My Roots They Call Home

Malak Wazne



In America, the media considers people like me "too Arab" to be American, and in Lebanon I am "too American" to be considered Arab. Many people cannot fathom the balance of both cultures alive in one being; yet here I am, alive, whole, and living seemingly two identities that I have balanced into myself.

After three weeks in Lebanon, I spent the 12 hour plane ride back to America thinking about how ’home’ can be a confusing place to find sometimes; especially when people try to tell us where it is, and when our roots say one thing, but our birthplace says another.

For me, home has become all the places I find beauty and love. And there are too many places I have found those things to call any one place home. Maybe that place is me.

{{ readMoreButton }}

  • Child Of Lebanon |

    A child stands in the trunk of a moving truck.

  • Feathers |

    This building in Beirut is the one my mother was born (yes born) and raised in. She lived on the highest floor. Here’s a little poem I wrote about an experience she had here:

    Feathers; a symbol of freedom.

    I asked my mama
    of the things she used to dream about.
    She told me
    She had no room to dream,
    let alone one to sleep in.

    When the feather missed my sito’s head
    and went through the gallon of water
    it was realized that the very foundation of life
    was to be fought for.

    Time was spent patching the holes,
    in the walls of a place called home-
    Still lies fragments of the feather
    that shredded sito’s face.

    They only knew the sun was out
    when the rays shown through the smoke-
    that choked even those who prepared
    by smoldering hookah every night.

    Who thought that feathers can shred the skin
    of the innocent.
    That time can be stalled
    And that smoke can choke-
    even those who prepared for it
    are still trying to breathe in the sun.

  • A Way Of Life |

    A closer look into the individual way of life of a much larger seemingly chaotic view of Beirut.

  • Beirut |

    This view was my first of Lebanon in ten years. I took just this one photo, and as tears began rolling down my face, I put my camera down. For the first time ever, I felt the need to selfishly take in a moment instead of photographing it.

  • Somewhere Over The World |

    This photo was taken on an airplane, on my way to Lebanon for the first time in ten years.

  • King Of Toron |

    In this photo is Mohamad Kbar, 8, a cousin of mine that I met for the first time. Him and I went on a little adventure to the Castle Of Toron in Tebnine, Lebanon.

  • Moving Shadows |

    I took this photo leaning outside of a car window while driving through Beirut during sunset.

  • Single Standing Tree |

    A single tree stands alone in the streets of Beirut, Lebanon.

  • Beneath The Clouds |

    This photo was taken on an airplane, on my way to Lebanon for the first time in ten years.