A Higher Calling

A Higher Calling

A Story by Sami Khalil
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Love transcends...

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Paperworks Wall Art - Painting - Drawing Hands by Maurits Cornelis Escher




A Higher Calling                     by Sami Khalil



Upon this land: A holy city, a tale of two people, a rich and varied history, a struggle for identity and a mandate for survival, a penchant for fighting, moderation and extremism, a memory of a sad, bygone holocaust and once bitter Nakba.


Upon this land: The story of Israel and Palestine where players, large and small, famous or unknown, take their place under the Mediterranean sun, where piecemeal images fade away to grey, to sullen shades. Some caress our hopes, others lace tight our despairs. Some in slow motion, others…fast and furious.


Such was the story of Saeed; young Palestinian youth among the unbidden upheaval, midst the thieving of lasting peace in this mad array. Saeed carried the mockingbird lament, for both of his parents perished in the Intifada, in a blast at the Souk while shopping, leaving him with two siblings to care for, clambering to make a living and take his father’s place, to shoulder this heavy responsibility.


At age 16, the denizens admired his building talents and architectural creativity. Little they knew, he was an aspiring poet, too. They saw him daily, along a crew of workers, being carried away by a rental bus, through Israeli checkpoints, to work in Israel, building fancy-looking villas for wealthy settlers. It was a boon for Palestinian workers (jobs were scarce), and a curse for the peace process. But those poor laborers needed to put food on the table to feed their families. Many incidents of humiliation occurred at those checkpoints for those workers were thoroughly searched from tip to toe, to the point of asking them to take off their shoes.

The guards mistreated them periodically and chief among them, a man who goes by the name Aaron. Aaron disliked many but more so Saeed, whom he felt had blustery inklings. By the way, Saeed had kept a booklet of hand-written poems, written in Arabic, say a hundred poems total, in one of his overalls. He kept the overalls for a special occasion. On a said day, he ran out of clean clothes, so he had to wear the overalls to work until his siblings take care of his laundry.


As Aaron searched him that fateful day, he got hold of the booklet, confiscating it, thinking it was political articles. He hid it from the other guards, took it home, never telling a soul. Upon reading it (Aaron spoke Arabic and Hebrew), tears fell uncontrollably. It contained emotive, rich poetry about parents, the homeland, love, life and death and such…

Aaron saw the value in publishing it under his name, a way to fame and some wealth out of his measly, hated job. In other words, he saw the low-hanging fruit. So, he set about translating each poem to Hebrew, then publishing the paperwork, claiming they were his. The book became an instant sensation among the Israelites, leaving them with lingering sighs upon the umbilicus of concerned subjects. Aaron became instantly famous and wealthy for it sold in the millions. With that money, he ventured to move in a fancy villa, hiring an Arab maid to clean the house, tend to the pets and do chores on the forbidden Sabbath day (As non-Jew).


One day, as Hagar was cleaning his ornate room, she stumbled upon the original booklet, kept in the drawer by his bed. To her surprise, it was written in Arabic. She smuggled it out, giving it to her brother Amaro, who was a renowned poet. He immediately recognized the value, for it kept him awake all night soaked in tears. He ventured to publish it under his name, where it became an instant success among the Palestinians and across the Arab world. Amaro became famous and wealthy, helping him to win local elections as the mayor of Ramallah. With the help of his sister, who became his business manager, he was able to open many Falafel shops across the Transjordan. As for Saeed, he continued his struggle to make a living, which took a toll on him. He persisted for he felt the duty to raise two siblings.


One day, he was carted off to a new project, to design and build a villa fit for an ultra-wealthy Jewish family, who had only one daughter. The dad was a media tycoon. The mother; an aristocrat. As Sarah, the daughter, laid eyes on Saeed, she fell in love with him. She saw somethings no one saw. She would invite him to sup with her family, who took a liking to him. As the relationship progressed, Sarah found out that Saeed was the author of the poetry book that both Aaron and Amaro claim. She asked him if he will come forward, clearing the star-crossed fog. He looked down to Earth, looked up to Heaven with wandering eyes, camouflaging his true feelings.

He said to her: “If it helps the cause, if it helps someone, if it helps both people, then I would have done my share. Sarah, not everyone gets what they expect. But I like to be the vendor for peace, the poet of solace and the champion of love.”


She said, after summoning her gaze: “But you know, I know, God knows you did it.”

He kissed the diamond ring on her finger saying, “You are my peace, my solace and my love. I will write you a book of love sonnets. Only people who are in love can pen one. To that, both eyes danced the “Dabka” until the dying gasps of the night.        

© 2021 Sami Khalil


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Reviews

As usual from your complicated & interestingly woven brainwaves, this is a clever parable! I love how you show the different ways this poetic message was used to beckon to different people in different conflicts, all speaking different languages. What a load of symbolism, just in that! (Speaking different languages applies even here in the USA, since so many cannot understand anything about those who are of a completely different political mind).

This reminds me of how, as writers posting everything we do in the nebulous world of online hijackers, we are subject to being ripped off. But I always think -- if my message helps people, who cares if someone else has to claim it as theirs? That is the thief's problem & the thief will not really get the blessings he/she thinks she's getting by being a bogus actor. The noble lessons will be spread, while the thief gets a comeuppance, no doubt (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 4 Months Ago


Sami Khalil

4 Months Ago

Whoa! What a sharp mind and understanding. All truthful and well said. Since both people claim the s.. read more
' He kissed the diamond ring on her finger saying, “You are my peace, my solace and my love. I will write you a book of love sonnets. Only people who are in love can pen one. To that, both eyes danced the “Dabka” until the dying gasps of the night. '

That is the love we can understand. But the love Saeed shows in his latter words displays love near beyond understanding..

How amazing that such a hard.working, money~ poor man, who in his past had written such beautiful words could philosophise with such incredible unselfishness shows the finest and greatest worth.

With this story you've presented a myriad of lessons, Sami. They cover so many fields: history, faith, culture, Sin at its worse, power and weakness. Yet show the true value of and by a man, Saeed, who shows love, respect and forgiveness for those without conscience. I have a feeling that your thoughts and own philosophy might have guided you to write this incredible post. Is as much a lesson in human behaviour as is in 'story'. Thank you.

Posted 5 Months Ago


Sami Khalil

5 Months Ago

Whoeee! Every word you say and thought reflects the truth and understanding. I feel you know me from.. read more
Brave people are needed dear Sami.
"He said to her: “If it helps the cause, if it helps someone, if it helps both people, then I would have done my share. Sarah, not everyone gets what they expect. But I like to be the vendor for peace, the poet of solace and the champion of love.”
I loved the complete story and the above lines. So good, so powerful. To seek peace in the mist of bloodshed. Take great heart and strong spirit. Thank you for sharing the outstanding story.
Coyote

Posted 5 Months Ago


Sami Khalil

5 Months Ago

Whoa! So true and well said good sir. We need those type of people to put and end too all of that. Y.. read more
Coyote Poetry

5 Months Ago

I agree Sami. We need men and women of peace. A outstanding story.
Sami Khalil

5 Months Ago

Thank you again.....
Hi Sami,

Thank you for sharing this story. I really enjoyed reading it, so much packed into a small space - a story to entertain and to educate too - about power relations and historical (and present day injustice).

I just have to pull out the lines below, I found them priceless. Mockingbird lament - oh how I wish I could have come up with such a succinct phrase that is so perfectly descriptive!

And the second line - recognition of the value - you could have put a long explanation in here, but again, perfectly and succinctly conveyed to the reader - it's emotional value, it did exactly what poems should do and moved the reader (in this case to tears).

I enjoyed reading the whole story, but it would have been worth reading even if it had been boring just to dig out these two gems - perfect!

Saeed carried the mockingbird lament
He immediately recognized the value, for it kept him awake all night soaked in tears.

Posted 5 Months Ago


Sami Khalil

5 Months Ago

Hi Helen! I have been honored by your precious visit. You wonderfully highlighted the main points in.. read more
Helen

5 Months Ago

I have just been singing your praises to my partner ... Not just for such a wonderful use of words, .. read more
dearest Sami... Saeed was truly "an Instrument of God's Peace.
A beautiful emotional story that touches my heart. He did receive
the ultimate Reward of true love and devotion. A Leaf travels many
streams before it reaches a Dream. tenderly, Pat

Posted 6 Months Ago


Sami Khalil

6 Months Ago

Wow! I love your take and understanding of this short story. Always a pleasure and delight to see yo.. read more
Dear Sami.....

You have penned a beautiful story here of how the 'power of love' is capable of being perceived in such a way that one is able to rise above everything. 'Love' enables us to carry on regardless, with courage in the face of adversity. 'Love' gives everyone hope...helping us to realise that a problem shared is a problem halved...and to not feel alone when struggles come our way.

"You are my peace, my solace and my love"
~ Sami Khalil ~


YB

Posted 6 Months Ago


Sami Khalil

6 Months Ago

Wow! Your words are so poetic and wise. All true and well said. I can't thank you enough for this. L.. read more
She said, after summoning her gaze: “But you know, I know, God knows you did it.”
SK

Posted 6 Months Ago



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Added on January 26, 2021
Last Updated on January 27, 2021

Author

Sami Khalil
Sami Khalil

Tuscaloosa, AL



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