Summer Friends

by Hamza Bilbeisi 

    The view from Mt. Ganobe of Raseefa, Al Zarqa, Jordan منظر من الجبل الجنوبي في الرصيفة, الزرقاء، الأردن

 

The view from Mt. Ganobe of Raseefa, Al Zarqa, Jordan منظر من الجبل الجنوبي في الرصيفة, الزرقاء، الأردن

"This poem came out of an interaction I had with a young Syrian boy in Al-Zarqa. He talked to me about the trend of Western non-profits entering his life with various programs to empower him and his community, then leave just as fast as they came. It got me thinking about how we should practice empathy that isn’t self-serving."


You escaped a war but I just

escaped an air-conditioned home

to meet you halfway in a dusty town where we would

build a friendship on the arid summer soil.

before I could catch my breath

I had to leave

you had no choice so you left too

and our friendship was nothing more than

another outsider briefly passing by to ‘empower you’

then leave.