Thursday, December 18, 2008


In the pocket of my late grandfather's leather jacket, my favorite hand-me-down/heirloom, I find a wrapped chocolate cube. It was served by the coffee at Ramallah cafe "Tarweea" and bears its logo. Tarweea, if I am not mistaken, is Arabic for "peace of mind".

I take the wrapped chocolate out and put it under the glass of my living room coffee table, along with the stone from Lebanon, the old book of Lenny Bruce routines, the cork of a champagne bottle that flew on some good night, over a year ago, and the small weaved memento of Baku, given to me by an Azeri friend in a place that is neither here nor Baku. I put on my grandfather's jacket and go out for a walk with Itka and Efros.

The sea is a deep cobalt, gushing underneath suspended concrete slabs of the new Ajami boardwalk. Above are the tiled pyramid rooftops of old ottoman buildings and a lighthouse painted with red and white stripes. Crumbling fishing vessles float calmly in a basin used continually for 4000 years, surrounded the smell of cooking squid and the exclamations of Asian tourists, awed by the sunset. I've never loved my friends like this, never been through difficult times with such a sense of calm, and yet rarely been so happy to be gently stepping out of them. This evening it's happening. If life is a journey in the pursuit of Tarweea, I have somehow docked at a safe harbour.


Yaelian said...

A safe haven in a journey like that is always a good thing. After reading your posting I feel like taking a walk in Ajami too.

Anonymous said...

Twenty- three years ago I was working in Jerusalem - for just over a year, I shared an apartment with a man who lectured at the Hebrew University. One evening he came home in a disdressed state, one of his pupils, the evening before; a Palestinian-Isreali was traveling home on the bus after a lecture; minding his own business when two isreali soldiers got on. They draged him off the bus and beat him up so bad he ended up in hospital What has caused this situation you my wonder?