"Where does it feel like home?" sandmoon's Profile
This is where i was born. And this is where i fled from when i was 9months old, in my mother's arms, during the lebanese civil war.
Lebanon is and will always remain the dearest country to my heart. It is Lebanon that first saw me cry, that first saw me smile. It is its scents and sounds that i first perceived and that will remain forever engraved in my heart as the scents and sounds of my origin.
Perhaps it is because i had to leave my birth place, my home town at such an early stage and in such a chaotic manner that i always feel the urge to pack my bags and go off and explore the world - literally and figuratively.
Of Armenian descent, i cannot deny my close bond with the land and the culture of my origins.
Today's Armenia is only 1/3 of the total territory that made up Armenia before the 1st World War. My grandparents fled the genocide perpetrated on the Armenians by the Ottoman Empire... they were the lucky ones that were able to escape the slaughter meant to diceminate the whole of the Armenian population. So they left their homes and whatever they had and fled to neighbouring countries such as Syria, Lebanon, or even further to France or the US. That's in a nutshell the story of the Armenian diaspora.
The lands that were once populated by Armenians, east of Turkey, are no more in the hands of Armenians. All Armenian heritage has been wiped off, deleted, destroyed, a reinvented history, as though Armenians never existed there. And the one symbol that characterizes the Armenian spirit so profoundly is the Mount Ararat (see picture), which unfortunately for the Armenian people is on the lands that are no more in our hands, and thus remains a nostalgic emblem of our existence as a martyr people.
Today's Armenia is the part of Armenia that was lesft untouched by the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) because it was an integral part of the Russian Empire, later USSR. It acquired its independence post 89'.
It is a beautiful country, vast and arid, somewhere between europe and asia, at the crossroads of humanity.
Having lived in quiet and secure Belgium for more than 30 years, i may not say that it doesnt feel like home. Well, in theory it does in any case. It is more a tangible bond than an emotional one.
No other place is as familiar to me than Antwerp. A quiet, trendy little harbour city, a very promising town that offers creativity and forward thinking. You can enjoy its small, narrow shopping streets, its cultural sites like the Cathedral, the Steen (Castle on the Schelde), the Rubens House, and other jewels hidden behind wooden doors. You can also enjoy a plentiful of delicious restaurants and café troittoires - the weahter permitting. And if you are fascinated by the hardest of all stones, Antwerp is the capital of DIAMONDS... you can get a diamond ring cheaper here than anywhere else in the world ;-)
But if i had to choose, i would prefer to live in Brussels. Why? Because it is multi-cultural, open to the world, less creative but so much more colorful, less ornate and beautiful but so much more interesting, less self centered and more of a cosmopolitan city, where when you are having lunch or dinner in a restaurant you can hear french, portuguese, greek, english, spanish, italian etc., all at the same time, without any boundaries or enimities.
I wasnt born here. I have hardly lived here (4 months all together). I dont have African origins. But somehow, when i am in Africa, i feel closely bound to its earth, its nature, i feel its energy reviving my heart and my spirit. There is no logical explanation why i feel so good in Africa, despite the hardships, the danger ever lurking in the shadow. You either love Africa or you hate it. It will never leave you indifferent. Once you've been there, you come back a different person, as though you encountered the heart and soul of the Earth.
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