I Hope the World Goes Better With You Than With Us

Dahna Abourahme


Beirut, 2016. I have not taken the traditional path of marriage and children. In my 40’s I want to adopt and start a family of my own. Nicaragua, 1931. My great aunt Hilweh, is enamored by a Nicaraguan revolutionary. She leaves her husband who she was forced to marry and returns to Palestine with her young son. Inspired by my great aunt’s unconventional path I write a call searching for unusual border crossing love stories in 20th century Palestine on the brink of division and dispossession. Nasri writes me of his grandmother, Margret Dyce-Sharp, a young British nurse who comes to Palestine in 1919 and falls in love with a pioneer doctor of Palestine, Jamil Taqtaq who is politically anti-British. Kholoud writes me of the folkloric love songs written to Jafra, which she grew up with in Burj Al Barajneh refugee camp in Beirut, and that are still sung today in weddings in the diaspora. A hopeless romantic and harborer of the stories of the camp residents, she offers to help me search for the origins of the love story which took place in her mother’s village in 1930s Palestine.