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Yemeni Journey

Days of Remembering

These days are days of remembering. As I work each night on my Yemeni Journey book, it seems impossible to write my past without living it again, at least a little.

At least feel the sting of tears behind closed lids as I say goodbye to my father, sisters, and brother, some of them for the last time.

At least feel the rapid beat of my heart like the wings of a caged bird against my ribcage as I crouch in the cold reception area of the Sana’a airport, wondering if we will be allowed in, or not.

At least feel the exultation brought upon by a chorus of adhaans in the predawn darkness in a strange land, knowing that home lay with me, in me, now.

At least taste the triumph of shared conversation in a language I was not born with, a connection, finally, made.

At least feel the loss of the children, so many, many children, tucked under mountain sands in a village known as a place of crossroads.

At least smell that new baby smell that fades so fast, and feel the closeness of nights spent, walking, singing, rocking, a time never to be replaced or relived, only remembered.

At least feel the frustration of letters left unanswered, goodbyes never said, not once, but twice, as two people I loved, who had helped to shape, form and support me since I was born, slipped away thousands of miles away, behind walls of silence.

At least smell again the crisp, early morning, sunwashed air washing around me as I walk to classes, reciting

over and over in my head, the lessons learned for that day.

At least hear again the voices of my teachers, young and old, sharing knowledge and understanding that lit me up from the inside out, starting a fire that has yet to cool.

At least feel again the tug, the pull, the ripping apart as I watch my fair haired baby, a man now, choose his own path and begin to walk it, away from me.

At least taste the metallic bitterness of fear on my tongue as bombs drop, and the running slap, slap, of sandals past the door are followed by shots. So very many shots.

And the story is not even halfway told. Wadi at Dawn

So many new paths to follow, so many old ones sealed. So many ways to remember, so many ways to tell.

Now to find the words and share the tale, insh’Allaah.

Reply to Amina Bint Yusuf KnucklesCancel reply

16 comments

Umm yasmeen on April 12, 2014 7:36 am Reply

I was missing these posts so much ma sha Allaah,

I can’t wait for the book ustadha! May Allaah aid you , give you these words and accept it from you ameen

Khadijah on April 12, 2014 8:18 pm Reply

Alhamdulillah! I have been moving forward with the book, mash’Allaah, I hope to have it out by the end of the year, insh’Allaah. Ameen to your du’a, barakAllaahufeekee

Jena on April 12, 2014 12:17 pm Reply

So beautiful.

Khadijah on April 12, 2014 8:19 pm Reply

Thank you, Jena! You know what this process is all about, I know.

Amina Bint Yusuf Knuckles on April 12, 2014 12:28 pm Reply

Asalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahu Wa Barakatuhu,
Your writing is beautiful mashallah, I am so excited to read your book. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it Yemen, so I’m living vicariously through you (all I think we all are). And of course, once again you make me look at my babies and hope they never leave me.
May Allah subhana wa ta’ala guide our families and keep us on the deen of Islam and allow us one day to meet in Jannah, Ameen.

Khadijah on April 12, 2014 8:20 pm Reply

Wa Aleilkum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu, Ameen! Life is always such a learning process, mash’Allaah, and it seems with the babies that they go, but alhamdulillah, they have never really left.

Sadiah Umm Mohamed on April 12, 2014 2:29 pm Reply

Alhamdullilah this means you’re back in Yemen? Salam alaykoem I hope all goes well I love you’re writing again and I know just how you feel but you’re better.

love Sadiah

Khadijah on April 12, 2014 8:21 pm Reply

Wa Aleikum Assalam wa Rahmatullah, No, not back in Yemen yet, but working on writing my book on my years there, insh’Allaah. A lot of reliving of a lot of living to do, mash’Allaah.

Umm Yahya on April 13, 2014 4:18 pm Reply

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله وبركاته
I would like some advice on moving to Yemen please, بارك الله فيك

Khadijah on April 20, 2014 5:06 pm Reply

Wa Aleikum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu
May Allaah make it easy for you, Ameen

Yellow on April 19, 2014 4:05 am Reply

Beautiful. Such beautiful writing.

Khadijah on April 20, 2014 5:05 pm Reply

Thank you for stopping by!

UmmIdris on May 5, 2014 12:55 pm Reply

I enjoy reading other people’s memories. It seems mine escape me more now, no matter how much I try to remember.I can only recall quick glimpses, many times of out order. Many times only in my dreams do I recall.

I do look forward to this more personal publication from you

Umm Maimoonah on May 21, 2014 1:08 pm Reply

Assalaamu alaikum Ukhtee

Lovely Maashaa Allaah! Waiting for the book so my daughter can enjoy I am sure more than me Inshaa Allaah!

Baarakallaah Feekum

zohraalfransiya on June 30, 2014 12:31 pm Reply

Asalamou aleiky,
Allahouma barik!! Its so beautiful !!!! Again it’s the second time that I want to cry… You have touched my heart with your words ustadha…
Beautiful writer machaAllah tabarak Allaah
Hayakilah!

Zohra Bintou Khaled

Khadijah on June 30, 2014 1:33 pm Reply

Wa Aleikum Assalam wa Rahmatullah
Alhamdulillah, barakAllaahufeekee