Saturday, July 19, 2014


This is Naamah. We met in Jerusalem, where she worked in our hotel. Each morning, I looked for her. She'd fill my coffee cup and I'd say thank you in Arabic. She would help me with my pronunciation. It sounds something like "shoo-kron." Then she would say you're welcome and help me repeat her word. That one sounds like "af-wan."

This is all we said to each other. Thank you. You're welcome.

But always with big smiles.

Naamah has joy in her heart and it spills out of her face. When she wasn't there, I felt pouty. I wanted to bring her home with me.

It was impossible to be unhappy when Naamah was present.

On our last morning, I asked her to take a photo with me. Naamah tried to take the camera. She thought I was asking her to snap a photo for me and my husband. In hand motions and bits of language, we explained, and there was that smile, that gorgeous smile on her face.

I woke this morning with Naamah on my heart. She is one of many beautiful souls we met on our journey through Israel/Palestine.

My heart is breaking.

The only way I truly felt I could show you the pain I feel for the Middle East was to show you the joy I felt when I was there.

And Naamah is the best picture of joy I can ever share with you.

*Incidentally, the name Naamah means "pleasant, sweet, delightful, beautiful."

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