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Back Home

Sometimes we have that feeling – when a scent, sight or a certain touch of familiarity brings us back. And no matter how many years had passed, you  are that person again.

I had that moment when I visit our home in Saudi. We visit twice a year but this time it was different. I went inside our house with a lucid sense of who I am, who I want to become and who I was. But no matter how much I have changed, I am back to my high school self. All the walls of confidence, self-knowledge and experience that protected me from the dangers of real world are gone. I lose all these protections that I have been creating and let myself be me. I am back because I am home.

The place is my escape from the stress at work, the burden from certain responsibilities and doubt in my future. I wonder how the four story concrete building and our 50 sq.  apartment can bring so much security. I disregard the thought of pondering about this and enjoy the moment of being just glad that I am home.

Our home is modest but it definitely has a huge character, much of it came from my mother. Nothing much has change since I left.

My father kept the road carpet that my brother and I used to play; so as the boxes that I covered with my favorite comic book (W.I.T.C.H).

Seven winters had passed but the gold Christmas decor is still pinned at our kitchen door, untouched and undisturbed.

Around the house still lie a number of magazines and reading materials about the country that adopted us (with all the immigrants coming in Saudi, Islamic Culture is at least introduce in a different way).

But in my 17 years of stay in the kingdom, my parents remain loyal to our religion. They never failed to impart to us the beauty in being a Catholic. Of course it does not mean the one religion is greater than the other. It only illustrates the kind of faith that my parents have. So, much of our possessions are a combination of the two cultures.

But of all the familiar objects, it is the voice of the Imam that completes my journey home. Just across our house is a mosque. The imam’s voice (when he says “Allahu Akbar” or God is the Greatest) had been my comfort-a very tangible evidence that I am home.

No matter how far or different it is compared to you. Home is still home for it was once you.