Tuesday, March 22, 2005

To Baalbeck...and beyond

So, it finally happened. Yousuf (and I) met Yassine’s family for the first time, as we journeyed to his refugee camp in Baalbeck, deep in the heart of Lebanon’s Beqaa valley. As we arrived, Syrian forces, who controlled the area for more than 29 years, began to depart to the Syrian border, not far from where we were.

As for Yos: suffice to say, you can sure take the boy out of the refugee camp, but you can’t take the refugee camp out of the boy. Yousuf found his flock, and boy did he fly. As the Arabic says goes, “he is a pot that found its cover” (yes, I know, our sayings are profound). It wasn’t long before baby incredible was waddling his way around Wavel’s (the camps official name) winding alleways, making friends with everyone (i.e. the butcher, the baker, and the internet café owner-and yes, there are internet café’s in refugee camps-illegal, but that's another story), and getting to know his new (and many I might add) aunts, uncles, and cousins.

And of course, one of the highlights of our still-nascent trip: Yousuf finally got his hair cut!! It involved lots of tears (and an equal amount of hair-boy are those billowy curls deceiving) but the results were well worth it-I found my little boy again!

And in between... Posted by Hello

After! Posted by Hello

Before... Posted by Hello

Friday, March 18, 2005

and off we go...again

Once more Yousuf and I have braved the labyrinths of Rafah crossing, with all that entails of hour upon hours of waiting in cramped buses surrounded by occupation soldiers that never fail to remind you whose in charge. Of course to Yousuf it was just another journey of the many he has taken-and the soldiers that control our lives behindthe glass screens another face to giggle at, which he did, despite my mother's futile pleas ("No no yousuf dear, that is the enemy...").

Anyhow-we made it safely to Cairo after 14 hours. And tonight we depart to Beirut (we are both excited that this entails an airplane, as opposed to 3 buses, 4 taxis, and lots of waiting). In addition to doing some reporting on the condition of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, and on the current political events there, we will meet up with Yassine, who is ever so anxious to see his little troublemaking baby incredible. He has absolutely exhausted every iota (spl?) of sanity I thought I had left in me. The boy is a human energizer bunny-may God protect him.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Happy birthday!!

Yay for Yousuf! He officially turned one-year-old on Saturday. Something very bittersweet about that day though-I felt my grip slowly beginning to loosen, and that Yousuf was graduating into toddlerhood...never again will he unexpectedly roll off the bed and land crashing on the porcelain floor, or wail bloody murder every hour if the milking station was not open for service, or eat my mother's hormone replacement pills..oh wait, he did that yesterday. I suppose i have much to look forward to after all. Happy first, Sooofa.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

"What's in here?" Posted by Hello

Yousuf sensing there is something to celebrate, but not sure what, as Seedo tosses him in the air.  Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Yousuf's first steps

"Mwahahahah!! My destructive potential has just increased by tenfold!" Posted by Hello

Look ma..no hands Posted by Hello