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The girl on the old rickety minibus 

Somewhere in the northern Lebanese mountains among the cedar and olive trees we unexpectedly 
meet. On an old rickety minibus our first quiet conversation evolves into a philosophical exchange of view.
We talk freely and take our time.
You tell your life's story and I listen carefully.  
I admire your courage and your immeasurable perseverance. Your resilience is intriguing. 
You have been on the run from your homeland since 2013. You are only a 14-year-old girl, 
the oldest of your siblings. Your small feet have been badly burned from the long and arduous miles you've traveled across the Syrian fields. And now you suddenly sit behind me completely revealed. 
The longer we talk, the more we share. We think and question not only ourselves,
but also the wide world and its rich cultures. We care and we speculate. We dream and we 
hope. We realize that the great distance between us is actually not that far away. 
We are so different, but also so similar.
Without hesitation we speak straight from the heart. It’s a powerful dialogue.
We want to understand each other, without a label, without prejudice. Just you and me in an old, smelly minibus. 
We are lost wanderers with great souls traveling to the future.
We smile and wink. 
We finally understand and so the conversation ends. 

Lebanon, Akkar, augustus 2020.

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