I've been searching for a word that describes my current experience. An arab who has left his home (unwillingly) and now finds himself alienated in Europe. I can't find a single word in English that covers all these layers at once, but I've realized there is one in Arabic: غربة.
I've been thinking a lot about this word. My current experience is not comparable to exile or refuge, but also more severe and dislocating than is implied with the term emigre. غربة feels situated between these two poles.
This word غربة doesn't just have no English corollary, but I'm beginning to realize that the experience itself doesn't exist here in Europe (particularly by white europeans). Idk if I should call this part of my feelings of culture clash or what, but it furthers my alienation.
I've analysed this lingustic and culture disconnect through the word itself. غريب means weird. غرب means the West. Not only does this term describe my experience, it connects me to a longer history of arab migration, which has historically tended to be westerwards/northwards.
I obviously don't want to summon any exclusivity, or say my struggle is super unique. The opposite. I think seeing myself nd my situation as connected to larger tendencies of migration (historically and currently) is actually really powerful nd helps me connect with others.
I am obviously not alone. I am part of what is now being called the Third Wave of migration from Lebanon. So many of us are leaving, so many want to ... I really feel like we're going to have to overcome these stupid binaries of local/diaspora.
What upsets me so much, and confirms to me that غربة is a word to hold close, is that friends back home describe the same feelings of alienation, minus the actual leaving. This is so painful to me. Not just the economy, but the society, people, everything is become so ugly.
I just through out a lot of thoughts I've been thinking about a lot lately. I'm glad I wrote them out. I havn't been writing a lot lately. I've internalized too much bad shit. Coping mechanisms can become toxic. But I'd love to hear if anyone is thinking similarly.
I know y'all are, but I meant it more as an invite to talk <3 <3

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