In Memory of Khaltu Souad

Khaltu Souad in her kitchen. Photograph by Safa Ghnaim

Khaltu Souad in her kitchen. Photograph by Safa Ghnaim

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

Yesterday we lost a beautiful, strong, loving, devout and funny woman, my Aunt Souad.

I was blessed to have experienced her hospitality during my visits to Jordan and Syria. Storytelling, crafts and cooking were the main activities we would enjoy together. She was 16 years old when she left Palestine with my mother, who was almost 2 years old at the time. She carried my mother from Safad to Damascus the entire way. Khaltu Souad remembered leaving Palestine, the journey to exile, her experience as a young girl in Safad and what it was like to flee with only the clothes on your back only to never return home. I documented her story, and many of the others she shared with me, so that I wouldn’t forget the details. Thank God I did.

I am thankful for the time I spent with her, and will miss her. Probably forever. I always hoped she would meet my husband. In her memory and honor we will visit Jordan in 2016 so that my relatives can meet my new husband. This would mean the world to me.

May she rest in peace. Ameen.

إِنَّا للهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ