The movements of Summer

It’s summer. Impatiently searching for the cool wind, like a child searching for its mother. Cotton made of cotton clothes replace heavy clothes made of wool.

In the back alleys of Athens, you move faster to find shade and stand for a few moments to catch your breath and feel a cool breeze. This type of breeze is one of the best ones.

Trees and plants are resting in this season like us, humans. They have shed their loads and are enjoying the sun. Ice cream sellers give their smiles, they offer coolness wanting to reduce the heat and make you happier. Children tell their parents every day to take them to the sea, to play in the water. Others play with the water, getting wet with a hose and sprinkle water on each other in their yards.

But for migrants, summer means moving close to borders and crossing them. They also travel in the summer, but the difference is that it is unknown when their journey will end. Like storks and other migratory birds, they pass through cities and countries in search of peace. Maybe migrants do understand better migratory birds and how difficult migration is than anyone else? This is summer in Athens, Greece.

Summer is different in every city and country. As for the summer in my country, I do not like to say “my country”, “your country” and “their country”. Maybe that is because I did not grow up there. Μaybe this feeling is a little bit unfamiliar to you, but not for me and many others who have not been to our country. This strange feeling sometimes bothers us, sometimes makes us happy, sometimes the fact that we experience this every day confuses us.

I was curious about Afghanistan. Νot only because it is my birthplace, but because it is a country where people have been dying in the streets every day for more than 50 years for no reason, but it is still called a safe country.

Its summers are colder than the winters in Antarctica, not in terms of weather, but in terms of people’s behavior and social life. During these past years, the country has been suffering from severe drought and in the summer, it gets even worse in some areas.

In Kabul city, vendors who sell beets and soups in the winter replace them with ice cream, cold fruit juices and lemon water in the summer. These vendors wipe their sweat every few seconds, their throats are dry and they are wearing long, loose clothes, which are called Perahan wa Tunban, but they are not even allowed to touch their ice creams or drink fruit juices. Taxi drives in Kabul, are not like in Greece, where taxis are yellow and have the word “TAXI” written on the top. There, anyone who has a car or a tricycle can be a taxi driver. Sometimes they even do it with a motorbike and they have filled the crowded streets.

In Afghanistan, during the summer it is sο hot, that sometimes the temperature reaches over 40 degrees. Women wear long bright blue and green scarves, called “burqa”, because they are afraid that other men might see their faces, and they cannot remove them to breathe fresh air in. It is hard for them, but men of this country do not think that way.

Maybe one day will come when summer will have some unpredicted rain as it happens in Greece sometimes. People will stick their heads out of their windows, with flowers and plants hanging from them, and greet each other. Women who do not prefer to cover their faces will laugh freely or when they feel warm, pull their scarves off their faces without fear and breath fresh air.

In my mind, summer might be a bit sad now, but this will change.

Mahbube Ebrahimi