Once Upon A Sunset
The view has not changed much since this very sun stood still for an hour so that Joshua (the biblical Hoshea) could finish his battle in daylight, but the scene has changed; perhaps he saw a river that is now a stream of mud, and a sea that is now eroding, but he did not see Jericho, Nablus and Jerusalem, which he was on his way to, a distant dream.
The Saltis (people of as-Salt, my lovely hometwon in Jordan) all have two common stories: one with a city view and one with a western view of Palestine. I will come to my former story later. For now, I’ll shed a light on the latter, which is 15 years old. It is to me like a mirage that I recognize and deny at the same time even though it involves two witnesses who, I think, are just 😊.
One Friday after the afternoon prayers at the Jubail Mosque (Jbeil Thabet, west of the city), an old man I had never seen approached me. He was tall, brown, with a neat moustache and a slender figure. I don't remember anything special that distinguishes him and I don't recall if he introduced himself. He asked me and the 2 young men beside me about the names of our families. We answered. Here he squinted so the features of his eyes completely disappeared in the shadow of his quarries and told me: "Your grandfather is Abdullah al-Hyari and the other is Abdur Rahman, his brother. God have mercy on them." He read my genes, I guess, and he successfully did the same with my companions, leaving us in awe.
Downstairs from the mosque, off the same sun and western view, he followed me and asked me to drive him by car to see a relative of me, an old woman whom he asked about. I did. And I didn't see him after that.