Twelve and a Half Years Later . . .

I remember the first time we came down from Al-Khor to see this house. It was very big compared to where we lived. The kitchen looked like a volleyball pit, and the saloon looked like we could have a soccer game in it. The yard was huge! I mean, we could dig up pools on all the sides. We all fell in love with this 6 bedroom house. March 2002, we packed our stuff and drove down to Doha, to start our new life in this wonderful house. I had just turned 9 three months before.

It is the end of August 2014, and we have been packing the house up for the past month to move somewhere new. After twelve and a half years the land owner tells us we have to move out because they want to demolish all the houses and build seven floor buildings instead.

I have a mix of emotions about this move. I am happy, and excited that we are going somewhere new. We all need the change, I guess. Our neighborhood is getting too crowded because it is being filled with buildings and so many people moving in, yet the streets are still small and tight.

I personally want to leave the whole area because stepping out on my street just brings back memories I want to forget. Driving by the little store at the end of the street drowns me with thoughts of people I need to let go of. So, with all that in mind, I am looking forward to this move.

However, twelve and a half years in a house was most of my life. This was my home away from my native country. Now, I have to learn to let these walls go.

Packing has been a pain. Can you imagine all the stuff a family of six can collect in twelve and a half years and completely forget about? I found things I never even remember having. In our storage rooms I found dozens of books, and teddy bears; an old Christmas tree and decorations; Lots of drawings, diaries, and framed photos that have completely slipped my mind. I found board games from elementary school and books of collector’s stamps that belonged to an uncle of mine and even graduation garments that belong to me and my siblings. I found old Halloween costumes and tapes from the ’90s, also a few instruments. I found a heater… God only knows why we even have a heater when we live in Qatar.

Now with only four people left in this house, and only two packing (three counting our housekeepers help), you can visualize the struggle. If working from 8am until 5pm wasn’t tiring enough, having to spend the rest of the night cleaning, putting boxes together, and organizing has been draining me.

Here I am now, three months before I turn 22 and I am going to call a new house, home. If I was moving countries that would be a lot better, but having to move and stay in Qatar… well, this is going to take a while to get use to.

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