Saturday, July 28, 2012
When I arrived at Boston Airport on August 22nd, 2011, I had no idea what Boston would offer me. All I wanted was to travel and get out from Yemen for a while. I hated it. I hated the way I led my life back home. I hated the poverty I see on its streets and homes. I hated the way men treat women. I hated the way parents treat kids. I hated my job and my employer. I hated my self and as a result I felt depressed and had doubts about everything around me. I could see no purpose to continue living and there were moments when I would think of those who committed suicide and try to put myself in their shoes. They must be strong enough to do it. I couldn’t. I was too weak to take my life away. It wasn’t due to the fear of what Islamists say about the sever torturing that would await for the one who commits a suicide rather it was my eagerness to lead a happy life while I’m still alive. Were my friend and cousin right about the decision they made? Were they too depressed to see the light of hope in their life? Was committing suicide the only option they had in order to get rid of their misery? What if they could’ve survived? Would that have made a difference and washed their misery away?
Realizing the truth that death is my ultimate end, I chose to live. I chose to live my life with whatever packages fate brings me or takes away from me. I stopped thinking about my situation and tried to dismiss all my fears away. I started to think about the things I really want to do during my short stay in this life and do whatever it takes to achieve them. I wanted to go to USA and see how life is over there. Traveling abroad is considered to be a difficult issue for a Yemeni single woman due to cultural constrains. Traveling to USA is even more difficult due to the vast gap between its world and the Yemeni world. There were moments I doubted my ability to make it to USA but I never gave it up.
Here I am in my apartment in Boston typing this memo on my Mac, a lap top I dreamt of having it but never thought I would someday have it, and yes it has been more than ten months for my stay here studying at BU, meeting people from different parts of the world, taking courses I never thought I would take, and drinking water from the tap. An American friend who spent sometime in Yemen once told me he missed drinking from the tap. I was surprised to hear that. I never thought that the tap water can be clean and safe to drink whether in Yemen or in any other country. He assured me it is clean and safe there in the United States and I wouldn’t fall sick if I drank it.
“I also want to drink water from the tap.” I said.
“Well, then come to the United States and you will”, He said.
Now being here, every time I turn on the tap and drink water, I remember his talk about the tap water, and I feel the bliss the US citizens have. I wish I could bring such taps to my people.
There are a lot of things here people take for granted. Things people in Yemen are deprived from. For instance, water, power, parks and a public library where one can find new and old books to read and write a thesis.
Words here signify their meaning. Clean means clean. Art reflects art in all its beautiful forms. Freedom has a taste; a sweet taste. In Yemen, words are arbitrary. They miss their meanings. “Clean” comes in ranks. “Art” has limitations. “Freedom” has a bitter taste if it actually exists.
I still love this poor country. I am ready to give up my life, money and everything I have just to draw the smile back on her face. I hate this black cloak wrapped around her beauty. I hate these foreign shackles that restrict the motion of her harbors. I hate these foreign drillers digging deep in her womb. I hate seeing her bleeding in south and north. I hate seeing her own children slaughtering one another. I see her falling down; exhausted of all the stabs she has been receiving. She’s dragging me along with her into the dark hole of loss, but I resist. I have to resist. I hold a hand to the rope of faith and hope and with the other I try to drag her out of that hole of darkness. Between the rope and the hole my feet stand on a marsh of retard. I feel them sinking as the social traditions, tribal notions, ignorance, and hatred draw them down. I still resist.