A Letter To My Friends
- 18 Posts
- Age 20
My dear friends,
I miss you. I miss you. I miss you.
The first time I met you I wouldn’t have thought that I would write this in the near future – but look at me, here I am. I don’t think I have ever had a more memorable, intense, instructive, and exhilarating time in my life than during the short time I was with you, and now I miss you with my every bone.
We have only been together for two months. I entered the camp one day, gazing into stranger’s eyes – the eyes of “refugees”. But not a week passed and I grew so fond of you that I looked forward to every morning, every alarm clock in the early dark hours, when I could get up and meet you again. Every penny spent on those countless bus tickets, every minute walking up that mountain-like hill, every ringing tone of the alarm clock was worth it.
When I met you, I got to know myself anew. You taught me joy – pure, intoxicating joy. When you waited for me at the security and accompanied me to “Kinderland”, our play house, I could not be happier, and when a pencil became the most desirable thing on earth I could not say no. You taught me how to truly communicate without sharing the same language, and you loved me just for being there – for owning the keys to a few hours of unconditional fun. You loved me and I loved you, just for your giggles and big eyes and the joy that rolled over you whenever you would caper around.
Despite your home sickness I’ve never encountered more true
But it is not just the young ones of you who stole my heart, because the elder of you did the same to me. My “helpers” at work – you were the true bosses. You said what I couldn’t say, you treated me like a queen and you accepted me so easily as one of you that I made friends faster than one could imagine. Within two weeks, I would lie awake at night phoning five hours with one of you, and I would spend my evenings sitting on the highest point of the city watching sunsets with you and discussing life in the most profound way. Despite all your sadness and all your terrifying stories, I have never encountered more hope.
Now I am at university, and I haven’t yet made friends. Nobody runs towards me to hug me and nobody walks me all the way downtown to the bus. In fact, nobody seems interested in a conversation at all. I’ve just been sitting in an Arabic course, but the teacher could never come near your enthusiasm to teach me every letter and every word with such pride and such love. I now learn how to evaluate your situation, because university teaches me the science of politics, the science of societies, the science of explanations…
But it doesn’t teach me the science of love. Maybe it can’t,
because the science of love is taught in that refugee camp, with
you who never failed to amaze me with your love. Nobody has ever
humbled me as much as you have, and nobody has ever invited me to
be part of a family without judging, without doubting. I’ve never
felt more welcome and I will forever remember my time with you.
That is a promise. والله*
Yours always, Pia
* ‘I swear’ in Arabic