A Letter to the Girl I Could Have Been

To the girl I could have been:

I have been thinking about you a lot lately and the differences between us.
I grew up on chocolate cake and cookies while you grew up on knafeh and ‘atayif.
I spent weekends playing Power Rangers with my cousins, while you spent weekends doing dabka with yours.
I was raised in the land of the free while you were raised in the occupied land
where to me, a lit sky on the fourth means freedom, but to you it means war.

But do not envy me, dear me of another world. Because though my lifestyle is easier and has given me great opportunities, you have what I so desperately want.
You’ve had conversations with the soaring birds and shared secrets with the olive trees.
You’ve worn dresses elaborately embroidered with stitches that tell stories of your ancestors before you, while all I’ve ever worn were my old pair of manufactured jeans.

To the Isra that I could have been: I know you dream of peace as consistently as the sparkling sun rays reach your empty window each morning,
but do not be deceived because I was robbed, you see.
Stolen from me, was the richness of the life you live.
When I was away at school learning math and science, you were out learning life.
And one day when I am gone, my words will be carried away with the wind and be forgotten.
But your words are fighters; they will echo justice through the mountains and die as heroic martyrs–forever preserved.

So as you begin to feel lost within the confines of your current situation and the life you’ve been given, know this:
I am lost too, but I have no way out because I am wandering in this empty world with no true identity.
I’m living in a place that does not want me and yearning for your beloved home, who does not know me.
Our intricately paralleled lives have somehow crossed paths because it’s not even a phase anymore.
It’s become an emotion so strong, it defines who I am–you’ve become an integrate part of my DNA.
I feel homesickness for a place I have never lived. For a place I have never really known. For a place that was never always home.

Sincerely,
The girl I am

–IH

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© 2012 TeaPromise. All Rights Reserved.

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2 thoughts on “A Letter to the Girl I Could Have Been

  1. The emotion in your poem brought out my emotions. The poem is perfect. MashAllah. Thank you for your beautiful words 🙂

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