Wednesday, December 12,  2018


The Smell Of Mothballs

By Farid Antoun


Back in the day, my mother – God bless her soul – used to place mothballs in our winter clothing to keep the moths from eating our wool clothing. Then, when the winter would suddenly strike one morning, we would pull out the winter clothes from the cellar before going to school – and my God would they reek - but we would still wear them since we were cold. (I forgot to tell our younger generation that back then school began at 7 a.m. and ended at 3 p.m., yes, I swear.) On this sudden winter day, which arrived on November 17 at 6 a.m., we would enter the classroom and it would be reeking of naphthalene. We had a fragile teacher who would lose consciousness for a few minutes as a result of the smell. Of course, we were strangers to the winter because we were just coming out of the long summer season. 


The same thing is happening now: We are strangers to revolutions after decades of submission, during which we stored our revolutionary willpower and national vision (in the cellar with mothballs).


As a result, when we had our revolution, our revolution reeked of naphthalene and now it requires some air and some time before it can be fit for national use. The important thing is that the moths did not eat up the revolution and this is the reason I’m optimistic and I would like to tell the people who are tired of the smell of national naphthalene - tolerate it a little bit longer. Otherwise, you will suffer from the devastating cold.