Saturday, January 21, 2012


TODAY our family dined at one of Dubai's many famous Saturday Buffets. 

For. three. hours.

How is this possible you ask?

With video games, art tables filled with supplies, Tom & Jerry cartoons
and bouncy houses

time disappeared before our very eyes.

Completely carefree

and indulgent.

But now the frivolity has dissipated as my heart feels heavy and my eyes are brimming with tears.

Because TONIGHT i spoke with Fersa the young dark haired chef that greets us every morning with a smile.  In the morning while he checks on the buffet food, he always seems so cheerful and genuinely happy to see us as he inquires how we are.  Breakfast time is busy and there is little opportunity to get to know the man under the towering chef hat.  But tonight the restaurant is quiet and empty.   Two indulgent waiters slip my Littles hot chocolate and candy which busies them while i listen to Fersa.  He tells me about chef training in Syria, working with a famous American chef and his dream of opening his own restaurant someday.  i notice for the first time the silver ring on his left hand and i ask if he is married.  He has a wife in Syria and a daughter that will be one in 5 days.  When i ask for a picture he waists no time pulling out his phone to shows me Bana, a beautiful baby with large brown eyes and the most kissable chubby cheeks. "You must Skype them often?" i ask.
"Oh everyday, for i am scared for them.  All of Syria is very dangerous right now.  They have little electricity and they cannot leave the house at night it is too dangerous.  They stay with my parents."  It is the first time i see his face darken as his eyes become rimmed with red.  i ask him when he gets to see them again, as all staff are provided trips home.  He says he is afraid to go home for fear they will accuse him at the airport for being on the wrong of the political argument and become jailed.  


Political turmoil has been around since the beginning of time.  Daily news testifies to this.  i confess that while living in the states i glossed over the token half page that spoke of war in far away places.  Today i read the headlines intently and pray for real people who are striving to simply survive. 

A lesson in gratitude was granted to us today.
As citizens of the United States, can we truly appreciate our freedoms when we have never been robbed of them?   

I have no pictures to post of Fersa and his family but the cell phone screen of his daughter is the one picture from today that has etched itself in my mind.  Tonight as i tucked my kids in bed we prayed for the safety of little Bana & her mommy, for Fersa working to provide for his family from so far away and for the many reasons we have to be thankful. 


Anonymous said...

Your heart and spirit comes through your comments. You God given love, and soft, gently voice, becomes a calming sound on assurance to those around you, just like it does for your own children. God is using you already, and will continue to use you, even as the kids start a new venture in school today. Our love and prayers go with you all this coming week. Love Ompa

rentz said...

Beautiful post, Tami. True and convicting.

Noelle said...

..........Thank you for sharing this story, Tami. Important for so many reasons. One of them being, that I can pray for them. We all can. Humbled and not much more to say tonight. Love you xoxo

bernadine barnes said...

i will be praying for them as well! thank you for sharing! <3

Betty said...

And I'm another one, halfway around the world, praying for them, too...and praying for you that God will use you in ministering to Fersa during this difficult time in his life.

e & k jung said...

Tami, this is lyndsay schenk's sister Kara. I am loving reading about your adventure! Your pictures are amazing as well as your writing. I am going to look u up on Facebook And send u my friend leeana's information. She is in Bahrain with her family and I know she would love to have another friend on her side of the world:) thanks for sharing your story!