Five years ago I had no clue what Halloween meant. In early October Mona, my little cousin, who has the privilege to live here in Toronto all her life; while watching Cinderella for the nine hundred ninety ninth times told me she would love to have Cinderella’s costume for the Halloween. It was the Disney store on the 3rd floor of the Eaton Center where I walked in to get the costume. Oh God, Look at all these kids, jumping in the teddy pool, having no idea what anything other than their games are, let alone knowing imperialism whereabouts, some kind of toy, candy or what? Frankly, I could have even spelled the word at their age.
The reason is simple; because I was a political offspring, in a huge zoo of political animals, selling papers to those political giraffes who bent down to give me a political hug. On one afternoon, my political mother and I joined the pride of political lions who had got the keys to open up the cage. Soon after, colorful flocks of political birds flew above the beds of tulips grew out of red. There I was in the bosom of the true king, who didn’t survive the crows’ rush to the throne. He asked me why I had been there. “ To fight for freedom and against imperialism”, I replied.
I still remember my grandfather's political stand and his arguments with his two opposing sons. Then, I was sure my grandfather was a socialist. I knew Shah sucks and U.S. was sucking our oil. Later, I got to know that Khomeini sucks too. I knew something was happening in Nicaragua at the same time. I have been told stories of the Palestinian kids who have nothing but stone to defend themselves. I knew they were living in the refugee camps on their own soil. Of course I was aware of the Vietnamese success story and I was sure we, all united, would ultimately win the battle and indeed we won.
But it was no time after the victory that I remember, one day I promised my father not to tell anybody even his mum about all these strangers who join us in our tiny apartment a week or two, some with names and some not. But they all had something in common; they helped me memorize all the countries’ flags before I even could read and write. Later, my political but more spiritual mum told me of some of those roommates who lost their lives for the sake of freedom, not achieved yet, of course.
That seed planted in me during those times never enjoyed Islamic gardeners watering her. Now in another settings, she needs to re-orient her passion and excitement while adding some blue rationality to her original yellow.