From the bistro opposite to you, on your very right side, the Julieta & Abu Samra seed of love rolls towards your garden, Romanian Atheneum!

I, the outcome, the fusion of their love roll towards you.  As soon as my ears hear my all time favorite Mrs. Angela Gheorghiu’ s voice singing the first Do, Re, Mi’s of love in the concert hall, I climb the musical notes, one by one, till I have reached the dome of the Atheneum to have a 360-degree view of my beloved Romania. For the Romanian Atheneum is the symbolic edifice of our national culture, our nation’s both architectural and spiritual landmark, not just that of its capital city, Bucharest.

And it is on top of this national treasure, that I choose to sit between Virgilius and Michelangelo to beam at the greenish and beautiful landscape which is to unfold to my eyes, years later. Moreover, I climb up Brâncuși’s Column of Infinite in the city of Târgu Jiu for I simply adore the sense of infinite love and freedom it conveys.  I close my eyes and dream of the “so-called” prince charming in the Huniazilor Castle  wondering what the color of his eyes will be as I gaze at the Blue Lake.

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Will “my love” be as deep as my parents’ seed of love? I jump towards the other side of the dome and I sit next to Raphael to have a better perspective of my beloved Romania. My eyes scrutinize all around till they have had a complete hold of this outstanding beautiful scenery …

All this beauty inhaled, I proceed to play with the writers on the dome: Shakespeare, Corneille, Moliere ... Bethoveen plays his Ode of joy and the musical notes fill my heart with warmth.

The sun illuminates Atheneum’s columns and I slide with its rays back in time to the very moment I moved to Romania with my family from Damascus, for good. I was 9 years old. And God knows moving to Bucharest hasn’t been the easiest experience for me. As a starter, I had to learn how to write românește from left to right. It was in the 3rd term of the 4th grade that I had to come to terms with this Latin language, my 2nd mother tongue at that time and my first active mother tongue, at present.

The homeroom teacher of the class – diriginta would not allow me to paint together with my colleagues, as the painting lesson had started until I had properly written the text I was asked to. I had to meet the specifics of the Romanian language while copying the text. I would not see the paragraphs … I could not leave the requested spaces. What an adventure!

Atheneum, I always return to you for you are “the heart of the Romanian culture” and so does Romania, she lies at the very core and basis of my education.

Today I speak 5 languages besides Arabic, thanks to You.  I have indulged in this ocean of foreign languages, of cultures and civilizations, in the territories of the geniuses and personalities mentioned on your dome,  my dearest,  thanks to the Romanian school, thanks to the University of Bucharest.

Not only do you lie at the very heart of Bucharest, but also the major cultural and entertainment events take place here, in the circle around you, in the Festival Square. The month of September is unique in its beauty with the utmost delightful and exquisite food for the soul it offers us via the annual George Enescu music festival. It is the end of May 2017 and most of the tickets are sold out by now. For having a concert at the Romanian Atheneum equals with being present on the scene of Teatro Alla Scala di Milano.

Irrespective of the angle you are being looked at, you are the core, of our city capital, of our culture.

And I do know that I shall always return to the very core of my essence, my source, to the seed of love marking the commencement of the love story between Julieta and Abu Samra in the bistro opposite to you, on your very right side, dear Romanian Atheneum.


Inima lor a început să bată aici …

Uite chiar lângă tine s-au văzut,
Aici în bistro-ul de lângă Ateneu s-au cunoscut,
Și de atunci multe culmi împreună au străbătut,
Inimile lor multe simțăminte au pătruns,
Și totuși, eu nu aici m-am născut
M-a născut pe un pâmânt sfințit,
Ș-apoi m-au adus aici de la Răsărit,
Aici din inima-ți învățat-am românește,
Și acum că știu cum se vorbește,
Ai grijă de mă ocrotește
Cu a ta cultură m-ai îmbiat,
Și uite așa 5 limbi străine am învățat,
Frumoasă-mi țară am colindat,
Și cu ale noastre m-am tot lăudat
Priveliștile tale minunate m-au îmbrățișat,
Creștetul de ale tale coloane mi-am rezemat,
A ta frumoasă grădină am admirat
Porumbeii tăi m-au ascultat,
La festivalu-ți bilete am procurat,
Și numai inima-mi știe cât am răbdat
La concertul umanitar te-am vizitat,
Și pe unica Angela Gheorghiu am ascultat
Iar pe tine uite așa strâns te-am îmbrățișat,
Un singur lucru mai am a-ți spune,
Totul a început aici... 

 E … acasă!