One photomarathon ago, there was a newspaper.

One of the themes for this six-hour photography marathon I attended yesterday was wal’at, which in English translates to “on fire.” My cousin and I strolled around the city more times than we thought to count in search of anything to photograph that fit this theme and the other five.
I don’t know when or how, but as we walked along, I turned to my cousin and said, “I know. I can find a newspaper and photograph the exchange rates. They have been indeed “on fire” lately.”
After walking some more, we stopped near a little shop that had only two AlQuds newspapers left.
I grabbed one of them, took a blurry picture as it would turn out, and went on searching for the remainding themes.

Later that night, I grabbed the newspaper and flipped to the obituaries section, the second and third to last pages. I looked at the pictures, read some names, and then turned the newspaper to the last page.

And that’s when I realized I haven’t opened a newspaper since sometime in September, the last time my grandfather was to ever bring a newspaper to his home. I didn’t even see the newspaper in which an obituary for him was written.

My grandfather used to go home after the Dhuhr prayer with a newspaper in hand. Later in the afternoon, my family and I would go and find the pages scattered on the coffee table, each person reading section and discussing it out loud. My favorite was the last page – the one with the odd – sometimes funny or creepy or sad but always odd- news from different parts of the world. I haven’t read that kind of news since September, and last night was when I realized this. Since my grandfather passed away, I haven’t seen a newspaper scattered on the coffee table in my grandparents’ house.

It’s odd how sometimes the smallest acts we do aren’t done anymore when someone we know has passed because that someone directly or indirectly triggered the action. It’s odd, indeed.

May all our beloved rest in peace, and may we always remember the small acts we did when they were around.


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