Give us a chance

In the Danish/Arabic blogging-project ‘Blog-On!’ the participants every week get a common theme that we can choose to write about if we feel inspired. Last weeks theme was “A special song”. This is my post on the subject:


When I was little, the civil war was raging in Beirut and when things became really bad my mother would take my brothers and me to Denmark, where we would stay until things had calmed down.

One of those times we flew via Athens and were sitting in the airport with lots of other Lebanese refugees. I was three or four years old and began singing the song “A3tuna tufule/Give os a chance”. It’s was well-known in all of the Middle East and was sung by a little girl. There’s a verse in Arabic, French and English and it’s about a child’s wish for the war to end.

So I began singing and all of a sudden two older ladies sitting close to us began crying loudly, when they heard the song. I don’t remember the exact situation, but I’ve been told the story several times. Unfortunately I don’t have many memories of my childhood in Lebanon. But I remember sounds, smells and tastes. And for some reason I’ve always remembered this song:


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4 Responses to Give us a chance

  1. Vinh says:

    Apparently she lives in Stockholm these days …

  2. gliridae says:

    Dear Helen.
    You and your family fled Lebanon around 1980, i guess from your age. A few years earlier I was working as a danish merchant sailor on a ship aiming for Beirut. I was 18 years old at that time and looking very forward to visit the beautifull pearl of the midleeast. When we were waiting for a pilot hell broke loose and the war had begun. I am sad that i’ve never seen Beirut. Luckily you have and I read your blog with great interest. I am sure you will have a good life whether in Lebanon or in Denmark. Or where ever you decide to settle. Bon voyage! Sincerely Torben Skov

  3. Marian Larsen says:

    You can still make an old lady cry.

    • helenhajjaj says:

      Dear Marian and Torben,

      Thank you both so much for your kind words. It means a lot to me to know that not only are “strangers” following my blog, they actually like it too! As you can read from my latest post I’m having a lot of doubts about whether to continue writing, but comments like yours make me think that maybe I should.


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