I woke up today wishing I was back in the UAE. I can't believe that I'm still not over the culture shock of being back in the States. Still not used to my own rich Hispanic culture. Why? I think I'm mourning the culture I love and lived with, my son's roots, the man that I used to love, the family that I got used to, the family that loved me, the family that took me in and loved my daughter and I. I know they say, "Bring the culture to your home if you love it so much and keep it with you forever." You know, its not the same.
I can serve my family some chai haleeb (tea with milk) and make my mother in law's famous biryani with chicken and desserts and try to mimic everything back in UAE, the things I learned. But, it's not the same. I hear no Arabic language around my home, no children laughing and screaming around my home and most of all, I hear no call to prayer when it's time to pray. I miss it...I miss listening to my mother in law talk to my son in Arabic.. Miss seeing her hug and kiss him. I really miss it. The call to prayer on my laptop isn't enough. To see my son play alone on his bike and with his toys, breaks my heart. Am I such a bad mom, to keep him away from the family who loves him, and who prays that he's in their site everyday? My son sometimes asks about them and when he sees the picture of his grandfather, he smiles and says, "I miss him. I miss jeddo, Mama." But, on the other hand, my father loves him just as much. At times I wonder if my father would die from heart break if I left back to UAE. When I say die from heart break, I'm not exaggerating. The look in my father;s eyes when my son hugs him is enough to grab a tissue and wait for your tears to fall. So, I'm torn between two worlds. A world that I once was comfortable in and world I once knew- the world was where I grew up and made memories with family and friends. The other world is a world I long for. A place that my heart will continue to long for.
Everywhere I look, everywhere I stop and try to smell the air here in TEXAS, I stop and start to think about the air in Abu Dhabi.
I long for my best friends, and our get togethers, our million and one calls during the day. Remember, none of us girls worked and we had time for each other? I miss meeting Tico in Dubai mall and going out to lunch with her while Abu Azooz watched a movie and left us girls alone to shop. I long for spending hours on end with them and knowing if I was in a bad situation, they would understand me and be right there beside me to comfort me. When I miss my father/siblings, they would be the first to understand me longing to see my family, because they long for the same. All of us girls went to the Middle East as foreigners. I came back to my country only to feel like a foreigner. Go figure.... *sigh*
final whisper: Dad, if it wasn't for you being here in Texas, I wouldn't be here.