Experiencing the Trump Victory in the Land of Islam

2051-tear-drop-eyes-sadnessWhen I went to bed, the voting had just begun. When I awoke, the map was overwhelmingly red, but some of the key states were not complete and the western states were less than 50% complete. I held on desperately for hope. Hope for leadership that would not exclude, belittle, divide, insult, devalue, or slander anyone in our human race. Hope for leadership that would not be driven by self-adoration. Hope for leadership that would respect humanity and our habitat.


Determined to hold on to hope.

As I left for school, I group-messaged my expat friends and told them to let me know the progress because I don’t have access to the internet at work. My phone blew up. All the way to school we were messaging. My driver glided between villages and mountains and sailed around curves in silence, offering me time and space to listen, read, type, and speak. He heard our voices. A periodic clicking of his tongue told me that he understood, even without knowing all the words we used, and that he shared our pleas.

The last message I got as we pulled into the school gate read:                                               “Trump has a 92% chance of winning.”                                                                                                 My reply was a simple emoticon:





I felt the crude vibration of my phone against my breast for the next few hours, but didn’t dare look. Then, just after noon, I opened “What’s app” and saw it.

“Trump won.”

There it was. The only thing I felt was my heart in my feet. My phone became silent. Cold inside my Abaya. Still. Time stopped. Sound ceased. The noisy halls receded away from my consciousness like a dull ache deep inside my brain. I felt everything go numb and slow.

No one at school knew yet. I didn’t voice what I knew.

At the end of the school day, I took the winding roads toward home but stopped at the beach. There I sat, facing the great sea, listening to the waves, aligning my breath with the pulsations of the earth.


The earth. The human habitat.

All is life.

All is life.

Horses came out and walked in the crashing waves as they do every evening.

Small groups of friends gathered for a beach picnic as they do every evening.

Solitary walkers moved briskly in the wet sand as they do every evening.

Fishermen came ashore, tethered their boats, and hauled their catch to waiting trucks, just as they do every evening.



Hearts beat.

Life continues moving.

Life on earth.

The earth. The human habitat.

All is life.

All is life.

My black Abaya draped over me, wrapped around me, swallowed me in black. I felt the weight of black like the closing of a coffin.

As the sun set behind me, and cooler air came to greet me, I felt darkness lower onto me as if an angel was descending, placing a blanket over my shoulders. Graciously, I received the slow-motion arrival of her gift, lowering my head to receive her comfort.
speared_cloud_crescent-moonCrescent Moon rose over the sea and beckoned me to watch her.

I laid back on the sand and fixed my gaze on her ghostly illumination.

Faint. Dim. Still. Imperfect.

She stared at me, and I, at her.

Eventually I heard a man’s voice:

“Madam! Madam! Excuse me, madam? Are you OK? Do you need some help?”

I realized the voice was meant for me.

Wriggling myself up to a seating position, face groggy, perhaps donning an expression of confusion, I said, “Yes, I’m fine. Thank you.”

“What’s wrong?” he asked, still not convinced.

“I’m American,” I said.


“Oh, my God! I’m so sorry about your news today!” He stood over me, dripping with empathy. “Wait just a minute.”

He dug his feet into the soft sand, pushing it behind him as he ran off toward the boardwalk.


Soon he returned with 2 pieces of fruit and a box of tissues.

“Here. Take this,” he said, offering them down to me. “It’s not much, but maybe it will make you feel better.”

Spontaneous human connection.

All is life.

All is life.

Hearts beat.

Life continues moving.

Life on earth.

The earth.

The human habitat.

A wispy cloud passed over Crescent Moon.


Photo credits





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