الثلاثاء - 19 كانون الثاني 2021
بيروت 12 °

إعلان

Now I Remember

هنادي الديري
هنادي الديري https://twitter.com/Hanadieldiri
Now I Remember
Now I Remember
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I used to be a Writer.


Then I Forgot.


Something must have happened.


I no longer remember what.


I had my own world. I never needed anyone. I was a writer. I created people. I invented worlds.


I was 22 when I first entered the newspaper. I severely tied my hair in a ponytail and did not own a handbag. I put my stuff in a plastic bag. I carried that bag everywhere I went.


I entered the old building that had created legends in the historical Hamra Street, with fear mixed with steely determination to become famous.


I did not know how to write in Arabic having lived nearly all my life abroad.


Yet my father insisted that I was to become a journalist.


He knew that what I really wanted was to be on stage.


Somewhere in New York.


He also knew I did not have the courage to make my dream come true.


I entered that building on a hot July morning 22 years ago.


I was determined to become famous. I did not know how to write in Arabic.


And yet I was a writer. Experience and days revealed to me that I was born to write. That this world I lived in and which no one else could see was made of stories I was meant to write.


I had a boss who believed in me and who dedicated his days to teach me the Arabic language.


I was tireless.


His faith in me never "limped".


I did not know what I was doing. Yet I didn't stop.


I was driven. Ferociously. Aggressively.


I didn't stop.


My boss Aadoul became my mentor and my second father.


Together we faced all the ups and downs of my early years.


I did not notice anything around me.


I was busy writing.


It is a hot summer. It is passing quickly.


My whole life seems to have passed rather quickly.


In my twenties I was a writer.


How I miss those early days.


I was immortal.


And I was a writer.


This morning I Visited Hamra Street. Where it all began.


I parked the car and I slowly started walking.


I felt a strange feeling of Nostalgia even though I have never stopped visiting that Street even when the newspaper moved down town Beirut.


Where have all the years gone?


Hamra's noises took me back a million years.


As days passed I never really had the time to look back. And I never really knew how precious those years were. I took them for granted even though I worked as hard as my twenties allowed me.


Hamra's daily scenes made me recollect all that I have forgotten.


All that I took for granted.


I not only worked midst legends.


They actually made me.


They helped me participate in years forever engraved in my soul.


This morning I suddenly saw Hamra Street again.


For years I simply used it as a pathway to my life. My daily activities. It had lost its charm. I forgot my twenties. And I overlooked the fact that I used to be a writer.


I walked for a long time. I searched for glimpses of those early days. Then I stood in front of the old building I first entered on a hot July 22 years ago. I could see us all busy writing. We believed in causes back then. We lived through writing.


I must have discovered life.


That's it.


That's what must have happened.


I am 22 years old.


My hair is severely tied in a stiff ponytail.


I have my stuff in a plastic bag.


My clothes are so out of date.


I don't know how to "command" the Arabic language.


Yet I am a writer.


For years I remained one. I never faltered.


Then I forgot.


I kept walking in that Street for what seemed like an eternity.


I was searching for something. Someone.


Someone I used to be.


Before I forgot.


I chose an old café.


I ordered an espresso.


I took out my small notebook and my pen.


And I determinedly set out to reconnect with the writer in me I had lost throughout the years.


I was oblivious to Hamra's morning guests this morning.


I was busy searching. Making my way through the thousands of Images I have participated in all those years.


You see, I used to be a writer.


Before I forgot.


Before I allowed life to interfere.


Before I drifted midst its whims.


This morning, I wrote for all the years I had lost.


I was determined to find the writer in me I had stamped on.


It was the same steely determination that haunted my being that July morning when I first entered the newspaper building 22 years ago.


You see, I used to be a writer.


And then for many, many years I forgot.


Now, I remember.

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