An Alright Journey

‎الى اين
‎بين النهرين
‎بين سطرين
‎لا يهم و نمشي
‎الى متى
‎سار الفتى
‎اين اتى
‎لا يهم و نمشي


his is Christine holding a Polaroid we took earlier, outside the USCIS building where I got quizzed on civics, could not recall my social security number, and renounced all loyalty and fidelity to any prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, except that of these United States, so help me God. I like to think of it as an ad hoc aura photo of my total ontological reconstitution in this civil rite of baptism. Blessed be.

It was an expedited oathtaking ceremony to get through the backlog of cases that piled up during the pandemic. I was super nervous waiting for my number to be called, my wife and lawyer to my left and right, but in a comedy of errors that’s become so typical of my life, the ice was broken a little when my case officer realized he had the wrong file that just happened to have the same last 3 digits as mine.

Would it surprise you to learn that those three digits were 447?

I now have a checklist of firsts to get through in my baby citizenhood: first voting registration and ballot casting, first passport, first legit Fourth of July—you know, the kind where I have to grumble about how much it doesn’t represent me?

It’s kinda funny to think that I don’t really feel like I’m letting anything go; if anything, I’ve just become more Lebanese than Lebanese. We are all on a quest for a second passport (currently my only passport, as my Lebanese one expired with no chance of renewal any time soon).

Christine recalled how my dad had told her, with a pang of regret, how he’d planned for my mom to travel to have me here—yes, proper anchor baby shenanigans—but, alas, my mother refused. “I think he did alright,” she’d replied.

Yeah. It’s been an alright journey, I must admit.


عكس التيار
صوب المطار
فوق البركان
و نمشي
تحت القبور
خلف الطيور
بين الأشباح
و نمشي

الى مذا نعود عندما لا يبقى شيئا
سوى اثارا و غبارا
وقوفا على أطلال


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