In episode 13 of Mn Huna: Finding Refuge in Friendship, it’s Melanie’s turn to take you to Small Syria. To sit by the pool with a group of Syrian women, drinking tea and chatting as their kids jump in and out of the pool.
In Small Syria, kids ride bikes and race around, laughing and hollering. Women pop over for a quick visit, send each other a little extra food via child messenger. Men sit on the benches around the barbecue smoking and chatting, waving passers-by over for a bit of tea or coffee.
Melanie’s neighborhood is quiet. An occasional dog walker or javelina. Cars. A few neighbors she knows by name, but no one she would ask for a cup of sugar.
When Melanie visits Small Syria, she steps into a different culture. But when she enters Houda’s apartment, she steps into a second home. Both are true—the distances between cultures that both families are figuring out and the depth of affection that transcends language and experiences.
Melanie/ميلاني: From here, we are finding new family.