Stranger everywhere

Stranger everywhere

That’s how I used to feel


At school I did not conform

nor did I behave as other kids did

and I was looked upon as a weird boy to exclude


In the country I’ve lived in, Lebanon

I always had a sort of blockage in Arabic, the national language

was it because I spoke French and Italian with my parents?

I learnt to speak and write Arabic at school

but I was always told I spoke like an Armenian

which means I did not have the right accent, and did many mistakes speaking

it’s strange isn’t it not to speak correctly the language of the country where you belong?

At the time I didn’t care much, when you’re a child and you have difficulties to learn something

a natural impulse is to declare this thing doesn’t matter to you at all

but growing up it became an handicap not being able to communicate as well as I’d like with people who are not at ease in French and English, the other two languages widely spoken

a couple of months ago my great uncle told me it was a shame I spoke Arabic so badly, and that it was my fault because I didn’t put enough efforts in learning it

and he told me people wouldn’t take me seriously

I listened to what he had to say, and resisted the impulse of telling him it wasn’t my fault, and that I was not gifted for this language

Instead I let his words sink in, and I felt the absurdity of my situation, and started crying

crying for not belonging anywhere

he was shocked to see me crying, especially that he is quite sensitive himself

he just hugged me and asked for my forgiveness

I told him I had nothing to forgive

it’s not a bad thing to cry

and it wasn’t his fault if I did, he had just stirred a deep wound within me

and since I have already discarded much of my protective shell of anger and aggressivity

sometimes tears become the only way to express myself


When I go to Italy, the country of my mother

people ask me if I have lived in France or America since I have a slight accent

Perhaps the only place where people don’t ask me from where I come is France

but I never felt truly at home there


And I’m left wondering where this wound comes from

I’d be tempted to say I don’t care about not belonging here and there

But that’s untrue, even though my mind has produced that statement

my heart craves to be loved and accepted, to return to a place of timelessness and unconditional love


At the end of the day if I don’t belong anywhere, it means I also belong everywhere

All the Earth is mine and borders are meaningless in this world fragmented in small countries warring and competing one another

Feeling a stranger everywhere taught me a deep lesson

all systems based on dividing, secluding, on “us and them” are untrue

We’re all related, all human beings, all the living, even organic things around us

We constitute a whole with a bond much deeper and more powerful than language

It’s not because I don’t speak the language of your tongue that I won’t understand and appreciate that of your soul

Writing, painting, music and smiles are languages that travel deeper

and allow a direct communication between hearts




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