"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

In Which I Admit to Crying Over Tea ... and a Packet of Olive Oil

Are any of y'all keeping tabs with what is going on in Egypt?  I know many people in the world are very interested (at least in the Middle East), but I'm a realist and have lived in America long enough (so, OK, my whole life) to know people here are generally more interested in the latest celebrity news and their favorite TV shows than world events.  (Am I wrong?) Today I watched President Hosni Mubarak as he shattered his people's hopes by clinging to power despite their days of demonstrations against his corrupt and dictatorial ways.  I really felt sad for them especially when I saw pictures like these from the BBC Arabic site.  I've often been good at putting myself in others' places. Not fully. I don't know that anyone can fully understand another's predicament, but I do have a very tender spot for people who are struggling for a variety of reasons.  If I've read something you've written about a hardship in your life, chances are my heart has hurt for you. So seeing those pictures and recognizing the disappointment on faces especially after there was some news earlier in the day that Mubarak might be announcing his resignation...well, I just sympathize with those wanting to be free and wanting opportunities they've been denied most of their lives.

I've been posting articles on Facebook and probably driving everyone nuts (Thankfully there is a "hide all posts from Susanne" option on FB that I'm sure many have enjoyed!), but I find so many things interesting that I just want to share!  Some have led to "interesting talks" which have helped me further articulate what I believe and why.  It's challenging though when people you knew years ago suddenly wonder about you. I'm not used to that as I'm rather a conformist. A nice little southern, Baptist girl who didn't rock the boat much.  Oh, why am I changing now?!

Two years ago today was our last day in Damascus. I was thinking of that earlier because - although I know it's not wise to live in the past - there are some things I simply don't want to forget. That day was such a sad one for me, but it was also full of special events.  Damascus and more importantly the wonderful people there have remained in my heart ever since.  I felt in Syria as if I'd come to my second home.  I miss so much about it and hope one day to return, Inshallah (God willing) as they would say there.  I remember as we were traveling home on Wednesday, February 11, 2009.  I was incredibly tired, but unable to sleep well on the plane.  I was emotional from tiredness and the fact I just had to leave great friends who would remain over six thousand miles from me.  And when the Turkish steward guy on the airplane would come by offering chai, I would have tears running down my face because it reminded me of all the cups of sweet, hot tea I'd shared with friends and been offered even by workers in the hammam during men's hours!  And then when I opened the lunch they gave me, and saw a packet of lemon juice and olive oil....tears again.  My Syrian friends liked these things!  *waaah*

Today was a milestone birthday for my sister and my cousin.  They arrived on the same day in the same year and assured me that I would not be the only granddaughter in the Truax clan.  Before they were born I was one girl amongst six grandsons! Eh, the boys were fun though.  Really. I have great memories of traipsing through the woods and playing down by the river with my twin cousins and my brother when we'd visit South Carolina.  Also I'd play football with them.  The American kind.

Did I ever tell y'all I got the nickname "Bruiser" while playing high school basketball? Maybe I've always had a little aggressive streak in me.  :)


Nocturnal Queen said...

I'm not following the news closely. I catch whatever they say on the local news. But I do want the people of Egypt (and all people) to have true, basic freedoms and human rights. Including the right to choose who their leaders are.

Joni said...

I am following the news. I felt disappointed for the people of Egypt today that Mubarak didn't step down. I admire the way they are continuing to push for their demands though.

Karrie said...

I was just telling someone today about how sad our high school basketball team was for our senior year.... that Bethany and I were tied for the "tallest person on the team".... at 5'5" lol

And while I describe myself as a "kamikaze player", I would definitely have to say you spent more time on the floor than even *I* did! (and yes, folks, I mean on the actual floor... not just getting more play time!)

You know I was watching today, too. I haven't been lucky enough to travel anywhere in that region, or to make close friends like you have, but several times I had to fight back some tears that wanted to sneak up - just watching and listening. I totally get what you mean by being able to empathize with people, although 100% knowledge is never possible.

Some people seem to lack that ability. Some of us are sometimes a bit too sensitive to it - it can drive you mad! But all in all, I'd rather deal with the pain of feeling things too deeply, even the pain and hopes of others, than not feeling them at all.

You definitely have that gift, and it's a beautiful thing. :)

If I ever win the lottery (if I ever remember to play the lottery...), I'm going to buy you plane tickets to Syria for every year for the rest of your life ;)

Amber said...

Aw, Susanne. *hugs*

I'm watching, but I get overheated about this stuff so I can only do it a little at a time. It'd be different if there was a damn thing I could do except be pissed off, but there isn't.

Susanne said...

Amber, can you see this?

Mubarak left!



Amber said...


I am. I am so shocked.

Hell, now I'm tearing up and I don't even *know* anyone in Egypt!

*goes back to watching*

Susanne said...

I don't know (m)any Egyptians either, but my Arab friends identify with them so I've been following events quite closely with Samer and also on Facebook. It's exciting!

Lat said...

No Susanne,I don't hide your posts in FB,not even one :)

Hosni Mubarak has left and now for the next challenging moment.I wonder what's going to happen there after I read today's paper on 1000s of Tunisians fleeing to Italy.Getting rid of a corruptive ruler is one thing but getting one good ruler is another.You cannot solve that thru' uprisings.Hope things will look much brighter for the Eqyptian people,inshaAllah.

My family too has more grandsons than granddaughers.So girls are cherished more and loved :)You were called the 'bruiser'! That's unbelievable! :D And I love that.sometime ago I was called a Tigress for standing up to my arrogant neighbor :)

sanil said...

Thanks for sharing these things. I'm not as up to date on the situation as I could be. I know the basics but never know details about what's going on even in my own country. :-/ My family avoided the news like the plague and I haven't been able to reverse that yet. I like seeing your perspective and experiences, you've made it more real and personal to me. *hugs*

Susanne said...

Niki, I agree!

Joni, yes,I admired this also. I'm glad it worked out for them to get rid of Mubarak. Now for some real change for the better! It'll be an interesting story to follow, I'm sure.

Karrie, haha! It's funny thinking of our poor little (short) team! But we made up for it with our scrapiness,eh? :D

I agree that it's better to feel others' pain even if it makes us a tad too sensitive. It's better than a cold, hard heart!!

Aww, that's so sweet re: the Syria trips! You ought to come along! :D

Good hearing from you! It's been fun discussing the Egypt stories with you (and others) on Facebook the last several days! :)

Susanne said...

Amber, yeah, it was making me really sad for my Arab friends who were following the Egypt story with MUCH more interest than I. I was just very happy to see many of them finally say they were proud to be Arab. I think they feel demoralized often so this was something that gave them a shot of pride for their people. :)

Tigress Lat, awesome name! :) Yes, you are so right. The next part is going to be equally challenging and I really hope Egypt is able to get a good leader that will represent ALL Egyptians fairly. It'll be an interesting story to follow!

Sanil, I'm glad I can help in a small way. Well, following the news can be very depressing so I understand people who wish to avoid it. Plus you've been so busy with all those assignments...you hardly have the time to invest in watching TV. :)

Thank you all for your comments! I enjoyed 'em as usual!

Becky said...

(A little late, as usual, I never seem to be able to catch up *sigh*)

"Some people seem to lack that ability. Some of us are sometimes a bit too sensitive to it - it can drive you mad! But all in all, I'd rather deal with the pain of feeling things too deeply, even the pain and hopes of others, than not feeling them at all." - Karrie

I agree 100% with this. I hate it when people use women's sensitivity or emotions as something AGAINST them. I consider my sensitivity one of my STRENGTHS. Yes, you get to go into valleys, but you also get to go unto the highest mountains. I've once heard it said that the deeper you feel pain, the better you feel happiness. I think that's very very true.

Becky said...

Oh, and also, if you've never experienced anything bad, you won't know when it's good. Everything becomes "normal", we need the ups and downs to appreciate the good things in life.

Susanne said...

Becky, I enjoyed your thoughts! Thanks for what you added! :)

Wafa' said...

Despite looking tough, everyone knows that i am so "weak"- as they called it- towards others feelings and needs. I just can not stand people sadness and grieving. Oh if you knew how much i cried over things that happen in Egypt and Tunisia, it really devastated me .
Despite being a "weak" character for some but i love that in me and you :)

Susanne said...

Wafa', yes, I love your tender heart! I think it's better to have compassion for others and that is not weakness at all!

Thanks for your feedback!

Becky said...

I agree with you Susanne, I actually tend to think of my compassion and sensitivity as a strength, rather than a weakness.

Becky said...

Hahaha and I just noticed I already said that in my earlier comment. Oh well, a good thing is worth repeating!

Susanne said...

Yes, it is! Repeat all you want. :)