Friendships, Learning, and Loving [GUEST POST]

Halloween has come, and gone. I couldn’t help but wonder, with all the funky costumes of mystical creatures believed to have super powers, what my ultimate superpower would be. I put much thought to it, as I am huge on imagination and things unknown.
I looked at the different possiblities I had. From flame throwing to turning things into ice, the possibilities were unlimited.  However, I sat back and thought... if I could gain any supernatural power, it would have to be the ability to be invisible. Yes invisibility, not because I could do a lot of things where nobody can see me, but because I can sit back without being detected and truly know the people around me and what  really goes on behind the “curtains” of frienships. It’s not so much because I care about what others think about me, as I find myself to be very confident and people’s opinions don’t affect me, but still... it is good to know.
Throughout my life, I have come across many people. Most of them have affected me in their own way, but I recently came to the relization that many of them have had a negative affect on me.  It’s really quite funny, I realized, a bit too late may I add, that friendships aren’t what they always seem to be, nor are they bound by a rope that makes the two individuals be completely “mukhliseen” to eachother forever. Things change, and by human nature, we are expected to cope with them.
I had a group of friends, whom I had thought would never hurt me or turn against me. Like most people, I gave the friendships my all, from financial help to emotional support... I was always there. You needed it, I had it. But times changed, and I slowly realized I was just someone that made all things accesible to people who “needed” it, but when I needed something (which was usually just someone to talk to) I found that I stood alone. It hurt me, but not as much as it angered me. I gave friendships my all, and to some degree I guess I expected it back. I never got it back.
Time passed, and my friendships changed. I began to search for people who searched for the same things I searched for. I looked for people who shared the same values, and had ambitions and dreams. Most importantly, I looked for people who I can relate to, both in my life, and in personality of course.  I found them, usually, in people I least expected it. For example, during my days I have met many Lebanese people who I treated like family, like my blood. I did not get the same treatment back. Being in, what we Lebanese call ,“The Ghorbeh”, I stuck to the Lebanese population. I had the mentality, that if we are outside of our country together, we should stick each other. But soon enough I learned that wasnt the case. I ventured out of my Lebanese bubble, and became good friends with someone. Through time, I found that this individual knew a lot about the Middle East, about Arab culture, and through conversation much about the “Arab-Israeli” issue. I was curious... so one day he told me that he was a Jew. A Hungarian Jew to be exact. But it struck me, this man who our country sees as an “enemy” treated me with more respect than those of my own kind...and through him I learned what friendship was supposed to be... unconditional, true, and sincere. 

It is quite funny, our country demonizes his people, his culture, and their existence,yet through him I realized that a friendship isn’t about what you can gain, instead it is about what you can give... something my fellow Lebanese here did not understand. The most intriguing part of all of this, I was reminded  of the people I left behind in Lebanon, the dear friends that were there through everything, and for everything. The ones who knew I was sad or hurt through a simple sigh, the same ones that knew my day was great by the gestures of my hand. It was awesome.  I am now more aware of what a friendship is, what makes a friendship, and what ingredients go into a healthy and strong friendship. From my experiences I realized that God gives and takes. He gave me “friends” that I thought were true, took them from me, and gave me a lesson about life. A lesson about friendships. Imagine one that was born as my “enemy” was actually the one that displayed the beauty of a friendship.
It taught me that, no matter who the person is, what they believe in, or who represents them, they can not be judged by the mere color of their skin, where they go to pray, or how they dress... I mean if that wasn’t the lesson God wanted me to learn, he wouldn’t have showed me the betrayal in my own kind, and the honesty of someone completely opposite of me. Right?

Friendship is beautiful, it is pure, it is support, unconditional, honest, and remarkable on so many levels. It’s based on the person, and not a group. It is based on things that tie two individuals together, and on things you agree or even disagree on. Look around you, and think about it... are the friendships you have so unconditional as the one I was shown? Many will say no. Many might even say yes.  I don’t know. But what I do know is that through my invisibility, I sat back, listened in, and understood life and friendships. And guess what? It was worth it.  I am now surrounded by the most remarkable people, I know how to differentiate between a friendship and a “masla7a”, and I can expect to get what I give (not that you necessarily need anything in return).
So this is to true friendships, to true people, and to being invisible. Don’t be scared to find the goodness in people you least expect it, don’t be scared to admit you need something real, something true, and something beautiful. May everyone reading this realize what friendship is, and take precious care of it. It truly is valuable.

By Ali Seifeddine
Ever since I got to meet him through Twitter, Ali has been such an inspiration, a bundle of wisdom and a great friend. I'd like to thank him so much for taking the time to write something so beautiful and true and for sharing it via my blog.
A person worth following and reading on a regular basis, I'm sure you'll learn something new with every one of his posts:
Follow him on Twitter: @BloggerSeif


Mich said...

Super post by one (Ali) and hosted by the other (Gabe)... two super people I call friends! :-))

jennifer said...

this post is so true:) u get amazed by the people u don't expect them to care that they actually care more than the friends u sometimes call close..... i can say i am blessed with a small group of friends that i can really count on
friendship is tricky but rewarding
love the posts (L)

I Emilie :) said...

Hey Ali,
very good post, very personal wich make it glorious in a way. I've always considered my broken relashionships (any) as lessons @ some price and kept going on... without those failures you would never look harder to get something better u deserve... some people call it: sorna nifham ;)
Take care

Elena Kassab said...

Wow, Franky : ) Thank you for sharing something so personal that we can probably all relate to. I learned the hard way to step away from people who called themselves my friends but who were, in fact, mooching off me, my wallet and my emotions.
I also learned that friendship can be found in the strangest places and with people you would usually avoid, just like you said.

Thanks again for this awesome post! ^^

Ali said...

I am glad you guys enjoyed the post!! Thanks for the kind words, and the awesome chance to write on this blog! <3

Danielle said...

This was absolutely beautiful. Made me think of when I went back to Miami, only to realize that in 10 months, I had grown far apart from the people I thought would be in my life forever. They had been my friends for ten years, since high school..they knew everything about me..the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

We fought, and none of us really cared to reconcile it. I cried, sobbed actually, for one night..but then realized that it was time to let them go. It's funny, I feel closer to some of the people I have met here (who I've only known for a few months, and some who I've never met in person at all) than those that I've known for years.

That's just it..sometimes the best friendships sneak up on you, when you least expect it, just like many other things in life, like romantic relationships. Beautiful post!

I can't wait to meet you Ali!

A Bare Truth said...

Religion, beliefs, nationality, ethnicity,etc. are obsolete characteristics. True friends is having someone who shares ur laughs n tears. friendship is about valuing an individual for himself not a sense of belonging or being part of a mold. I had more foreign friends than arabs while living in europe. I am glad it happened, it helped me become the person i was. I was always open to everybody. The friends that remained in leb but came to visit. I discovered that those same friends i spent weeks with them exclusively did not treat me the way i did. Few remained, the real ones and i met new ones since moving to leb. These new friends have been wonderful thru the good times and mostly the bad times. They accepted my endless nagging, my depression, my tears..I know that i am giving back equally an hopefully will do more. I am glad I put all the neg behind me and now i can become a better friend to my friends in leb and abroad.
I also learned never to take sides, to treat each friendship for itself despite being part of a group