The pangs of exile

The pangs of exile, the longing for one’s homeland and the feeling of being in one’s proper place, of wholeness, are something that I’ve never had to experience.
I can imagine, I can almost feel inside my own chest the squeezing of the heart muscle, the sharp and paralyzing pangs of loss when one is reminded of home. Home, unreachable yet everpresent.
How cruel a world we live in where humans are forced from the lands they deeply love. For most people there will never be a glorious return. A brutal reality.
Azadeh Moaveni writes of the Iran that exists only in the minds of the exiled Iranis, a country that neither is the Iran of today nor of the past- a romantic country of kitchen smells, wise relatives and romance. How this imaginary country of the exile grows in the mind, haunting.
And then the realization that my country, where I feel at home and safe and whole, is a country where newcomers must shape life anew, navigate daily life and keep looking forward with intermittent, perhaps over time fleeting, pangs of exile.

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