Mr Kuffiyeh III

Being the eldest of four, he had more responsibilities on his shoulders. Being the eldest of grandsons in both his father’s and his mother’s sides has even more responsibilities. Things had always been going from bad to worse. Or reach dead ends in most cases.

‘what could I possibly do to overcome this continuously miserable life?’. A question that had always been occupying Nader’s mind most of the time. A question he’d always been thinking of a solution for. A question so difficult to answer. So exhausting to even try to think about. Trying to overcome the current situation he’d always lived, there were countless thoughts occupying even the smallest of proportions of his brain. He’d often admitted that the process of stepping ahead towards a better life is exhausting and often knocks one out in the end.

Nader had never believed in extremism no matter the reasons are. He’d always advise those around when talking about life: ‘live your life to the fullest but don’t enter the extreme zone, because once you’re in you can’t get out.’. To him, nothing is better than walking in the middle of the road. Do whatever you want as long it’s not extreme. This is one of the reasons why Nader had always been loved and admired by many. For walking in the middle of the road.

Although Nader had always been good to people, many had been striving to prove the saying ‘be good to people and they’ll be good to you’ wrong. Nader wasn’t a university celebrity. He had never gone for student’s union presidency though many had encouraged him to do it. He has strict rules. And everyone has to live by these rules or will have to face the consequences. To him, running for the student’s union presidency meant that he’d end up being hated by almost everyone at the university and will have to listen to those who are superior to him and obey. ‘A students union president will make you a puppet for your superiors.’ That’s how he’d always looked at it.

Not believing in manly perfectionism, Nader had never believed in the ‘you complete me’ phrase lovers would exchange expressing how very much of ‘soul mates’ they are. In Nader’s mind, all romantic phrases stating perfectionism or utmost completion were nothing but rusty shit. Nader had never believed in soul mates or even the existence of that person who with he’d feel or become perfect. Human beings are nothing but faults. Utter imperfection.

Because many could feel comfort in talking to Nader, strangers would come to him and talk tirelessly about their worthless of a life they have. Countless lost love stories. Endless complaining about life and how bad it is. A guy who has been in love with this girl who ended up marrying someone else because he couldn’t afford marrying her. The girl is often the guy’s cousin. Even worse -which was the case in most of the stories he’d heard- they both live in the same building. Lost love and broken hearts. Rivers of tears and blood. Shattered hearts covering the road to happiness with spikes and snakes. That’s how Nader had started to look at it.

Out of curiosity, Nader wanted to try for himself. He wanted to know what is it like to love endlessly and be loved the same, or less. He wanted to know how does it feel to be so in love. A world full of nothing but romance. Smiles. Love words. Romantic poetry, and happiness that will end with tears, broken hearts, and sleepless nights. It was the life Nader has never experienced. That’s when he decided to try.

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About Nader Elkhuzundar

Nader Elkhuzundar is a commentator on Palestinian affairs and Co-founder of Beyond Compromise (www.beyondcompromise.com). Elkhuzundar occasionally freelances for The Guardian, International Business Times, and others. He's a social media enthusiast and tech savvy with particular interest in new technologies and analytics, and enjoys reading over Arabic coffee and dark chocolate.
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