Shine

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My Father. The best human being I have ever known and will ever know.

I am Palestine
I wait in line
I yearn and pine
I seek a sign
I count on time
I leave behind
All that is mine
Except my dignity
Despite captivity
Except my pride
Despite your tyranny
Except my wealth
Which is my mind
I have my Self
A saviour in itself.

I am Palestine
I am fine
In time
I shall shine.

I am Palestine
I am stranded
A desolate island
Melancholic and silent
Stranger here
Stranger there
Everywhere
A burden
I am almost certain.

I am Palestine
I long for connection
Some human affection
No attention
Only detention
Sanction after sanction
No remorse
Only chores
And bolted doors
No harmony
Only fatality
No tranquility
Only hostility
No equality
Nor eligibility
Only agony
Where is sanity?
I am alchemy
The begetter of unity
I shall breed humanity.

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My Life is Real

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A Taste of Gaucho Culture, Estancia Los Patos, Argentina

My life is real.
Its essence I feel
I travel a great deal.

I seek and heal
Experience and reveal
All that is surreal
I have nothing to conceal
Not my curiosity
Nor my zeal
No apology
For my independence
For my candidness
Only to God, I kneel.

In every foreign place
I find novelty and grace
In every little street
Despite my tired feet
I walk and greet
Locals I meet.

During such encounters
And racing hours
I receive
An introduction
To tradition
I merge with culture
Demand disclosure
And embrace exposure.

In far away lands
Under moonlit skies
Despite my sleepy eyes
I see shimmering stars
Written memoirs
Of beautiful spirits.

When mornings come
And birds hum
I walk in nature
No longer a stranger
Acre after acre
Of exquisiteness
I thank my Creator
I bow to my Maker
For this magnificence.

My life is real
Its essence I feel
I travel a great deal.

What vileness he thinks
And ill she speaks
Of my travels and bills
Of my passions and thrills
Brush the top of these hideous hills
In whose valleys everyone sleeps
Where no one wills
And stillness kills.

I’m onto something
In my wandering and writing
Despite the foulness
That sometimes reeks
And the belittling
That oftentimes squeaks
Envy that peaks
And judgment that leaks
Your vulgar style
So bile and juvenile.

I’m onto something
Despite lonely elves
Stuck at the bottom of wells
Living in hell
Hiding it well
And foolish freaks
With spiteful tongues
And ugly beaks.

Despite this ordeal
I reiterate
My life is real.

By Razan Abdul Majeed

The End

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My last Camino shot on my last day in Spain

August 11, 2017 marked the end of my Camino Del Norte journey in Spain. I covered nearly 400km on foot in 14 days. Not a day’s rest. I walked on despite persisting aches and pains; despite tiredness and sometimes sheer exhaustion. I walked on despite volatile weather conditions and very tough terrains. I walked on despite certain personal fears and apprehensions. It was hard and challenging and it took a lot out of me but it was also very fulfilling. I would do it all over again.

When I reached Comillas (my final destination), I felt such an amazing sense of accomplishment equalled to none. I haven’t lost that feeling yet and I will try to hold on to it for as long as I can.  It is a feeling that gives me so much peace and serenity, and power. Yes power. I feel very strong, very empowered! Physically and mentally. Anything is possible if your heart is in it! Yet it’s not just the end result (the accomplishment) that matters – it is do with the journey as a whole. Its ups and downs. Its peculiar moments. Its depth. Its poetry. Its annoyances. Its momentum that is sometimes therapeutic and sometimes frustrating. Its dark side and bright side. It is everything to do with giving all of ‘you’ to something that is very important to you. When that something becomes yours because YOU made it yours –  you are King! In a few words, I would describe my journey – or rather my adventure – as the sea of dramatic experiences.  You are the fish. You migrate as nature would have you do. You make it, you multiply (in inner strength and self-trust), you don’t you die.

Whenever I think of all the wonderful people and pilgrims I met along the way, the kindness I received from locals who crossed my path and my own determination – I am humbled all over again. What a blessing. Kindness is something I cannot live without, and determination is something I need as a person. It is the magical fuel to my inner strength and the engine that renews my hopes. It is a gift from God not to be squandered.

Walking, moving forward (literally), exploring and discovering are a big part of who I am. I am filled with a ton of gratitude for being able to do all of that on the Camino. Thank you God. And thank you family and friends for all your support. It made a huge difference and kept me going and smiling!

Last but not least –

To all the pilgrims I met along the way who are probably still at it – Buen Camino!