Not old enough to retire, not young enough to start all over. Damn if
we do, damn if we don't; we are the bridge between the old and the new
and neither is tolerant of our tainted ways. We continue to be the
ghosts of our forebearers and the fuel for generations to come We are
seeing the specters of the past and the surety of our present. We wish
to surrender but there is no victor in sight, we are dissected by our
roots in Libya and the foliage-ladden branches that have sprouted
We were raised in a glass castle with the dying whispers of what could
have been. We have a taste of our bitter-sweet waning dawn and the
back breaking struggle to survive and ultimatly escape our nightly cycle of
rebirth to finally find Nirvana We are like the dafodils that endured
the harsh winter and managed to sprout just to be harvested for the
sole purpose of decoration.
We are the lost generation of Libyans who were born at the brink of
gadaffi's evil scheme, we are the ones who, in tow to their parents,
left Libya old enough to remember but not young enough to embrace the
new. We are treated as foreigner when we go to Libya because of our
apparent bewilderment just to be called prehistorics when we make it a
point to stick to the Libyan language clear of any "yeah", "ok", and
"no"...the slang has changed and we did not get the memo.
We are treated like exotic samples by our new compatriots because of
our "gorgeous olive skin not prone to burn in the sun" and the ever
slight and misleading accent that is not quiet "Arabe", for those in
the know, not quiet "French", not quiet "Greek" but rather an amalgam
and trail of our complicated lives. I had a friend, once, who told me
in a most sincere way and with no malignant sentiments "you immigrants
(forgetting his own roots) are becoming harder to distinguish with all
this globalization and all...". I had to laugh and supress my hurt
feelings of having been lumped within that category, with a simple
shake of the head and a "didn't you know 'we' set the stage to
globalization...our autocrates invented diaspora and america's brain-drains
are fueling its progenitors" ... I don't think my friend got the
metaphors or my intended rebuff to his 'redneck' and egoistic self.
Such is our lives. We lived with and loved our parents who never
settled because "sayoor el ghareeb eblada" (Libyan proverb and exiles'
living motto meaning "the destiny of a stranger is his country") but
yet we grew up drinking the ethos of a host country for which we pledge
allegiance despite its unmeant but nevertheless discouraging efforts to
our assimilation...a complex oxymoron of pull and push.