As the rain pours down around me, I am forced into moments of reflection that have been otherwise hard to come by here in Kurdistan. My existence has consisted largely of lesson plans, marking and worrying about classroom discipline and deadlines.

I find myself longing for the dusty, rolling hill of Nablus. Of the moments of quiet sitting in my windowsill, the glowing morning light keeping me company as the caffeine pricks me awake each morning. My existence here has left a barren hole where my creativity once flowed.

Since arriving two months ago, I have been met with a blurred mass of newness and fresh slates, their wiping clean wiping me out entirely. I have felt distant from myself, and while my words usually flow onto paper with ease, these days I struggle to write each letter.

In the quietness of this rainy night, I am processing the emotions and heartache of leaving one life behind in pursuit of another. So often, our mind automatically categorizes events and experiences without our conscious mind having input. I am coming to accept that while Palestine took my breath away, the air that flowed back into my lungs left me changed forever.

On a path of discovery that was too great to comprehend along the way, I realize now the beautiful imperfection in the months that went by where I found self-acceptance, sowed seeds and voiced dreams. I wonder now, how I will be able to settle here with an open heart when I have given it to another so completely.

I guess ultimately, that is why I have fallen quiet, because my thoughts and words have been projected inward instead of outward. I have been grieving and mourning, with quiet devotion, a place I can no longer call home. Like a scorned lover, my ears perk at every mention of its name; my heart pounds with every word of its well being.

Surveying my room now, I notice the backpack that has been emptied and tucked under my bed, its contents folded neatly on the shelves. In this fragmented and transitory existence I have chosen, in this commitment to create a new home each August, I realize the difficulty of maintaining my wholeness.

Each new person I encounter is shown the pieces I have chosen to keep at the surface throughout the years. They know nothing of the farewells, gratitude, heart-break, fears and dreams that I have unknowingly collected over the years - the ones that make me who I am. For the first time, I am realizing that if I want to succeed in creating a new home here, I have to unpack more than the contents of my backpack. I have to open myself up, shake out the crumbs, and hopefully at the end of it all, repack a little lighter.


  1. The one can't stop himself from reading your story, you just keep anyone reads this with you till the end of the story.hope Kurdistan be a home for you


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