July 29, 2021

They say I have my Teta’s Eyes.

The eyes of my Teta are hazel seas of power.

With her eyes, she moved mountains and calmed storms. With her eyes, she defeated wars and raised families.

With her eyes, she built a home. A home filled with love and compassion. A home for the strong. A home for the weak. A home for the rich. A home for the poor. A home for anyone. A home for everyone.

My Teta’s eyes are always there for me.

In Arabic, we have a saying, “bhotik bi ‘youni,” which literally translates to “I place you in my eyes,” and oh, what a joy it is to be in my Teta’s eyes. To feel her overflowing love, her empathy, her touch, and her presence.

They say I have my Teta’s eyes, but I know such eyes take time to become so patient, selfless, and pure.

My Teta grew up in a small village away from the city. Of course, Jedo couldn’t resist her eyes and she got married at 19.

Teta raised five children and nine grandchildren.

Every day, she gets up early, makes coffee, prepares lunch, and leaves an open door for the visiting neighbors. Her voice is as loud as it can be. When she laughs, the whole village listens. When she cries, no one does.

My Teta’s soul is young, but her body is growing older. My Teta’s eyes are tired. They witnessed her country’s independence, a civil war, a pandemic, and an economic crisis. Each wrinkle reflects a burden of life that can never be erased.

They say I have my Teta’s eyes, but I know that it is impossible.

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Stephanie Doumit  |  Contribution: 1,960

author: Stephanie Doumit

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