Memories in Meem

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I can hardly believe it has almost been a year!

I remember the day we first met, when I was just a little boy with a bit of long hair wearing the navy blue jacket, carrying my backpack and waiting nervously. I saw you both approaching, and to be honest I was expecting some old lady, and instead, I found Lynn. I didn’t know I would be meeting someone from my generation!

Along with Lynn, came “Abdo al RaQissa”. Seeing you both made me somehow comfortable but got me asking myself “would they understand?” It was very hard to answer you, Lynn, when you asked me to tell you a bit more about myself. I didn’t even know how to explain or introduce myself. I was  never familiar with the terminology. You guys screened me, introduced me to Meem, and hop, off to the Meem space.

28th of February – A day when my life shifted. I entered through the door, I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. The first thing I saw was the meeting room, later the TV room, then the kitchen where we made tea and coffee. In the office was Ghoulama with her “H&M” jacket, picked from the kids section, and her “salut!”. I have to admit, I have never seen anyone as serious as Ghoulama behind the laptop. I think it was one of those workaholic days, and I know you do not like expressions of emotions, but you were and still are a good influence.

We sat and chatted, and every now and then, while talking to Lynn, I would peek at Abdo al RaQissa. Him and his cute looks. Little did I know, he would soon be my big brother. I was too nervous that I was almost going to shit in my pants. My thoughts were interrupted by the door bell. Apparently, it was the Mug Girl. It was very nice meeting you that day, Mug Girl. I remember it was also the first time I heard you sing, and of course I got to know you more later on when we went down to talk to people in the streets of Burj Hammoud. Remember when we had lunch at that restaurant, Mug Girl? I really don’t remember its name, but that’s when I met Shant, and she told me that she saw me at that restaurant with my long hair, and said to herself “he is a Meem.”

I never felt more alive. I never felt more like me. It all started in this space. In this place I like to call home.

Maverick, I didn’t forget about you. Seeing you and Rob was a thrill that time. My friends, my brothers. We came a long way together. From working in the same place, sharing the same space, closets and even clothes. Man, it’s a good thing we didn’t get bored of each other. From those nights having Shawarma from Barbar, to the night when you got one Shawarma sandwich that cost you 10,000LL. That was hilarious.

Watwhuts, when I first walked into the quiet room at Meem, I saw you sitting with that funky hair of yours and I insisted jaddelon! I will never forget our time in Times. We did have good times there and everywhere.

SuQun el leil and Green. The first time I saw you both, it was separately. I saw you SuQun at Em Nazih. You had your pants that were msa7lin, and I was saying to myself “this girl looks like my cousin”. Green, I remember when we bonded over the fact that we are both from the South and we’re both Aries. Lynn and Abdo remember too.

The first time I saw Ishtar, it was in a Bekhsoos meeting. “Oh, so you are Ishtar!” Yes, I had heard a lot about you, a lot. Do you remember the day we had lunch at Em Nazih over Hommos and Arguileh. You had Red and Semsum with you. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon. Red, do you remember the glasses and the scarf you were wearing, and on our way up, the comment from the artist “j’adore, j’adore”.

Speaking of french, Randa, do you remember when I first opened the door for you, and you were like “what is he doing here?”

Nadz, I also remember seeing you at the Bekhsoos meeting. I had heard a lot about you. Remember when we had our discussion on the balcony that night? It was about gender and the medical system and how trans people are considered as a pathology, needing to transition from one box to another in order to be considered “normal”.

Salma remember when we had lunch in Spinneys? Do you remember why we had lunch in that exact restaurant?

Our grand meeting was a big opportunity for me to get to know a lot of people, from Phoenix, to Yaz and Hathor, KoiFish… Hathor and I didn’t get along at first, but soon we got to be good friends. Many others I met, saw once or maybe more, I don’t know your nicknames, but I know your faces, you all had a great role in my life, and I would like to thank you “two” for introducing me to this amazing place.

To whoever is reading, as you see, I have a big big family. Like other families we have our differences, our ups and downs, but at the end of the day, I have them, and I depend on them, because they are my Meemers!


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