Sunday, 24 December 2006

Peace and Good will to all man kind

(The photo used in this post is by a friend, more of the same can be found here)

It’s the holiday season and I managed to get the 3 odd days between the Christmas and New Year’s off so I was planning a long, relaxing holiday with the people I care about the most. That was until I received a call telling me that my parents have managed to get a ticket and are flying over next week! A bag of mixed reactions landed in my lap, Wow, I love how things are done in Syria, I was trying to get a ticket to fly home for the holiday but the cheapest thing I could find was £500+ (way out of budget) while my parents were able to find tickets within 24 hours from getting their visas! My house, which has been getting the shorter end of the stick with regards to my spare time is in real mess, now every where I look, I can just imagine my mum shaking her head in dismay at her “not so domestic oriented” daughter while my dad gives me his disapproving look for the garden fence that I haven’t fixed yet! Ouch, the list is just building up and my long awaited relaxing holiday has just gone up in smoke.

Yet, I can’t help but think how lucky I am, I’m warm at home with my family coming over for Eid/New Year’s while some 70K+ people were stranded in Heathrow in the freezing cold for the past few days trying to get back to their families and loved ones in time for Christmas! The newspapers were filled with stories of stranded parents and shivering children forced to spend the time sleeping on the cold floor of Heathrow Terminals with minimum facilities, what a cheerful Christmas this will be for them.

All over the world, the importance of being with your family & loved ones at this time of the year is paramount, it is not restricted to the people who believe in Christmas or celebrate it but just a universal need to spend the last few hours of the year with the ones you care about the most. Near or far, all feel the urge to cuddle up in the arms of those closest, and thinking of the year that passed with all its ups and downs and the year ahead with all the mysteries that it holds. And the world slows down for these last few hours and you get a sense of breathless anticipation for that last stroke of Big Ben announcing to everyone that a year has passed and a New Year is born.

This will be my 4th New Year in London, but the years before when I was home seem so far away I can barely remember how they passed or what I did then, but since I arrived here, each New Year was filled with the promise of things to come, of adventures to live and mountains to clime. 2003-2004 was the first, I have been in the UK for 4 months by that time, had exams a couple of days after new year’s and suffering a every bad case of heart ache, 2004-2005 was the first new year after I started working in the City, I was still trying to figure out if I made the right decision leaving old stories behind and closing so many doors in order to follow this new life that I knew nothing about in England. 2005-2006 was a very strange one, I managed to get the time off and flew back to Syria but my return was scheduled for 3am January 1st, so after a rather weird evening listening to Khadam on Al-Arabia with my mum and dad, I drove to Damascus airport, eerily empty at the first hours of the new year and spend the time struggling with a very antiquated PC trying to talk to my friend in Japan. Till today the “Damascus Airport Messenger” still brings smiles and tears to my eyes at the same time!

So, 2006-2007 I wonder how will that one be, off course I wont know till next week, what I know is that 2006 was the happiest and the hardest year in my life, so many things have changed, so many important dates to remember throughout the year. The foundations of life-time changes were laid during this year. A whole structure for the future has been put in place, ripped apart and then rebuild over and over again. Never has a year passed me so quickly, yet so slowly at the some time, it is exciting when one experiences Relativity first hand! So this New Year’s eve should be interesting as well as I try to celebrate it with people spread across 17 time zones (from GMT+9 to GMT-8) it will be one long party!

Merry Christmas to you All, and for all of you trying to get home, best of luck and I do pray for a special miracle so that you spend this time with the ones you love…


Ammar said...

Merry Christmas. Enjoy the quality time with your parents. Till then, enjoy the house work and fixing the fence :)

Syrian in London said...

will try to, the fence unfortunatly will have to wait till later!

Merry Christmas to you too

Shadi said...

Wish you a warm and enjoyable holiday, the fence can wait :)

Syrian in London said...

Thanks Shadi
Same to you

sasa said...

I love your blog. Keep writing! And welcome to London. I'm glad you love/hate it the same way I do...dreaming of Damascus.


Syrian in London said...

Thanks Sasa

Will try to return to my blog, but been struggling with mountains of work at home and at the office

sasa said...

What do you do?

Syrian in London said...

I work in the City Sasa