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"home is where the heart is.."
02:15:31 PM Thursday Sep 4, 2008

If someone told you that you have 3 days to pack up your belongings and be permanently moved to another city, another country, another world...

What would you take?

What would you leave behind?

and most importantly, if you're leaving the home you knew all your life, and being displaced or relocating, how would you define or create a sense of "home" in your new world?

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11:22 am    May 24, 2011

hudhud message
it never ceases to amaze me how true this rings year after year.. wherever you are, if you have love and a sense of contentment in your heart (reda, perhaps would be a good term here), then that is home.

4:58 pm    September 13, 2008

Salem message
"Nor is it a thought I LEAVE BEHIND me, but a heart made sweet with hunger and with thirst.

Yet I cannot tarry longer.

The sea that calls all things unto her calls me, and I must embark.

For to stay, though the hours burn in the night, is to freeze and crystallize and be bound in a mould.

Fain would I TAKE WITH ME all that is here. But how shall I ?

A voice cannot carry the tongue and the lips that gave it wings. Alone must it seek the ether.

And alone and without his nest shall the eagle fly across the sun..."

Jibran Khalil Jibran
in The Prophet.


10:12 am    September 13, 2008

Adnane Ben. message
This is very powerful too:

"After returning home I realized that I had missed the trip because I wasn't looking at what was actually there, but for what I wanted and didn't find."

so I think, now you have 2 very powerful statements you can take with you and you'll be just fine.


10:09 am    September 13, 2008

Adnane Ben. message
This is very powerful:

"if you have a goal in mind, then it's not separation but reconnection "


9:41 am    September 13, 2008

Suzy Cameleon message
One thing I learned from past experience when I moved to France for an extended stay, was to not have too many expectations. I remember that my head was so filled with the dreams of what I was going to do and when those things didn't happen I was very disappointed. After returning home I realized that I had missed the trip because I wasn't looking at what was actually there, but for what I wanted and didn't find.

8:31 am    September 12, 2008

Salem message
TAKE with you a lots of COURAGE. One of the main reasons that keep you stuck where you are is fear from the unknown. Fear from you being unable to face unmeasured challenges. Look for auspicious opportunities, they can provide you with unbelievable strength.

LEAVE behind most of your habits as these shackle you, slow your motion and prevent you from going anywhere. A funny mathematician said : Resistance to change is a force equal and of opposite direction of the sum of disturbed habits ;)


7:16 am    September 12, 2008

Rasta Gnawi message

Take a lot of patience with you. Also take with you an idea of who you'd like to be in this new place and how you'd like to live. Those will be the main ingredients to creating a sense of "home" in your new world.

Separation is tough, but if you have a goal in mind, then it's not separation but reconnection :)

Good luck and Jah bless

R gee


10:17 am    September 8, 2008

hudhud message
that's very touching Baba Salem. I'm glad you were able to re-connect with some dear old friends.

I know what you mean about your middle school friend - sometimes it's not until you interact in person, you "smell" those old memories, as we say. Kind of like when Jacob said after years of having "lost" Yusuf, "innee la ajidou reeha yousuf" there's a scent carried by sincere love that re-kindles the memory in ways that sometimes sight or story cannot convey.

as weird as it may sound I think it's very profound.. I remember a friend of ours when we were young, her husband died many years ago, but sometimes she would hug her little girl and tell her "you smell like your daddy" :)


1:34 pm    September 6, 2008

Salem message
Hudhud, I want to go back to your first comment (4th of Sept) in which you posed again your question: "what to take and what to leave behind?". This question is still open and it can bring the number of comments to more than 100, as the question is so important and related to many aspects of life.

But what takes me back to your comment is this particular question of leaving friends and friends left behind over time. I profoundly know what you mean.

Few years ago, when I reached my "forties", I was suddenly struck by a stormy nostalgia to some of my friends who left to remote locations and lost in nature. Friends who have gone long time ago and friends I left behind.

Here are the questions I painfully asked myself: Is my friend dead or alive right now ? No way to know. If he or she is still living, how is he/she doing? does he/she still think about me? And where is he/she living? Which country? which city? Is he/she healthy or sick?...

For some of them it became absolutely necessary for me to locate them and get in touch with them. It became a psychological need. As long as I couldn't do so, I was often sad so sad that I sometimes cried out of sorrow.

I then started a serious search for them using all the means that could lead me to them: old common friends and mainly Internet which was instrumental in finding some of my friends after more than 20 years of separation. Some of those I succeeded to find were in other continents and others were in other cities in Morocco. I then made a plan and saved money to reach them, to actually see them and spend sometime with them whenever possible.

I finally, succeeded to see some of the most important ones to me. For that, I had to cross seas and oceans. This was a HEALING process.

Other old friends, looked for me, some of them I completely forgot. One day, I received a message from Nederland. The sender said he was an old friend of mine and he was looking for me. He said we separated about 30 years ago when we studied together at the intermediate school (between primary and secondary). I answered his message and said that I was sorry because I simply didn't remember him and didn't even remember his name. It was so frustrating to both of us. He then sent to me his photos of the time when we were teenagers but still I couldn't remember him. He then said he would be visiting Morocco for 2006 summer vacations. When he came here during that summer, he gave me a call, we met and it was only then that I remembered him.


9:00 am    September 6, 2008

Salem message
The Suzy's relocation from New Orleans to New York (a provisional station for her before heading to Morocco), is indeed an interesting story that Suzy shared with us and I would like to thank her for that. One of the lessons I learned from Suzy's Tir7al story is the wonderful determination she is armed with to reinvent herself.

While in New York she engaged in communication with Moroccan communities she could reach in order the gather the maximum of information that would help her in her insertion in Morocco by 2010; and just today or yesterday, she announced her website on this forum. As a diversification of her assets while in New York, she went to school and got a Celta, which is a recognized diploma that would allow her teach English language in various English schools such as American Languages Centers which are distributed in Cities like Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakesh, Muhammadiya, Kenitra, Fez and other major cities. In the time being, she is continuing her artwork as a promising painter. I think this is a success story in facing the challenges of a forced Tir7al. Bravo Suzy!


4:40 pm    September 5, 2008

Suzy Cameleon message
Maybe I cry less often now, but the suffering of others still breaks my heart. My compassion and empathy has grown 100 fold, and I see the waste of others so much more now.

May we all experience a loss so that we all may grow in compassion.


2:15 pm    September 5, 2008

hudhud message
"I want my music CDs and DVDs so when I homesick for American culture I'll have an instant fix"

It's funny you mention that. I actually was wondering, if I had to leave right now, what would I take? and I don't think I have a single thing that would give me that "instant fix" =) If anything, that would probably be somehow more nostalgic for me.

"After moving to New York City I cried everyday for one year"

You remind me Suzy of my oldest aunt on my mom's side. When she first got married and moved to Egypt, her husband said she cried so much, every single day, that he thought she'd lose her eyesight!

The irony is that as she grew older and saw more of life she says "Demm3a ta3ee s3eeba" it's hard for her to actually cry over anything. Her tears don't come easily anymore.

She calls me "el harraba" the one who escaped. I've sometimes dreamed of surprising her and just showing up on her doorstep, just wanting to see her reaction =)


1:50 pm    September 5, 2008

Suzy Cameleon message
I have experienced this forced move after living in New Orleans for 26 years, my family and I were forced from my apartment where I lived for 15 years and had accumulated a household of stuff. The move was forced not by the storm but by the greed of the new owners who wanted more rent and for some reason didn't want us to remain in the house even though we were excellent tenants.
My husband and I didn't want to relocate in New Orleans. There was no work for him and we had the opportunity to move to New York City and live with my mother and brother in the apartment where I grew up for free. The move would give us a chance to gather strenght and money necessary to regroup and reinvent ourselves
The hardest part about moving away was leaving my daughter and dog who remain in New Orleans and the long list of best friends.
After moving to New York City I cried everyday for one year, and the next year I started planning how I was going to move on with my life and be some where else.

We shipped my art studio and our bedroom up to New York City and a few other fantastic pieces of furniture that would be very costly or impossi ble to replace. - heavy stuff along with clothes and some kitchen items.

Now we are preparing to move to Morocco in 2010 ,and I suppose we will not be taking much with us. I have thought about what I want to take and what I can replace. I want to take my art supplies and resource books (heavy stuff); I want my music CDs and DVDs so when I homesick for American culture I'll have an instant fix. I will bring my clothes, jewelry, computer, and cash.

I hope to set up a new life in Morocco as an English teacher. I plan on being part of the community there which will help bind me in new and exciting ways to the people there. I am looking forward to a new life full of new experiences including learning Arabiya.

Making major moves in life as easier when we are younger. As we grow older it's difficult to reinvent yourself after major disturbances; however the human spirit is amazing and as long as we are alive we can change, evolve, and become more of what the Divine wants us to be. Right now I feel like a butterfly trapped in her cocoon. I hope that once I emerge on the other side of the Atlantic, my butterfly wings will stretch and flex with the beauty that is now trapped within me. I can't wait until the metamorphosis comes.
Peace to all of you. Ramadan Mubarek


12:27 pm    September 5, 2008

Salem message
Blooming Warda, I think you're speaking about those nice travels/trips that take you to unknown places where you can peacefully wander aimlessly and lazily enjoy loosening you ties. Those travels/trips would preferably include spending some time with family members, before coming back to your warm home base. I would like that. Who wouldn't?.

And Hudhud, when it comes to permanently leaving, I think it's another story. I think there are at least two types of Arra7eel:

The first one is when you leave your home of origin for the first time, let's say from "South" to "North". Those of you out there who left after having grown up beyond the age that allows them to apprehend the the territorial notion, know what this kind of Arra7eel means. It could be so exciting, full of expectations, hope, money, knowledge, "exotic" love,... all kinds of fantasy. Some are nowadays even risking their lives in trying to reach the "North" costs in search of the "North Dream". Fortunately many succeed and it's good for them, but unfortunately many others do not.

The second type of Arra7eel, is a much more difficult kind of leaving. When you have to leave because you seek some peace you cannot enjoy anymore in your current location, when you miss love and warmth in social relationships, when you loose your job and and cannot in anyway find another one, when you love somebody who lives in another continent and you cannot love somebody else the same way, when your bones need sun warmth while you're continuously living under cold clouds,... and the list may be long, I think that this kind of Arra7eel is very tough. The key watchword in such a case becomes "Get rid of heavy stuff and go ahead ".

After having commented on these two types of Arra7eel, I think the one Hudhud is talking about is the second type, but I'm afraid her question remains unanswered. What's "heavy stuff" ?


9:21 am    September 5, 2008

Blooming Warda message
I wish I could travel around the world and see new places and new people. I wish I could take my back pack and just wander in different unpopulated lands, just walk aimlessly for long distances because it's coincidence that renders the trip more joyful and more exciting. However, my aim will be to go back and live with my family that I always miss most.

But if I must leave permanently to a different country, then I will take lots of clothes, lots of photos as souvenirs, a book to read, Quran, bottle of water for the trip, my mother if possible.

You know what, I am not leaving, I changed my mind. I'd rather stay close to those who care about me. Nobody will force me to leave.


8:13 pm    September 4, 2008

hudhud message
Baba Salem, you sound like some kind of fortune teller :o) but you seem to have a good timeframe there. 6 months. makes sense I guess.

well, here's the question (re: what to take, what to leave behind).

Imagine that you grew up with many, many many friends. And over the years, slowly but surely, they somehow each moved away. To another city. To another state, to another country. Other continents, even. Places I never imagined a friend of mine would end up.

I found a letter in my stuff last week from a friend of mine I used to know in high school, who was herself an exchange student. She ended up moving back to her native Uzbekistan. In her last letter to me, she wrote, "If you ever find yourself in this country, my home is your home!"

It brought me to tears. I had forgotten about her recently, preoccuppied with other things in my life. I wondered if she remembered me, or if she had kept all the letters I wrote to her after she moved back.

And made me wonder about all the other friends who had moved away over the years throughout my childhood. Somehow I always felt left behind. But what if it was me leaving? Would I remember those friends left behind? Each one of them?

Would they remember me after I was gone?

Despite the digital age of e-mail and IM, I discovered I had lost touch over time with some of the people I had once considered my very best friends in childhood.

It made me wonder how that happened. And what did I have left of those memories? A very few scattered photos, some lost probably for good. some letters, a few postcards with foreign stamps..


5:17 pm    September 4, 2008

Adnane Ben. message
I fantasize all the time about this concept ~ to move to another faraway place. But I know that once there, the fantasy will come again, and again and again. I just want to be close to my parents. And yes, I am absolutely whining about it, more than ever.

And such a journey needs light travel. It's a global village.


4:18 pm    September 4, 2008

Salem message
Are other Rijal Lbled are calling you to come over somewhere else? or those at your current location are "chasing" you for some reason? Arra7eel, Al8ijra, is a major event in one's life. Walakin Ma Temchi Illa Fin Mechak Allah!

It seems that 6 months are the average period of time necessary for you to make new connections in your new "home" and start feeling "home" again in the new location. Very often it works for many people but sometimes it never does for some other people.


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