To my Egyptian Brother.

Old winds are blowing…

I am Israeli.  I am Jewish. I am from these hills. My grandfathers worked the terraced fields. My grandmothers brought water from the springs. My uncles fought the Romans – the same Romans who took your Egypt – and lost. And my family was sentenced for exile. For years we travelled, until we came back home and here I met you again – after all that time.

Do you remember how we grew up together at the dawn of days? We had our share of argument, but all brothers do. All neighbors do. And now, I came back carrying gifts of peace. I came back to live among the brothers I used to know, the brothers who used to know me. All I wanted – all I still want, is to spend my life in peace, to rebuild my home on the hills of my fathers, to sit at my place as it should have been.

But I found no peace. My brothers forgot me while I was away, and I forgot them. And now, after wars and after peace bad winds are blowing again, winds that we knew before, with the sounds of sirens – the horns of war. I do not wish to fight, my Egyptian brother. I do not wish to fight you, for war is nobody’s friend. My hand is still reached out, my heart is still open – it is not too late to make this place flourish again.

Will you take this hand, brother? I know that not everyone rushes to the battlefield; I know that many gaze from the windows with pain when they hear those songs of war. Will you listen? Do you have time to stop?

Those songs, they are getting stronger. Brother, they are getting louder. Please know that I have no hatred in me. Please know that I want to visit your home, to walk the streets of Cairo, to ride through the endless desert, to stand in the shadow of pyramids. Please know that I want you to come here and for us to walk the Galilee and the hills of Judea, where my family was born.

I do not wish those winds to blow and yet they do. Stronger and stronger and we can almost see the storm on the horizon. Please know – I never wished it.

If you had only remembered me, my long lost brother, the storms would’ve spared us both.

Salam.

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