“I remember my roots” Poem by Amira Hassan | Roots

I remember my Roots..

I remember the newspaper boys, selling the papers in side road 

I remember my neighbors coming over for a full day laughs and games

I remember the smell of the french fries, and the roasted nuts from Hamad center, our coolest mall.

I remember everything.

my mom used to take us on day trips to the cultural foundation, to read books and spend time playing and looking at the paintings exhibited in the ground floor of the gallery area.

I remember the afternoon time, with bobby pins in my hair, playing chess and card games with sisters while watching the telenovelas in the afternoon. 

coming back from school at 3pm, running to the tv only to watch on repeat my favorite movies of all time.

Folklore novels were in our hands, raised as a western in an Arabic world. 

Struggling to connect with classmates, how can I explain my pure admiration to Johnny Depp to an audience who don’t know him.

Talking endlessly to my classmates on final exams about Medium and its fascinating stories.

Writing my homework while listening to the finest classical music, indulged with best written scenes in movies of the early 2000s.

Learnt from the greatest of their time, my sisters who taught me the best taste in music, films, and books. 

How I wish those days come back for a moment, 

How I wish to recall every detail of those summer days that I call home,

When all you can think of is how can finish my homework, while watching Oprah’s show,

The Hills music intro still ringing on my eye while dining on the table, with tea breaks,

Henna Days, and Friday were for the tourist club.

I recall the late night playing under the white huge sculptures of the Fort.

The spicy sambosa from the small indian cafteria that we used to take every sunset for Ramadan iftar, 

I remember our neigbhours who we used to fight a lot and play a lot with them in front of the house, 

two boys had that black like night hair, the calm mature one and the naughty mischievous one.

Sarah and tahseer were the highlight of our preteens, they used to ring the bell to our home with their innocents looks asking to play in the hallway of Salam street.

Reading the comics while watching the children playing, was a momentary slip of truth revealed.

all that exchange of gifts and cuisines were so thoughtful and so sweet.

Reading twilight at the bus to school every morning, was the highlight of my mundane school days.

Listening to 2000s R &B on my IPOD on the way back from school, in that miniature bus that could barely fit all of school girls,

moments of teen giggles, and stories about teen boys and ice-cream after school breaks.

While me pouring my angst in a book, with my glasses barely visible behind the book,

Summer time and Little women book given to me as a gift from my English teacher, coming of age book turned to a series , 

and I realized that my first book crush was Laurie. 

Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth were us growing up as a young girls.

Remembering the first mall opening in the area, seeing a new generation with their hairstyles and parents rolling eyes on them.

Al Mariyah cinema, with dozen of beautiful aesthetic films to watch every weekend, 

I remember every corner of those streets, where we used to stand to take the bus every morning, the shady internet café ,

the printer house, and the stationary around the corner.

Eman and Amna are our soulmates who we experienced the wildness of youth.

When my sisters were experiencing the joy of life, they had all the love of life that offered them, they had the world on palm of their hands to conquer.

their trips were my world teen life, socializing at the wedding were as boring and foreign as visiting your cousins on the weekend. 

Language we never spoke, and traumas we never shared between us.

That’s Roots to me.

Roots – July 2023

This month’s theme is inspired by the importance of where we come from, the idea of home and family, and what makes us belong. Taking inspiration from this and applying it to every aspect of life imaginable, we encourage our artists / writers to explore the theme with creativity and freedom or interpretation.

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