‘Entie metzawzje?’ The dreaded question – Are you married?
‘Yes,’ I lie, ‘but I don’t have children.’
Naima frowns: ‘Leesh?’ Why?
That’s always hard to explain. I want to create something positive, and I love children. I simply never felt the desire to have my own.
I’m sitting on a family porch in Amman, Jordan. I’ve just had dinner but Naima and her family bring out bowls of olives, nuts, and dates. They ask about my life and work. Unfortunately my Arabic is not good enough to answer in depth. I promise to be better prepared next time.
It was a special encounter with this family. I saw care and curiosity. I felt welcome, even though our background and life choices are so different.
Social climate change
Brexit, the US elections, and the daily news all point to more division in our society. We see an enormous human toll in Syria. At the same time, we talk about refugees as ‘illegal border crossers’ and terrorists who need be kept out. There are real dangers that make it impossible to dismiss the latter point entirely, but I struggle with our intolerance towards people who are different from us.
We develop our own truths, depending on our environments, friends, and whether we read the New York Times or the conservative National Review. We seem to live in different universes, while actually, there are still so many things that we share. Continue reading