In second grade I invited my classmates and friends from school to celebrate my birthday. My mom and I cooked all day and prepared a one-of-a-kind home-made Barbie-like cake with a real doll inside. It was perfect.
When nobody came I stayed at our apartment’s balcony hoping that people are just late, crying. The only kid who showed up was a girl I used to go to kindergarden with whom I had randomly met and invited the previous day. This girl, Lina Stankova, soon became my best friend and has been a best friend in the true meaning of the word ever since.
As I grew up I stopped being excited for birthdays. I think it was just less painful than expecting much and getting dissapointed, especially on the day the world tells you should be your one “special day”.
Of course, I have had great birthdays afterwards that I have shared with amazing friends.
This year, for the second time, I celebrated my birthday out of my homeland Bulgaria. And this time for the first time in a very long while I allowed myself to really be excited!
May be it’s the culture, or simply the people here, but I have felt so much loved and supported here that I have indeed grown to love this place as my second home which, by the way, it is supposed to be (my father is Palestinian). I’m also happy to say that I have found a place which I not only want to visit again, but to stay at (for a while) and work at.
on 8th of July, my birthday, I was nourished in the love of my students, my colleagues, my cousins, my friends and other beautiful people that I may not have yet had the chance to connect deeply. They all gathered and planned my celebration, gave me beautiful gifts, but most importantly granted me with their attention, their acknowledgement and unconditional positive regard.
I was so delighted to hear my cousin Dana Nazer say she saw the boys from my English classes walking around the Hebron Mall going inside all the women shops to search for a present for me!
Thank you all who were present with me yesterday and who thought of me from across continents! I am deeply touched and so HAPPY!