Day 7: Purification

Abo Abdu is leaving!

Two families have just received the news that they’re called by the migration authority. They will go to Athens and from there they will be informed about the country that will receive them. Both families’ heads are called Abo Abdu. One of them is the Abo Abdu I mentioned in my diaries before.

Abo Abdu was so happy. He came to me at the shop down the warehouse to tell me the news! The shop is where we display the donated clothes for residents to shop from through a points system (they get points every beginning of month to cover some of their needs).

We agreed on a time for him to bring his family down the next day to pick up a full outfit for each member (this is something we do with each family leaving).

In three days they leave. So he told me tomorrow we’re baking cake and konafa for everyone, and the next day is the big party, you must come.

The next day , they come to the shop. Om Abdu is not happy though, for hours she’s been looking for something new for herself. She’s looking for a new dress, but none. We do have some new items, but they’re not that many, and after all it may not always be what’s appropriate and suitable to how she would want to dress. Between the display area and the backstage sorting area, we looked everywhere. Eventually, she didn’t take a dress, but replaced it with more items for her children.

The place is different, smells warm. The ovens are full of cakes and konafa made by the two families for the entire camp. This sweet warm smell can transform a place (of course partially!). They distributed to everyone. Plates of sweet warm konafa were being passed on to everyone in the camp, made with  vibes of hopeful excitement for what comes next.

The ‘working’ day is over and it’s evening now. A lot of us are staying late waiting for the big party of Abo Abdu(s). Now you can trace the music 🎶 from the warehouse downstairs. I ran up after the music, and it was thrilling what I saw. Everyone either dancing or clapping. Abo Abdu is taking the lead of the dabka circle, with a chain of men after him. The last man held his wife’s hands and then a chain of women and girls in the circle. They played and dance Kurdish dabka, as one of the families were Kurdish.

The scene was holy. Deep inside me, I burst in tears, but on the outside I was just smiling. Seeing them truly happy for the first time since I came here is moving, is priceless. Nothing in the entire world is enough reason to make them suffer, to make anyone suffer. They’re so beautiful when they’re happy, and they deserve it so much.

Abo Abdu(s) were keen on making everyone happy before they leave, on giving them hope. I can imagine that part of it could be an itch (of guiltless blame) in my heart, for leaving many people behind in this prison of transit but you also can’t take them with you. You wish you can. Abo Abdu(s) invested so much effort, time and emotional capacity during their last days in the big party, to leave the camp on a positive note and see everyone hopeful, and they did a great job.

Some of the volunteers were leaving early. They came to Om Abdu, whom I was standing next to, to say good bye. They hugged and kissed. I translated to Om Abdu their best wishes of a bright future. Om Abdu received their wishes thankfully and nicely, but then she turned to me with a word that I was supposed to translate to them. She said: “I hope they forgive us if we’ve done anything unkind.” !!!

HUH!? 😳

Who in the world should say this? The whole world should kneel in front of those people and beg for their forgiveness. The whole world should plea for those broken-hearted children, mothers and fathers for forgiveness. And you, Om Abdu, are asking for some people’s forgiveness because you maybe at a point lost your temper and yelled at any of them!!! If only you know how much you request makes me want to cry, kiss your and your children’s feet and ask for your forgiveness! No one deserves your request and it’s only because you’re so generous you think anyone should forgive you for being grumpy over the loss of everything you lost.

I translated Om Abdu’s kind request holding her hands tight. The girls smiled and replied politely and it took few more seconds to end, but in my mind that conversation was long-lasting.

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