I’ve been sitting in front of the PC, for days, hours at a time, trying to come up with something to write about my visit to Syria. I think I have pretty much exhausted what there is to say, given that any one week trip in Syria warrants a systematic way of approaching each day.

I haven’t had a proper holiday since the college days. If you’ve been following my blog you’d know that my longest holiday in the past three years was two weeks. When I used to spend 2 or more months in Syria I barely had time to do everything lol!

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pool with a view, what’s not to love?!

But this trip was slightly different. I “returned”, so to speak, a totally different person. I returned, as my best and childhood friend there put it, “happy, disjointed, with 8 more kilograms of beef”. That’s good!

It’s not only me though who has, so to speak, “aged”. Since I’ve been there in April, many thing changed and aged back home. My grandma lost lots of weight (but docs say she is in good health), my dad’s diabetes got a bit worse, my cousins grew a foot taller and my grandfather lost his memory.

But that’s not too morbid actually. I am quite glad he lost his memory. He’s SO HAPPY! He is just smiling, all the time! He knows who he is, he knows where he lives, and he remembers some of his kids. But he remembers nothing of his problems! NOTHING! No family feuds, no recollection whatsoever with any argument or mishap. He’s living the moment each and every single moment!

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one of the oldest, gorgeous ladies in my small town; she’s still got her memory but thankfully she has a happy life

I honestly am happy for him. It’s the best feeling in the world, to be free of allllllllll the burdens of the past 93 years of his life. In my absense he asks about me, though I have to remind him of who I am when he sees me. He’s such an awesome guy, really! At lunch we all gathered and told him we were his family, and he was absolutely thrilled! We kept reminding him every 20 or so minutes and it’s always like the first time he discovers he has a family that loves him.

The least favorite son (God I am so evil) asked him “who’s your favorite son?” and grandpa says “well you of course!”. The he points to dad (grandpa’s actual favorite son) and he says “what about that guy? do you like him?” and grandpa says “of course! You’re all my kids!”.

I dunno if he forgot about my deceased grandmother. I don’t think he did, though no one brought it up. She’s always in his memory, in everything. Several times over the years at lunch he’d comment that he misses her food, or scolding someone for touching the wine bottle that he promised he’d only open when he’s with her. I can’t think of a better husband, to still be so madly in love with your wife decades after she passed away.

Leaving a bit of those memories behind I went to Tartous to meet the one and only abufares. Our meeting was quite short, only a couple of hours or so, and my dad’s presence veered the conversations off to their collective memories of Syria before I was born lol. But it was nontheless an absolute privelage to finally meet the poetic voice of the blogosphere*. I’m also promised a fabulous lunch/dinner the next time we meet. Take that DJ!

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nanananannanananananana I saw him I saw him nananananana

If there’s anything I miss the most in Syria – other than breatheable air, a blue sky, and foliage – is the social aspect. As in old-school social. Not FB and twitter and crap.


*signed photos of abufares will be put up on sale shortly