Home in a War Zone
Living far away from your family can be difficult. Especially when you are close to them. Airfare is not cheap and flying well over eight hours, through different time zones can be exhausting. It takes time to adjust and you want to spend that time with those you love.
Throw in political turmoil and violence into the mix and it becomes a lot more challenging.
That’s how it usually is for me. At the beginning of each calendar year, I try my best – along with the help of my parents – to weigh the odds of what the situation will be like in the summer when I want to go visit my family in Lebanon. It’s extremely expensive, I need to make sure I can take a good amount of time off, and there’s always a security issue.
It doesn’t take that much time to figure it out because I’m well aware of what things are like down on the ground over there since I follow the local news and I’m in constant contact with my parents.
You have to understand that this is the norm for any Lebanese person who lives outside of Lebanon but still has family in-country. This is something we’ve been doing for most of our lives when living outside of Lebanon. My parents and I used to even visit for several weeks during the civil war, which has shocked friends when I’ve told them.
This is something that worries Matt more than I ever thought. And my Matt is not one to worry. In fact, I admire how much he doesn’t worry and so wish I could be like him sometimes (in this particular respect).
But he does worry when it comes to me flying over there. He worries I’ll be caught in a dangerous situation or that I’ll be hit by a bomb or well, let your imagination go with this and you’ll think of a scenario.
It’s difficult to explain, but I don’t worry. Visiting Lebanon, even during tense political situations, is one of the things in my life that I comprehend fully. In fact, many Lebanese, like me who have immigrated to the US or other countries, are the only people who fully understand.
So how do I allay Matt’s fears? I’m not quite sure yet. All I know is that I will keep visiting until it is impossible and too dangerous to go.
I’m just hoping that day will not come any time soon.