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"Exile: Musings and Meditations", by Atiq Rahimi

Country : Lebanon

Tags : Refugees, Palestine, Beirut, Literature

Get out of here!

The voice is ruthless. It comes not only from above, from the heavens, but also from right here on earth. An order dictated by war, political terror, nature.

Get out of here!

The voice is relentless. It erupts with devastating suddenness, yanking me from my home, my tribe, my country, and dooming me to eternal wandering.

From this day on, wherever I go, whatever I do, whoever I become, I will be nothing but an exile.

Get out of here!

The voice haunts me; becomes an inner voice, my voice, chasing me away, again and again.  

Get out of here!

Exile is calling. And I leave, without much thought. This time, it is calling from Lebanon, from a refugee camp.

Just before I leave, a Levantine hand passes me a folder. An elegant, saffron yellow folder that stands out effortlessly against the grayness of my living space. It is so lovely to touch that I cannot put it down; it exudes a scent - orange blossom - suggestive of the entire East. 

Inside: letters, nothing but letters. I am not to read them until I set foot in Beirut.

Each day, one letter, at random, it doesn’t matter which; and at any time of the day, anywhere. 

Last modification the 8 December 2016