a story of atoms

This is where I document thoughts that race through my head and swim through my veins.

Category: Truth

writer quirks

Really, it’s quite amazing: the way I am able to think properly when I have a pen in my hand.

Created from a single clot
Shaped from clay
I am a woman
burning–

Why is beauty a competition?

-abstract

My Tongue: Two Sides of the Atlantic

About two months ago, I was telling my dear aunt how I was interning for a writing position at a local magazine. She, being a woman with a heart made of honey, genuinely  congratulated me as she poured a stream of red tea into a glass mug. My aunt’s family always drinks tea in massive mugs.

“Lina, ra7 toktobe bil Englizey, ou bel 3rabi?” ( Lina, will be you be writing in English or Arabic?” She hands me my glass.

La2, bel Englizey, khalto”( No, in  English, auntie.) I respond as I wrap my two hands around the mug. The warmth of the tea blankets my palms.

“Ah, huo el Englizey  sar loghtk el-um.” ( Ah, English is now your mother tongue, it seems.)”

I feel my tongue split into two.

*

Graduate school applications are a pain.

Background Section: Language Proficiency.

Select the languages you are proficient in.

Part One-A : I drag the box arrow and in the list of A-starting languages,  I spot Arabic. Click.

Bubble Number 1:Is this your native language?

Yes. Maybe.

Define native.

Speaking bubble: I select Proficient. Reading bubble:Proficient. Writing bubble: Do I choose poorly or fairly? 

Part One-B. (Optional) Select the languages you are proficient in.

Drag the arrow. Scroll through the E-beginning languages.

English. Click.

Bubble: Is this your native language?

Speaking bubble: Proficient.  Reading bubble:Proficient. Writing bubble: Proficient.

*

I am four years old in a medium-sized kindergarten classroom.

The girl with blonde straw hair whose name I forgot, brings the paper the teacher handed out to her lips. She kisses the middle of it, and then proudly declares: ” I know how to write my name.”

My brows furrow. I look down at my blank page.

I know how to write my name. I think to myself.

Grabbing my  old school yellow Hb-2 pencil, Lina Abdul-Samad was printed right in the center of that crisp page.

I look down at my name. It’s a hard name to write. Not the Lina part, but the obviously Arab-Muslim part.  It’s especially hard for an Arab girl who started school without a word of English in her mouth. For a girl who spoke only Arabic at home. Who didn’t watch  Enlgish T.V. Or had English speaking friends or family.

I bet it’s harder than writing Jessica Smith, or Britney Sanders, or whatever her name was.

 

A week or so later, I wake up from my regular after-school naps. School made me exhausted. I headed to my school bag that was slacking on the floor. I think my bag was a bali green with blue zippers. Or a pink wih pink zippers. I can’t remember now.

I fetch out a yellow paper from it. There was my name in brown Sharpie ink. Big. Printed in the center. I think my name looks nice in brown on the yellow page. Brown was my favorite color when I was four. Not pink or purple or blue. Brown. It was the color of my eyes and the color of chocolate pudding.

I make way through the beige-painted halls, and I find my  mother in the living room.I hand out the yellow paper. She reads it for a second then hugs me. I ask her what it’s for. Mama explains that it’s a certificate for learning English within a month of school.

*

I have a complicated relationship with language, with the two languages I know. When I moved back to Palestine, I began noticing that I didn’t know which language to think in. Having two parts of you, fragmented in a thought.

*

My aunt tells me that she always opens to read my writings online, but she struggles with the language.

Whenever I tell her I publish something, the first question she always asks; ” Bel Arabi?”

I want to tell her yes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

where do you go when sleep is not an escape?

*

when outstretched arms become vines that choke ?

*

how does it feel to walk on the earth and have your feet crumble into dust?

*

are you hammering water?

 

 

Athan Ban: Response

God is the Greatest
God is the Greatest

You talk to God, right?
Did you talk to Him, the night before you and Balfour shook hands and he offered you “Official Sympathy”?

If you did, what did He say?
That He promised you this land? That white men with vulture eyes and hungry hands can get whatever they want as long as they pretend to believe in God?
Well, I talk to God.

God is the Greatest
God is the Greatest

Submit to him my insignificance (1)

I bear witness that there is no deity except God
I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.

You don’t talk to Him.

I bet His name gnaws at your eardrum: creating your “noise pollution”. The only time you complain about noise pollution in 68 years, the two intifadas, Gaza’s Wars, and the bloody genocides is in Jerusalem, the shortest path between earth and sky (2)

Come to pray.

Come to success.

What about your drones? Your sonic bombs. The sounds of massacre. Echoes of raped land.
Yet, you are the ones wailing about “noise pollution”. How can a cannibal complain of the cries of its prey?

You say that there is no noise pollution in Europe. Go back home. You won’t have to hear our athan resonating in the Jerusalem wind. Stop penetrating our land with your footsteps, with your settlements, with your F-16s. But you won’t leave. Instead, you decide to mute God’s name from our streets.

But tell me this,
Do you still talk to God when you are hungry?
Does His name remind you of your colonial sins?

 

References:
1.“Calling”, March 2013
2.“Jerusalem”, Nizar Qabbani

Balancing what resembles a continent of knafa on his fork,

“Don’t eat anymore.”

He laughs

as if it’s a joke.

“You’ll get bigger.”

the way he stuffs his mouth with more

i tell him i will devour the  aluminum tray until i can recognize my reflection,

and then i will devour him

i will swallow the fridge,

the wooden cupboards,

the sink,

half a date,

a knife,

my size four dress,

three tablespoons of fury,

my pink hijab,

a slice of the occupied home,

tube of bright red lipstick,

i will swallow you

i will swallow you whole,

let my waist become the equator

until i become the world.