Jerusalem in Exile, a story

Jerusalem in Exile is a project that explores and searches for the visual images of Jerusalem in the minds of Palestinians globally, the following is a participation by a palestinean who lives in Germany, but he was born and raised in , Nice, France, please go there and participate.

From their website, I found this interesting story:

I am writing these lines in memory of my beloved grandmother, Vera Jousiah, who died 3 years ago after some complications in the brain. Her last words were, “take me to Jerusalem, I want to smell the Jasmin and the Reyhan of Falastine.”
After a while I decided to go to Palestine/Israel to pay a visit to Jerusalem, exactly to the Qatamon area where my Grandmother was born and raised. Although I never saw Palestine before I was so emotional. The stories that my grandma used to tell me every night have played a very important role in my childhood. After a long and exhausting search of the house I was terribly shocked when I discovered that the house where my grandma was born and lived was taken by Jews. I stood still just across "Grandma's house" and started taking some photos. Then suddenly appeared a 60 something old lady and asked me what these photos were for. I thought for a couple of seconds and then told her "I am just taking some pictures of the houses in the area because I live in France and that I love the architecture of the buildings here!” As soon as she heard the word France she took me for a French Jew, and to my dismay invited me in for tea. I hesitated and then agreed after she insisted. I stayed in the garden and she rushed to the kitchen to make some tea. Meanwhile an idea crossed my mind. I took some soil from the ground and dubbed it in my knapsack. The woman came back with tea and some biscuits and then started talking to me in perfect French. Apparently she was a French Jew herself who immigrated to Israel after her daughter died with her family in a car accident and decided to come and stay with her son in Jerusalem. I felt sorry for her. As she went about telling me some stories back then in France, suddenly I remembered my grandma and couldn't stop thinking about her. I felt as if she was there. I could feel her spirit moving and dancing around the house–I thought I was going crazy. I then excused myself and apologized for any inconvenience and I left. On my way to the hotel, I went to the Old City where I got some Reyhan and some Jasmin extract to take them with me to France....
When I went back to France, I went to the cemetery to visit my grandma and showed her what I have brought along with me—some Jerusalem soil from the house where she spent most of her beautiful years as she used to say, and tucked the soil on beside her so that she "could feel it", and scattered some Jasmin and Reyhan leaves on her tomb....


Chain of Love

I received this story by e-mail and thought to share it with you:

One day a man saw an old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.
Even with the smile on hi s face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn't look safe; he looked poor and hungry.
He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was that chill which only fear can put in you.
He said, 'I'm here to help you, ma'am. Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.'
Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.
As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louisand was only just passing through. She couldn't thank him enough for coming to her aid.
Bryanjust! smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady asked h ow much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped. Bryannever thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty, who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.
He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryanadded, 'And think of me.'
He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.
A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outsi de were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn't erase. The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan.
After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred do! llar bil l. The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the lady could be. Then she noticed something written on the napkin.
There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote: 'You don't owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I'm helping you. If you rea! lly want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you.'
Under the napkin were four more $100 bills.
Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard....
She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, 'Everything's going to be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson.'


The Key. 59 years on the occupation of Palestine

This is the Key, it might look old and unusable, it might look strange, but this is a real key. Though, this key cannot be used to open its owner's house door, not because it became so old and the house door now has a new modern system, nor because the house' owners decided to spend their summer holiday or the rest of their life in an allure island or an attractive beach, but because the house' owners had been forced to leave their house, had been fired from their dreams. "The Key" is not a myth story or a tale, nor a memorial piece from history, the Key is not an imaginary fiction or drama film. The Key is the reality, it is the pain and the daily suffer, it is sunset and the leaves fall, it is the loneliness and unfairness, it is the catastrophes of Palestine. It is the HOPE.

On 15th of every May since 1948, Palestinians do not need to remember their suffer, because every day they face a new kind of suffer, a new kind of killing, destroying houses, damaging trees, reaping women, killing children.

In 1948, the Israeli army invaded Palestine, and since then, Palestine is known to the world as Israel, most of Palestinian had been forced to leave their homeland, some of them refused to leave, they faced the immediate death, some of them have survived, those who did, have been living either outside their homeland in camps, or within it in a worse situation, when they left, they couldn't take any luggage with them, it was unplanned vacation, the Israeli war was sudden, the Palestinians left with empty hands, but they didn't forget to firmly close the doors of their houses, and take the Keys with them, 59 years ago, the took their houses keys, because of the hope, the hope of return.

I myself, cannot even assure that their houses even still exists, something else had been built in their place, but I absolutely sure that the house exists in their minds, and they have the Key to open them again. "The Key" is the Hope.


Slow Down Culture

I received the following article by e-mail and thought to share it with you.

It's been 18 years since I joined Volvo, a Swedish company. Working for them has proven to be an interesting experience. Any project here takes 2 years to be finalized, even if the idea is simple and brilliant. It's a rule.

Globalize processes have caused in us (all over the world) a general sense of searching for immediate results. Therefore, we have come to posses a need to see immediate results. This contrasts greatly with the slow movements of the Swedish. They, on the other hand, debate, debate, debate, hold xquantity of meetings and work with a slowdown scheme. At the end, thisalways yields better results.

Said in another words:
1. Sweden is about the size of San Pablo, a state in Brazil.
2. Sweden has 2 million inhabitants.
3. Stockholm, has 500,000 people.
4. Volvo, Escania, Ericsson, Electrolux, Nokia are some of its renownedcompanies. Volvo supplies the NASA.

The first time I was in Sweden, one of my colleagues picked me up at thehotel every morning. It was September, bit cold and snowy. We would arriveearly at the company and he would park far away from the entrance (2000employees drive their car to work). The first day, I didn't say anything,either the second or third. One morning I asked, "Do you have a fixed parking space? I've noticed we park far from the entrance even when there are no other cars in the lot." To which he replied, "Since we're here early we'll have time to walk, and whoever gets in late will be late and need a place closer to the door. Don't you think? Imagine my face.

Nowadays, there's a movement in Europe name Slow Food. This movement establishes that people should eat and drink slowly, with enough time to taste their food, spend time with the family, friends, without rushing. SlowFood is against its counterpart: the spirit of Fast Food and what it stands for as a lifestyle. Slow Food is the basis for a bigger movement called Slow Europe, as mentioned by Business Week.

Basically, the movement questions the sense of "hurry" and "craziness"generated by globalization, fueled by the desire of "having in quantity"(life status) versus "having with quality", "life quality" or the "qualityof being". French people, even though they work 35 hours per week, are moreproductive than Americans or British. Germans have established 28.8 hourworkweeks and have seen their productivity been driven up by 20%. This slow attitude has brought forth the US's attention, pupils of the fast and the"do it now!".

This no-rush attitude doesn't represent doing less or having a lower productivity. It means working and doing things with greater quality, productivity, perfection, with attention to detail and less stress. It means reestablishing family values, friends, free and leisure time. Taking the"now", present and concrete, versus the "global", undefined and anonymous. It means taking humans' essential values, the simplicity of living.

It stands for a less coercive work environment, more happy, lighter and moreproductive where humans enjoy doing what they know best how to do. It's timeto stop and think on how companies need to develop serious quality withno-rush that will increase productivity and the quality of products andservices, without losing the essence of spirit.

In the movie, Scent of a Woman, there's a scene where Al Pacino asks a girlto dance and she replies, "I can't, my boyfriend will be here any minutenow". To which Al responds, "A life is lived in an instant". Then they dance to a tango.

Many of us live our lives running behind time, but we only reach it when wedie of a heart attack or in a car accident rushing to be on time. Others are so anxious of living the future that they forget to live the present, which is the only time that truly exists. We all have equal time throughout the world. No one has more or less. The difference lies in how each one of us does with our time. We need to live each moment. As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".

Congratulations for reading till the end of this message. There are many whowill have stopped in the middle so as not to waste time in this globalizeworld.


Honey, what's for dinner?

A man feared his wife wasn't hearing as well as she used to and he thought she might need a hearing aid.
Not quite sure how to approach her, he called the family Doctor to discuss the problem. The Doctor told him there is a simple informal test the husband could perform to give the Doctor a better idea about her hearing loss.
Here's what you do," said the Doctor, "stand about 40 feet away from her, and in a normal conversational speaking tone see if she hears you. If not, go to 30 feet, then 20 feet, and so on until you get a response."

That evening, the wife is in the kitchen cooking dinner, and he was in the den. He says to himself, "I'm about 40 feet away, let's see what happens."then in a normal tone he asks, 'Honey, what's for dinner?"No response. So the husband moves to closer to the kitchen, about 30 feet from his wife and repeats, "Honey, what's for dinner?" Still no response. Next he moves into the dining room where he is about 20 feet from his wife and asks, "Honey, what's for dinner?" Again he gets no response so; He walks up to the kitchen door, about 10 feet away, "Honey, what's for dinner?"Again there is no response. So he walks right up behind her, "Honey, what's for dinner?". "James, for the FIFTH time I've said, CHICKEN!"


Achilles’ Heel

Statue of Achilles
Statue of Achilles
In Greek mythology, Achilles was the greatest hero of the Trojan War and the central character of Homer's epic poem Iliad.

Thetis tried to make her young son immortal by dipping him in the river Styx, As she immersed him, she held him by one heel and forgot to dip him a second time so the heel she held could get wet too. Therefore, the place where she held him remained untouched by the magic water of the Styx and that part stayed mortal or vulnerable. His heel remained dry and became the vulnerable spot where Achilles ultimately received his death-wound (at the hands of Hector's brother, Paris, who had help from the god Apollo).

To this day, any weak point is called an “Achilles’ heel”.


Quotes By Kahlil Gibran

Kahlil (Khalil) Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
- Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.

- Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.

- I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.

- An eye for an eye, and the whole world would be blind.

- To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.

- If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don't, they never were.

- If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.

- Most people who ask for advice from others have already resolved to act as it pleases them.

- The eye of a human being is a microscope, which makes the world seem bigger than it really is.

- Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

- Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.

I hope you liked these quotes by Kahlil Gibran (Khalil Gibran).
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