Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘be grateful for what you have

How to be grateful for what you have?
Rida Mawla posted this link. August 16 at 11:40am ·

This is a personal experience that I would like to share with as many people as possible.

Today, as I was getting out of the US embassy, extatic for having gotten a new tourist Visa, I see a US passport on the ground, and a gentleman standing right by it.

He didn’t seem to have noticed it, as he was preocupied with a huge pile of papers in his hands, with a slight grin and signs of distress on his face.

So I rushed to pick it up and deliver it to the embassy guard, who apparently had received a report about it missing earlier in the morning.

I come back and smile at that gentleman, telling him how unjust sometimes life is…

Some of us stand in line for endless hours, with their endless piles of papers, waiting for that glimmer, that chance to leave on a vacation, for education, or for business… while some people are lucky to have that priviledge and take it for granted.

He smiles back at me, quite silent in his demeanor…

He hesitantly asks: “are you headed back to Beirut by any chance?”. I say yes; so he kindly asks me if I can give him a ride. At that point, I noticed his undistinguishable Aleppan accent.

Smooth, yet firm in his words. And so we went…

On the way back I couldn’t hold myself from asking him about his hometown, his family, his friends, the war, the rebels, the regime. I felt a bit embarassed for asking so many question, but the kindness and humbleness he displayed were out of this world.

Mahmoud had escaped Aleppo, which in and of itself is a miracle, a couple of days ago.

He is a med student who is yet to complete his residency.

The war in Syria shattered that dream for the moment. His younger borther is a pharmacist who managed to go to Germany on assylum. His youngest brother is a civil engineer. He is stuck in Aleppo with his brother and parents, and was hoping to get that chance to go to the US, all the while knowing that he will have to leave his family behind.

He got accepted into a language program in the US, but his visa was rejected. The consulate official told him that while he is qualified, there is no guarantee that he wouldn’t stay in the US.

I drove him to the bus station, where he was to catch a bus to Damascus, and wait for the right moment to sneak back into Aleppo.

The absurdity of this encounter was beyond anything I have ever experienced…

Here I was, complaining about a silly passport, while this brave man was risking his entire life and leaving his entire family in the most brutalized city on earth today with the hopes of getting an opportunity to work and give to the world.

And when he did not get that chance, he simply hitchhiked his way back to the place he escaped to be with his family.

You try to rationalize things as much as you can, but there is a point where you just can’t do it anymore.

Really, why? Honestly, why? I don’t think I will ever get an answer to this most agonizing question. And what’s worse is that there is absolutely nothing I can do to change any part of this absurd reality.

So I decided to share this experience, with the frustrating realization that this is really the only thing I can do for Mahmoud at this moment…

And I got an answer for another question: be grateful for what you have. Be grateful.





June 2023

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