Mr. Kuffiyeh

Almost a year ago. I graduated from university. Named the top class student on my major. And received a $10 wall clock for my outstanding academic performance. I still remember that day – and I always will – as if it happened just last night. During the educational journey it becomes very known that the higher your grades are, the more the haters. Meaning, if you’re an intelligent student who always aces exams, never stops to amaze the professors – even those in other faculties – get ready to be bullied to the last breath you’ll take inside the walls of this institution.

At the cafeteria, a young man wrapping a kuffiyeh around his neck. A beard trimmed and herbed carefully, brown eyes through which you could almost feel dominated. Looking into his eyes you could sense hope, intelligence, and happiness of a little kid. Red lips that speak nothing but something that would make you laugh, cry, or whistle in astonishment. A thoughtful stop. Looking at all his face as one piece, analyzing his skull structure. This is something you could almost swear you have never seen like before. Curls around his face, around the mouth, eyes, and forehead. The brown eyes would very often – if not always – look red. Reflecting how barely did he get any sleep.

Knowing that he’s a top class, you would assume that he barely sleep because he has been studying very hard. How otherwise would someone amaze almost everyone at the university? Knowing who he really is, you could swear that this person would never even get a passing score. A person who’s ingredients are mess, wasted-on-nothing-time, going to the cafe, hardcore gaming, and, of course, internet. A person that had never studied for an exam but two yet he’d always ace it. All of this makes you realize that there’s something unusual about this guy.

The kuffiyeh guy, that’s how everyone else would call him. He’d enter the walls of the university showing a bright smile greeting back whomever sees him. Professors didn’t consider him a student anymore. But a visitor.

Speak to amaze. That’s what He almost didn’t believe in. Reading about mythologies and different stories about old nations and their gods, historical brutal battles, and their beliefs. His belief regarding many things – if not almost all – started to continuously slightly change. To the worse. Towards disbelief.

Reading the holy book sent mercy to people on earth. Reading manly books about manly gods, religions, manipulated beliefs across centuries of the old eras. How would Arabs in the age of ignorance would make idols of stones, then realize they no longer need them because they’re of no use. Some Arabs – if not all – didn’t belief in stone-made idols to an extent. They could see, feel, and talk to them. Yet never heard back from them. Never did them any good. Then made idols of dates which tasted good with goat milk when hungry. At least something good gods could help with. Hunger.

Noticing all the beautiful and marvelous things in this world. How weather works. How life works. How his body works. How very complicated every the smallest of things that probably no man had ever seen so far. There must be a super power than can keep everything in the system. This can’t be superstition. Nor manly stories. Man had always been talking nonsense when it comes to believing in this they’ve never seen. As the saying goes: believe nothing of what you hear. Believe half of what you see. Yet man couldn’t see god. Though wherever you’d look, you’d see a sign of god’s existence. Lost between signs He could see and sense and what he could read in manly books about worldly things. Superstitions.

He would sit in a class, taking the front seat that had been reserved for him in each and every class. He would sit right in front of the professor. Whenever the professor would speak, He could almost feel darkness crawling. Surrounding Him. Later, he would see nothing but Himself. And the professor. Then he would raise his thin arm indicating that he has a question. Yet the professor would always tell him to kindly wait till the end of the lecture. He was known for his very-difficult mind-orgasming questions. He would always ask questions that nobody could simply answer. His questions were feared.

Colleagues tried to befriend him yet he’d n ever allow anyone into his life. To him: they were crawlers  he’d rather to stay away from. The less people you know, the calmer your life is. Thinking of others that way, He barely had anybody to talk to but his virtual friends he’d never meet in real life just yet since it’s all done on the Internet.

To be continued .. Maybe. Maybe not.

Nader K

 

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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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6 Responses to Mr. Kuffiyeh

  1. Vicky says:

    Just a note to let you know I am always reading. Take care of yourself, Nader. <3

  2. Mirna Miranda says:

    Absolutely enchanting, Nader! Each time I read your blog..I experience a sense of awe and wonder. It is not the style but the immense depth of being that you reflect in your writing that assures me all real humans must live in Gaza. You capture the essence of being and universality with all of its complexities in such a few words. I admire your endurance to succeed, as you should, and your grasp of innovation as only a creative mind can contemplate. You are a marvelous being..aside your intellectual potential and creative writing skills…you display a side of Gaza that perhaps is hidden to many through your introspective reflections…I enjoy so much! Thank you!

  3. Christine says:

    I’ve been following your blog for a long time but I don’t think I’ve ever replied.. I love how you write; the way you describe things and the words you use keeps me captured in the story from the first word to the last (and this kinda sounds like I’m just talking nonsense but I have the lowest concentration level ever so it means something:)). I found this really beautiful, I hope you’ll write more 🙂

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