“This conversation wouldn’t had happened if it’s not for the Just write group”


I remember me at 10 years old very well, as if it was yesterday. Most of the memory was with my brothers and sisters (nine of us by that time) and the youngest when I was ten is a brother who was born in August of that year, 1966.  I remember that year very well, it did start well, as we knew that it’s our turn to travel that year, but my mum was pregnant and we were not sure if it was going to be an easy trip; the school was over as we packed our bags, we landed in Beirut, and stayed there for a couple of days, then we drove to Syria.  We often stay at some friend’s house until dad sources a house for us, this time it was a gorgeous house, in a posh area of Damascus, and had a pond too in its lush garden.  I remember we had found a frog, my brother and I were playing with it outside the house, and the Falafel maker saw it, he gave us a bargain, if he gets the frog, he will give us two Falafel sandwiches.  By that time we were eight kids and not much of a pocket money to go around, and number nine was going to be born in the house. We gave him the frog, and straight away the head was cut off and the frog was dipped in the falafel frier. We were startled, as he took it out and ate it there and then. We never had his falafel sandwich after that.


The next day mum was in labour, and the woman who helps the babies come out (as we were told) came to the house, and in few minutes, mum had the baby. I was entrusted to bury the placenta, and I did, but after few days we all smell something awful! It appeared that the cat that lived in the garden, had dug it out and left it out.  I was told off!


57 years later, I turned out to be the same, I am always entrusted to do things for the family and believe me there is always a cat (a metaphor) that digs it out and the thing rarely materialises.  One thing though, I will never forget my ten-year-old self, and if she comes to me today, I will tell her, go girl, you are going to do wonders in this world.


I wished at the time that my sister didn’t get polio and that we didn’t pass by Turkey and dad didn’t have the fight with the people on the train. But happy that we had also gone to Palestine and Jordon and Iraq during the same trip. Which means that in two months we travelled to 6 countries.  Something that I hadn’t done later in life, but my ten-year-old self did.