In 1991, while the United States was carefully packing up its military equipment on cargo ships and heading off for ‘Desert Storm’, my family was packing up our belongings in preparation for our big move to the United States from Abu Dhabi. My Lebanese parents sent my brother and I a few months ahead with our grandmother, my mother’s mother. I can’t vouch for any tantrums I might have thrown as a baby, but the crying scene at the airport when we were leaving might be the hardest I have ever cried in my life. It was snot dripping-onto-my-upper-lip-licking-its-saltiness ugly.
Fresh off the airboat, we landed at Los Angeles International Airport with puffy eyes and somber looks and were taken to the home of my mother’s brother; my Khalo. It was there that I discovered the joys of Teddy Graham crackers. Mom and Dad who? You’re telling me that I can eat endless snacks and dance like the kids in the commercial if I just bought a pair of pi... [more]