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Diary Entry: An Immigrant’s Prayer

by Youmna El Halabi October 29, 2019
Diary Entry: An Immigrant’s Prayer

I can’t sleep without gritting my teeth.

My mind is racing, traveling miles away.

I can’t focus on anything but the constant rapid beating of my heart.

This sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach hasn’t left me for over a week.

This constant anxiety seems to never leave me.

Nothing holds my attention anymore.

I haven’t had a decent work day in over eight days.

I seem to be existing rather than living.

 

What is wrong with me?

Why does my daily routine suddenly seem so exhausting and futile?

I hear nothing — not even the sound of city streets, nor the sounds of my supervisors urging me to get myself together.

If I close my eyes, I can picture it perfectly.

Flying colours of red and white, the green cedar standing out. The ground vibrating as the dabké nears the corner. Exhausted chants of revolution filling my eardrums.

A single tear escapes my eye. I don’t want to be here.

Montreal is now at its most glorious days, with fiery replenishing colours invading its every corner. And all I want to do is throw myself into the burning fires of the Lebanese revolution.

As the clock struck midnight on Oct. 17, my spirit answered the long-awaited call for riot — seeming to forget where it actually was.

No responsibility seems too dire, no task too urgent — nothing matters but the uprising in my native country.

I know I should be stronger than this. I know I should be mindful of my surroundings. I know now is not the time to long for home.

Yet more than ever, the pull is strong.

The ache in my heart is unbearable.

My people are tired, my people have had it.

They took to the streets, and said “no more,” and with that made all my lost hopes soar.

It wasn’t three weeks before I was asked if I had witnessed any change in Lebanon’s youth, and if I anticipated any sort of uprising. I had chuckled dryly, and shaken my head. “Not in my lifetime,” was always my answer.

And I was never happier to be proven wrong. And god knows I love being right.

So hear a broken immigrant’s prayer:

Do not let your foes fool you once more.

Do not let them lay further traps.

We are now louder than ever before, and hold the whip on their fear.

Fight, and rise from the ashes of corruption, my beautiful phoenix. It was long overdue.

 

Photo by Laurence B.D.

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