An amazing friend of mine from Cameron and I were sent by the Chilean Ministry of Education to give a one-week training in the beautiful (but very dry) city of Calama, where we met amazing young leaders and heros. Those leaders are expected to build willing lives and futures! I had an opportunity to talk about my country Palestine through a poem, my novel and about the importance of English language in our lives. I will be missing the people of Calama. ❤️
It was a pride to participate in a session to strengthen English Language of the Los Arenales School’s students.
Before starting his day in the early morning,
the driver fought with his wife,
for not being financially capable.
She rushed towards her family’s house,
with tears in her eyes,
leaving four sons, two daughters and a baby.
Not caring about her tears, the driver started his day.
A high school student was his first passenger.
gave him two dollars,
and sat in his seat.
Beside the student, an old woman sat.
In a deep husky voice, she told him tales,
about her granddaughter who was his age.
‘She is tall with blond hair and brown eyes,’ she said.
‘She will study medicine at the college soon.’
‘I am sorry ma’am, I am in love with someone else,’ he disappointed her.
‘but I have no problem in getting to know her,’
Shouts heard from a man on a phone call,
saying bad words to someone none knew.
‘Pay me or I will make you forget the day you were born in,’ he shouted,
‘Pay me or I will make you forget your mother’s milk!’
His face turned red after he got his call cut.
In front of him was a kid having headphones in his ears,
listening to English music, not knowing the lyrics.
His mother was beside him, using her mobile.
She chats with someone on Tinder.
He was rich and handsome.
“That’s what I want,” she whispered to herself.
Her marital status on her profile was single with no kids!
She got mad when her husband called her to ask what food to bring home.
The seat behind her was empty.
Passengers avoided setting on it for drawings of human organs done by teenagers.
The back seat of the bus was wide like a bench,
where a man sat with his beautiful wife.
She fell asleep on his shoulder.
He took out his cell and messaged his friend at work.
‘Uff, the scorpion slept. I love you more,’ he woos his colleague,
while holding his wife’s warm hand.
Beside the couple, a crying baby laid.
He was parentless.
His mother left him because she did not know who his father was.
A young man in his 30s was happy to see scene.
He took a photo of the crying baby,
To post on his Instagram account that had 9800 followers.
For him, it is a catch since he wants to gain more.
The bus was full, but the driver wanted more passengers,
He wanted to bring his wife back home.
An old man got in, but he couldn’t find a seat.
Thinking he would gain respect, he stood up beside a young boy.
Wearing Beats Studio Headphones, the boy looks at the old man while chewing gums.
Ignoring him, he increased the volume of the music.
The old man was tired.
He almost fainted.
The driver was heard fighting with a woman with a torn dress.
She looked in need and poor.
She wanted a ride for free,
to go visit her husband at the geriatric hospital.
The driver refused, asking her to get off the bus.
Praying for passengers to arrive safely, she got off!
She wondered why hearts blackened,
I wanted to get into the old city,
to pray in its mosques and churches,
to listen to the bells and the calls for prayer.
I wanted to touch its history,
to stand by its tombs,
and pray for its dead,
died for its sake.
I wanted to see its white doves,
and the Golden Dome.
I knew love lived there,
and peace didn’t die there yet.
I was unwelcome, unwanted,
because I love Jerusalem,
and I call it my capital.
Unluckily, I was under 60,
with no blue ID,
and I didn’t have a permission,
to enter the capital of my country,
so I was asked to leave.
Forcibly, I did!
Few meters away,
with oodles of tears in my eyes,
I could see its details.
I could study them very well.
The narrow ancient alleys,
covered with tin plates,
filled with boys,
and veiled and unveiled women.
Blond tourists from the west and dark-skinned from the east,
were touring around,
buying from hard-working vendors sold Ka’ak,
with sweet and with thyme.
They looked at the small boutiques,
of the elders of Jerusalem,
who smoked Arab tobacco,
and Palestinian Shisha.
The centuries-long stores,
were full Kofeyas, Palestinian flags,
a lot of incense,
And Turkish delight.
Konafeh and desert were sold,
to tourists stood in rows.
Happy screams of kids,
And prayers were heard.
Worshippers from all religions gathered,
to get inside the Al-Aqsa,
from the massive woody gates,
surrounded with lots of security forces,
with heavy guns.
Despite hate, fear and injustice,
thousands got inside the high walls.
Barefoot, they kneed to their God,
in humility and devoutness.
They cried and prayed for peace,
for unchaining Jerusalem.