One evening, during our recent trip to Egypt, we were sitting at my niece’s house visiting. Everyone was very relaxed on the couches just talking…no TV on. I realized that during our entire trip, no one ever turned on a television while we were visiting. We always just talked. Wow, what a wonderful reminder of what I loved most about my husband’s family — they enjoyed talking with each other. Really talking. There might be multiple conversations going on at the same time, but everyone was engaged — from oldest to youngest in conversation. I’m sorry, but we’ve lost that in America. Shame on us.
Then, as we’re relaxing, my niece brings out pumpkin seeds (لب or lib in Arabic), and immediately, we all take a handful and start working them open with our teeth, spitting out the shells (properly, on napkins). I smile, remembering Raouf, who loved lib. He even bought it at the Arabic food stores in Murfreesboro. I could always find him, wherever we were, by following the shells…makes me smile now just thinking of it.
I remember walking in the Midan el-Gamaa neighborhood near our home and stopping by the seed store to buy lib. Just a small amount, wrapped in a paper twisted in a cone for easy enjoyment as you continued to walk along the street. It was such a part of our life.
Now I’m looking at every member of our gathered Ghattas family all enjoying the same precious treat…lib a little, love a little for some reason comes to mind. Or, better yet, the family that libs together, stays together. Oh, the little joys.
Grace and Peace