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ماريا ابنة الحي

قد يبدو عنوان هذه الخاطرة غريب بعض الشيء، غير انه مناسب بامتياز لما سأرويه لك عزيزي القارئ
وقد ﻻ يبدو غريبا لمن عاش مثلي، في التسعينات، فترة المسلسلات المكسيكية، فهو عنوان واحد من اشهرها
لكن قصتي ليست عن مكسيكية احبت رجلا اكتشفت فيما بعد انه اخاها غير الشقيق من ابيها الغني الظالم الذي تخلى عنها وعن والدتها التي كانت تعمل في قصره واستغلها.. قصتي عن فتاة صغيرة بعمر الزهور، اذهلتني عفويتها وبراءتها وحسن خلقها
تبدأ قصتي بمشوار اعتدت القيام به مرة او مرتين في الشهر مع سكينة، “البنغلادشية” التي تعمل عند جدتي، الى محل للاتصال بعائلتها والاطمئنان عليهم.. وهذه الاتصالات قد تدوم بين الساعة والنصف والساعتين وهي اطول ساعات حياتي!! حيث انني مجبرة على الانتظار ريثما تنهي كلامها وبكائها وضحكاتها واخبارها وجميع ما تريد قوله.. حقها طبعا
ولا اخفي عنكم كرهي لتلك “المشاوير” ومدى ضجري واستيائي، خاصة ان محل سكينة المفضل هو ايضا صالة لالعاب الكومبيوتر والانترنت يستخدمها الاولاد ليتشاركوا العابا، اقل ما يقال عنها انها غير تربوية، تهدف لترسيخ العنف الكلامي والجسدي بينهم، فتعلو اصواتهم وهم يعنفون بعضهم تارة، ويهنئون بعضهم تارة اخرى على “مقتل” شخصية او نحو ذلك من اجرام

وبحكم الضجر والفضول، كنت اراقب مجموعة اولاد،استفزني فيها كونها مؤلفة بمعظمها من بنات وليس من صبيان كما جرت العادة

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ولفت نظري بينهن طفلة صغيرة تراقبني وانا اراقبها، وتبتسم لي بحرارة كلما ابتسمت لها

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وجعلت اراقبها وهي تلعب وتضحك مع اصدقائها.. لفتني كرمها عندما اشترت بعض الحلوى ولم تتذوق منها الا بعد ان اطعمت جميع من معها.. شدني اليها حسن خلقها وهي تجمع الاوساخ التي خلفتها بعد ذلك، ثم ترميهم في سلة القمامة دون ان يطلب احد منها ذلك.. ابهرتني طيبتها وهي تعرض علي بعضا من حلواها شفقة منها على حالي وتجاوب بابتسامتها الساحرة عندما سألتها عن اسمها: “اسمي ماريا” ثم تتبرع بمزيد من المعلومات “اختى مها فوق”، واشارت للطابق الثاني ثم اضافت:”وسفتي هيدا يلي مرق من زنبك؟ هيدا اخي بلال.. ولسه في اختي الكبيرة اسما يمن” وعندما قلت لها ان اختي الكبيرة اسمها يمن ايضا جاوبتني ببراءة:”على اسم عمتي” !! ثم تذكرت شيئا فجأة وسألتني:”انت سو اسمك؟” وكافأتني بابتسامة عندما جاوبتها، اشعرتني لاول مرة في حياتي ان اسمي اجمل الاسماء.. “بنت عمي اسمها ماريا كمان”  جاوبتها “بس اسمك احلى” وضحكت لسخافتي رغم ان المجاملة اعجبتها.. ولم تطل محادثتنا بعد ذلك فقد كان على ان اذهب لكن صورتها انطبعت في ذهني ولم يغب عن بالي ندرة طيبتها ولا حسن تربيتها

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علمتني ماريا ان ايماننا بغد افضل هو اهم حافز  عند تربية اطفالنا، وقناعتنا ان الخير طريق الحق، وان حسن الخلق واجب وضرورة، تظهر في اسمى صورها عندما نجدها مغروسة فيهم.. هنيئا لنا بك ماريا، وبوركت الايادي التي ربت فيك حسن الخلق وزرعت في نفسي املا جميلا يهمس لي ان الدنيا ما زالت بخير.. شكرا ماريا

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Ahmad: A Lesson In Humanity!

There is no doubt that life always has a way of surprising you.. My most recent surprise was meeting Ahmad.

I have met Ahmad in a recent humanitarian event organized by “We Love Tripoli” which is actually a group of volonteers working on improving our beloved city ,Tripoli, in many aspects.

Each year, we plan two iftars for orphans in Ramadan, usually coming from the poorest places. We decided to make it more like a fun day, an outing where we first play some games until it’s time for the meal. This takes place in a restaurant where most kids like to go: Macdonald’s or Burger King.

I went for that iftar in Macdonald’s on friday the 27th expecting to give…  instead, I gained!

Ahmad was part of the 6 kids group I was in charge of. From the very first minute, I liked him. His enthusiasm charmed me. Before the games, I made a deal with my kids: we are there to win!! The competition always gives a fun and exciting aspect to the games. He was so thrilled he came directly to me, full of self confidence and said: “I promise you we will- ma 3layki”.. It was so touching.. he said it as if by winning he would be doing his part.. During the games, this enthusiasm never failed him.. he was so eager to please me, and midway through the event, he became very possessive of me: each time we passed one of his friends he would smile that big smile of his and proudly announce:”this is Farah”.. He was showing me off!!

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As time passed, I got a bit tired and we had to wait before our turn came. I decided to sit on the floor with my kids around me, and play a small game of Q  & A. It seemed only fair that game should be about Ramadan.. I asked about the name of the month, how long it lasted, then I asked what was so special about this month.. his innocent answer shook me to the core.. he said “restaurants”!! He said so many things in this simple word that I was hardly able to control my tears.. It was his way of telling me he was happy, that the event was special to him, and to remind me of how different his life is… I had little time to recover however, It was time for that game and they asked us to go.. I complained about not being able to get up, he sweetly stood up in front of me and extended his little hand to help..” ana bse3dek!” .. and the event went on.. I was amazed at how much humanity can be packed in such a small frame.. I kept watching him closely.

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When it was meal time, Ahmad had another surprise for me. On the table he shared with his team, he was eating his meal peacefully when his friend complained he finished and wanted more.. I was going to get him another meal but before i could do anything, I watched Ahmad as he gave him half his own.. ” ana bshba3 bsr3a, khod nes li ma3i”.. He gave!! In a place where he should be given.. that simple act was the most generous of deeds!!

Before Ahmad left, he hugged me, thanked me and blew kisses from his bus seat at me.. It was a very difficult goodbye for me.. because I knew what waited for him back there, I knew how difficult his life is.. I knew that tonight he went for that cold bed of his, feeling happy and content, dreaming about tomorrow, and I also knew that slowly ,cold realities will be forced on him as he grew up..  That 9 year old boy was so full of life, so content, so sweet , so caring.. He had so much less than a normal kid his age, but really was a better human than any of us.

I have expected to feel bad meeting my kids, I expected to read the need in their eyes and the hunger for attention, but Ahmad taught me that you  are never too young or too poor to be a better person…

I wish that Ahmad reads this sometime in his life.. This is my way, dear Ahmad, to thank you for the most touching lesson of humanity I have ever learnt! God bless you sweet boy, and may He grant you the happy life you deserve…