It all came about in a rather surprising manner. After our first week of workshops, I was told to take Susan—who was heading the artists’ event—around to the spots that were discussed during that day. So I started with the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, then we ended up back in the heart of downtown.
I’ve always had a fascination with going back into my Grandfather’s old home, but I was pushed to do otherwise by many factors. Near the end of the tour for Susan I suggested two locations, and we made our way to my Grandfather’s old home as our final destination. When we arrived at the steel gates I was immediately lost to the memories playing out in my mind, and I didn’t realize that Susan was curiously peaking through the cut out door in the gate. With such simplicity she insinuated that we go in. My immediate reaction was “NO!” but my body hurriedly decided to disagree with that thought. We started to make our way into the driveway. My body shook with the intensity of nostalgia, and I slowly vocalized the past as we walked through the reality of the present state of the house.
Years after moving out, I comprehended the complexity of the structure through its history and its stories. Its present state was a stranger to me, and was I to it. When Susan and I walked out, I looked up and away from my family’s home to see how the landscape around it has given in to the "modern way." The house sits there in such modesty. The first step in began the journey of a past revisited and a present unraveling, both yearning to be understood.