Sunday, 19 February 2012

Chapter 105 Strength

Nabulsi women are among the strongest women I know. 

A Nabulsi woman of my age is living a life very different from my own. 9 times out of 10 she is married with at least three children. A house to clean, a husband to please, children to raise and, oftentimes, a job to help make ends meet.

She doesn't have the luxury of lazy afternoons sipping coffee while chatting with friends. She's not out shopping for clothes, planning a lunch break at the nearest salad bar.

She's working hard.

Of my good friends is the perfect example of this.

She is 36, with four children under the age of 10. Her husband is currently out of work and she works full time.
So... she wakes up every morning at 5 am to clean the house before getting the kids ready for school. She works a full day for minimal pay. She comes home in the evening and cooks a meal for her five person family as well as her husband's parents, who live downstairs.

She then cleans up dinner which, as any mother knows, is going to be messy if it involves toddlers and babies.

Then the kids have to be cleaned up, helped with their homework and put to bed before she can finally light up her sheesha and put up her feet.

On a good day, she puffs away in peace. On an average day she has to deal with her bored husband who has decided she must now also wear her hijab in the presence of his brothers.

Despite this, she must be one of the loveliest, most cheerful people I know.

And she is not alone. Most of the mothers I have met are of the same ilk.

The mothers we meet in the camps have dealt with the horrors of occupation; the imprisonment of their husbands, sons and brothers, deaths of loved ones and crippling poverty. They have done so with iron in their souls. Still, warmth flows through their touch and compassion colors their eyes, even when dealing with strangers. 

Nabulsi women are among the strongest people I know. 

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