It means we have conversations of what we can do to create the future
Entitlement is a conversation about what others can or need to do to create the future for us

The book you see is written by Zina and Liza. Zina would not be a former Syrian refugee turned culinary entrepreneur and cookbook author if not for Liza. Liza invited Zina and five other Syrian refugees into her home for a New Year's Dinner party, which eventually led Zina to launch a catering business: Zina's Kitchen.

I don't know who asked who: What can we create together? I do know their story offers (me) the chance to see the whole before the fragments.

(Lines by Peter Block)



The opposite of belonging is to feel isolated
and always (all ways) on the margin
an outsider

It was in Egypt, the weeks that marked the change of a millennium. I belonged to a travelling band of family members, strangers and bedouins. The desert-dwellers were our guides in a boundless sea of sand. Boundless, yet their space. They walked their camels with a sense of belonging and accountability. We, trained in isolating ourselves from community, rather than owning it, could temporarily be part of their sense of safety.

What we overcame in Egypt, albeit in the time-bound setting of an organised trip, is fragmentation.

(Lines by Peter Block)


In buona compagnia

"Convivial," he said of the Sicilians, "When Sicilians sit down for a meal, it's uncomplicated. Not too loud, nor weighed down by etiquette. The delight they take in eating together is contagious."

I looked at the bottle of Birra Moretti on the table. The sticker on its bottleneck said: BIRRA MORETTI consumare preferibilmente in buona compagnia. [Please enjoy in good company.]

Back home at the airport, the supermarket's take-away isle is practically sold out. At times, I take pride in the availability  of these affordable, reasonably healthy one-person meals. Today, I exit the isle empty-handed.

Buona compagnia is not for sale.