Bayt and Belonging

I recently been having interesting conversations recently about the idea of Home for the second generation in the Gulf. We carry passports inherited from our parents and a place we grew up to knowing as home. The place however depends on us holding particular jobs linked to visas and thus makes the home experience complicated.

For the people who grew up in the gulf, we need to develop our own Language to express belonging to this region. Home is a place for me in my past, a memory where it felt/feels at peace. The taste of the Shwarma at Istanboly at Al Khuwair in Muscat or the meal at Oman Express at Ruwi, or the stroll down Mutrah Souk.

We then decouple the sense of home or Bayt with the everyday realities of visas, residence permits and the architecture of biometrics and bureaucratic banalities.

I have conceptualised emotions as a mode of belonging. A scroll through the Instagram pages of friends in Oman or even Singapore brings joy and tears in the same breath. The notion of home is not contingent on the political economy of our times, but where we truly wish to belong.


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