I am forever grateful that Rahal and Habiba welcomed me into their home in the medina of Casablanca. He spoke some French. She only spoke Arabic. In spite of language barriers, we quickly became family. It was a mystery to me how they were able to feed the five children that they had from the income Rahal earned in his shoe repair shop. But, there was always room for one more mouth whenever I was at their home.
Habiba once shared that she had a dream about me. It was simple and sweet, and my fondest memory of her. She dreamed that I could speak Arabic and that we were finally able to really talk. Well, with my ability to learn another language, that was a dream that had little chance of ever coming true, but I was so pleased that she shared it.
Whenever papa came home from anywhere, each of his children kissed his hand. He never approached me for a kiss. Abdelhadi smiled at me and said, "You're not really his son because you didn't kiss his hand." Rahal laughed when that was translated. He said I'm his older son and then kissed me.
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