Flying thousands of feet in the air, I was wondering what lay ahead of us during this trip back to the motherland. The motherland was Lebanon and we were on our way to visit my paternal grandparents who still lived in a small mountain village located near the Golan Heights. The village was called Chebaa. I was only nine years old and this was already my third time visiting Lebanon. I could not remember much of my first visit to Chebaa as I was only two years old. I do have this one vivid memory of stumbling out unto a sunny terrace overviewing a lush garden and being picked up by my father. As he held me in his arms, he turned to allow us both to survey the land he had known since he was younger than I was then.
During my second visit to Lebanon, we did not drive up the mountain roads to Chebaa. Instead, a childhood friend of my father’s, Muhammad Dib, drove my grandparents down to meet us in Beirut. We stayed in a nice hotel and attended a marriage. I remember enjoying my time in Beirut. For some reason, all the restaurants we would dine in would almost always be located on the banks of a river or a creek, or, better yet, would overlook the Mediterranean Sea. There was something so magical about having a meal with the sound of trickling water or crashing waves complementing the experience. Enjoyment of the food and the company amid such surroundings is undeniably magnified.
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