Archive for the ‘Thanksgiving in Lebanon’ Category

Being away from home is not so unusual for me.  In fact, I’ve spent a few Thanksgivings away from home.  In college I spent a few with my extended fam.  While in Spain, the Americans cooked a feast fit for the Pilgrims and Indians on the first Thanksgiving day.  The year immediately following Spain, I found myself in the house of one of my newly found sisters from Spain.  Last year, after cooking a grand feast for my dad, I spent the holiday in my mentor’s house.  So being away from home is not so unusual for me.  This, however, is my first Middle Eastern Thanksgiving.  And I had lots of thanks to give.

This week in my Basic English class, I had my students use the word “Thankful” to make a list of what they’re thankful for.  After we jumped the hurdle of understanding the meaning of the word, and how they could choose an item that started with the “T”, the “H”, the “A”, the “N”, the “K”, etc, we finally started with the brief assignment.

From this exercise, I learned that thankfulness is always in the context of your experiences.

The group collectively struggled with words starting with the letter “K.”  Finally, when we each went through our lists out loud, we learned that one of the Jordanian student was thankful for King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, which of course starts with……that’s right!  The letter “K.”

Thankfulness is always in context.

Although I’m far away from my country, my family, my friends, my car, my cell phone, my former job, my easy flights around the country, my comfort, my church family, my Walgreens that is down the street and on every corner for that matter, my mom’s cooking and familiarity, I am thankful in the context of my current experience.  I am thankful for all the things that are far away, and I am thankful for those things that are near.

This Sunday, I shared an oft’ celebrated and oft’ under appreciated American holiday with my new friends.

For some, it was their first Thanksgiving.  A joyous occasion they had only witnessed on American sitcoms, like Friends and How I Met Your Mother, but never experienced.

For this reason, waiting 6 (or 7, depending on who’s counting) hours for the Turkey to cook was not too long.  This time frame wouldn’t have been so bad if the Turkey hadn’t been put in the oven at 6 PM on the day of the dinner.  I tried to explain we have hotlines in the states to help with Turkey emergencies.  Despite the persistent smoke, there was no emergency, unless you’d count the Turkey not finishing until 1:30 AM as an emergency.

Some people had turkey for dessert, and they were thankful!

So be thankful this Thanksgiving!  We all have so many things to be thankful for!  Hamdulillah!

Though brief, here is my list of things for which I am thankful:

  1. My Mom and Dad….and brother…..and my family in general
  2. My Friends both new and old
  3. New Experiences
  4. My relationship with God