Live From the Airport
When I first stepped into the modest building, I was overcome with anxiety. I tried to push it back and keep moving forward. I had to honestly, the place was freaking full, there was no way I could’ve stopped walking - not even for a second - or someone would literally step on me.
I don’t know why I am feeling anxious, actually. Maybe because I was thinking about the amount of school work I’d be missing those coming 3 days, or because I’m just impatiently waiting to hug my mother, or because the place is bursting with an abnormally large number of travelers. Come to think about it, it’s all of the above. To top this off, I came 2 hours earlier than the 3 hours earlier I should’ve been in the airport. I don’t think you get it do you?
Anyway, the Qatar Airways counter was still closed and I was informed that it wouldn’t start operating before 5. Ladies and gents, I was there at 3:15. So fucking pleasant.
The area was buzzing with human beings of all nationalities. It was cool to see. A few minutes later it started getting on my nerves; I wanted to leave. For the first hour, I was sitting on my bags - because there was absolutely no space to sit, not even one empty tile - and nagging. Not normal nagging but the viciously violent, gut-wrenching, back-hurting, throat-soaring, mind-blowing, irking nagging. Ricky is an angel for handling this and staying on the phone with me from 3 till well.. now.
I sat there and I just gave up on life. I was exhausted, hungry, and anxious. I just wanted to get home to mum.
And then I felt a tiny thrill of happiness. I gazed at the people around me. I liked it. Some spoke Egyptian, others wore Hijabs, few of them had kids, a group wearing Saris, couple Lebanese here and there, workers pushing carts nonstop. I’ve never paid so much attention to the people surrounding me, at least not in a very long time.
I was happy.
Arabesque music started playing in the background and now even more people filled the place. A very large group were headed to Baghdad, dearest Baghdad. I would’ve given everything to fly with them.
Turning my head the other way, a group of men sat on the floor with the sandals on one side. It didn’t bother me.
Then in front of me, a family spoke in a language I wish I understood. I was mesmerized.
Indian captains, American passengers, Iraqi babies, me and all those other people. I don’t know why today I felt so happy being around so many different people.
I had much time on my hands to kill and it suddenly came to me that I was so blessed to be flying in the first place and now even more blessed being able to witness this bustling diversity.
What would I be if you weren’t here? What would a white be if a black wasn’t here? What would a French be is there wasn’t a Korean here? What would a Christian be if there was no Yazidi here? What would we all be if there was no us, no diversity? I don’t want to imagine a life that soulless and empty ever!
Each person walking right past me had a story to tell. Each woman holding her baby flying to Iraq had a story to tell. The men running around trying to make it to the gate on time had a story to tell. These angry Lebanese forces and personnels also had a story to tell. I was sitting in a building that was about to explode with a million other stories and lifestyles and cultures and languages and nationalities. I was nothing but a grain of salt in a sea of human beings. I let that sink in for a moment.
I thought about how beautiful it was that each of us differs greatly or maybe just a little from the other. I kept on pondering about how all of us together form this thing called humanity occupying the Earth. I understood then how important each of us is, how significant our stories are to the past, present, and future of our universe. I fell in love all over again with the world, with this boundless diversity.
It fills me with passionate love and appreciation, such a strong feeling that I could never explain. The universe, this is us.
I still don’t comprehend why we choose to discriminate. I don’t comprehend why people of different cultures loathe each other because of a lifestyle they don’t understand. People are not dirty, rude, stingy, too generous, assholes, overwhelming gorgeous, or any other description because we don’t agree with who they are or we haven’t yet come to terms with who we are. We all bleed the same, breathe the same, and have stories to tell. Together we make a world I will consistently and continuously be in awe of.
Alone? What are we?