sarah goes to lebanon
text by maya ghannoum and drawings by lena merhej

This is me. My name is Sara. My room looks very messy now because I’m travelling to Lebanon tomorrow with my family. Lebanon is the place where I was born. We go there every summer.
I have many relatives in Lebanon and they all come and see us when we go there.
My relatives are weird. They kiss me 3 times every time they see me. I don’t like that because my cheeks get wet and dirty. YUCK! But what I really don’t like is when they call me Sarsour, which in English means cockroach.
This is my cousin Sari. He is 5 like me. I call him Meetee. We play together every day. He is a lot of fun. Meetee is my best friend.
This is our aunt Iman. She lets Meetee and I hang out with her on Sundays when she doesn’t have work.
First, we walk on the Corneesh very early in the morning.
Then she takes us to this beach called Bamboo Bay. Meetee and I look like we have white paint on us because Auntie Iman always puts lots of suntan lotion on us so that we don’t get burned by the sun.
Finally she takes us to Bliss House for some ice cream. That’s always my favorite part.
My very favorite thing to eat in Lebanon is Ras Al Abed. They look like little chocolate mountains and have yummy white stuff inside.
Once I ate 12 Ras Al Abeds. My tummy hurt so much that my Mommy had to take me to the doctor.
This is Teta’s (my Grandma) house. Meetee and I hang out here all the time.
She has a drawer full of licorice drops and caramel candy.
But she keeps it locked and hangs the key around her neck so that we don’t eat everything.
She has a mean neighbor called Abu Saleh. Once Meetee and I knocked on his door and hid.
But he found out and told on us, so we painted his cat’s tail red!
This is our house in New York. We came back this morning. I’m happy to be back. But I miss Meetee and eating Ras Al Abed.

the end.