeni restaurants. I don't want to make a drama & cry here. I will only take a picture of the restaurant name 'Bab AlYemen'. She encourages me to embrace the drama but we laugh. We order different yummy Yemeni dishes. We finish with happy faces & full stomachs. At the hall, I get stopped by the Yemeni waiter. We chat a bit. I say, 'God how I miss Yemeni food.' He asks me, 'are you Yemeni?' To make the long story short, we discover that we both come from the same area in Sana'a. We describe the roads, the blocks, the neighborhood, etc. We feel how close we are. He has been displaced by the war. He left Sana'a 2 months ago. His family & kids are still in Sana'a. He tells me how he's sad that he had to leave them. We look at each other & sense each other's sigh. A drop of tears wants to escape his eyes & mine. I see his pride won't allow him to cry. My heart breaks. I secretly say, 'fuck wars, fuck political leaders, fuck politics, fuck everything evil in this life.' This happens in a matter of seconds. Someone interrupts us. 'Do you want tea, Afrah?' I think it would have been nice if I can order a cup of global justice for my fellow Yemenis. 'No, but thank you. I must leave now.' I walk down the stairs & the Yemeni waiter whispers, 'let me know if I can be of any help (ya bent bladi), you the daughter of my country!'

*Orginally published on my Facebook.