Khw'ajah Najeeb'...a poem
James Thomas Karam
I Khw'ajah Najeeb
A Lebanese Maronite Christian
As my father, grandfather and great grandfathers
And many generations before me had followed
I was born of Lebanese parents
In the City of Peabody, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
In the month of October 1939
This was by destiny of God the great
That I should be born Lebanese
United by love, without understanding
I Khw'ajah Najeeb
Had trice my feet in the soil
Of my ancestors' homeland and
I salted the soil with my own tears of joy
I roamed untired from morn to eve
Filling my eyes of the land of
"Milk and Honey" the joy of all the earth
I walked where my father had walked
So many years ago
I felt as if I was walking in his shoes...
Sleeping in the same air he breathe
Eating his food...seeing with his eyes and
Doing things as he must have done in his youth
How I longed to have walked
With him in the mountains and valleys
Feeling the ancient winds upon my face
And listening to him tell his tales of his youth
Oh beloved, I sing the praises of my father's birthplace
And long to have seen his home intact with the grandparents
Yet only the foundation remained
I love my father's village
With its mountains, rivers and valleys
With the same love as of my own country
Yet, Lebanon is my blood by inheritance
Returning back feels like a Prince entering his Kingdom
The Lebanese saluting me with a
Hello, "Khw'ajah Najeeb Karam"
Yet, I am no stranger on this Lebanese soil
Or in this age. I know that I am part of it
My love is broad and deep and always in Lebanon.
Oh, Lebanon, your memory is part of me...Where ever I may go
I am proud to be Lebanese...
For I trice stood along with my inner thoughts
On the summit of all that is fascinating and beautiful
In the village of "Seer el Dunneyee", North Lebanon....
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