I always wished I could do the same and visit the spot where I scraped my knee when I fell off my skateboard, where I would play with barbies in bushes or grasses around my house, or where my friends and I built a road block in the mountains and the young Kataeb guy came and fired his gun in the air…
I am finally doing it and am sharing with you a glimpse of my past.
My school: L'Ecole des Soeurs Antonine, commonly known as Mardoumet
We wore these ugly orangish brown uniforms and would stand in line in the concrete area used for recess right behind this black gate. Standing in line requires standing by grade level from the shortest to the tallest with your right arm spread out and touching the shoulder of the person in front of you, an arm's length behind. I remember an all school presentation where Pascale and I prepared some ballet and I also did a yoga wheel for the first time.
There are now Phalange party signs hanging against the metal fence of the playground.
Jihad 's little store
I had forgotten Jihad's name and I had to be reminded quite a few times before it once again stuck in my memory. While I am being confronted with all my memories, I am also being confronted with all that I don’t remember such as giving Mansour a skateboard. And Cynthia, who even remembers me falling off my skateboard. Chewbaca and Great Adventure. Is this because memory is tied to place and I did not have the luxury of being in the place in which or with the people with whom the memories took place?
Sometimes the only way I remember is by people telling me or through photographs. Pascale has pictures of the two of us at Great Adventure in the States. She also has pictures of us doing Grease Lightening at her birthday party, at the mountains skiing with Cynthia, and dressed up for Halloween in one coat. I do not remember any of this.
The neighborhood. The building in the distance was where we lived, in the Hilani's building. The Greek Orthodox church still watches up on the top of the hill, even though the steeple you see is a completely new one. During the war, its bell would warn us of trouble.
I took a little walk around with my camera. Mansour’s mom introduced me to everyone saying that I once lived there. One older woman remembered.
The Hilani's building is on the left. One of the hills we used to climb is in the background. There are a few houses on it now, but still it is not as built up as other parts of the mountains.