I had always seen her there, sleeping in a corner on Hamra’s Bliss Street, in the cold, while people enjoyed a warm chocolate Crêpe from Tonino’s.
Some of the young AUB students generously offered her money, or a jacket, to which she replied with a mixed Lebanese and American accent: “Thank You”.
One day, I decided to sit next to her and ask about her story; I had no clue I was in for a surprising conversation.
“My name is Myriam, Dr Myriam Jones, and I come from Washington in the USA.”
“I used to own a Hospital in the USA before life forced me to leave on a Boeing.”
I asked her more about her life and what got her into her present situation, to which she answered:
“I was always positive but everything around me was so negative; the people, the buildings…everything was negative…negative…negative.”
She paused to light a cigarette then continued:
“We have to do something, before these negative waves resurge from under ground and cover all Lebanon. We have to do something.”
I sat there in silence, I had no idea what to make of all this or what to reply.
Before leaving, I asked her if she needed anything, she smiled and said:
“My twin brother is also an American Doctor, he is coming to pick me up soon. I’ll wait for him here.”
We may never know what is behind Myriam’s mysterious tale. Is it a true story of a person’s life shattered by people and circumstances? Is it just a psychological disorder? A wild imagination?
In all cases, it is definitely a reminder that everyone around us has a story to tell.
A reminder that homeless people sometimes need more than money, shelter, or a harsh “go find a job!” which they hear daily in a world where even highly educated graduates remain unemployed.
Sometimes, they just need us to sit next to them and listen to their story.
Myriam’s story was a simple call for us to live a positive life…and let live.
Photo 2 credit Relaunched Blog
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