By Mareena Francis
I grew up in a desert city,
nestled in a kingdom far away.
For the longest time,
Riyadh was the only home I knew,
and my family's homes were holiday spots.
The women there were cloaked in black,
and the men were loud and drove fast cars.
There was dust in the air,
and buildings that towered.
There were so many lights,
and a familiar sound 5 times a day.
I had my first word, and walk, and run, in Riyadh.
I learnt to swim
and to skate.
To ride cycles
and play oh so many board games.
We knew how to find fun
even in compressed 4 walls.
And we learnt to make friends,
in the school we all loved.
In the desert city,
that I now need a visa to enter,
a chunk of my heart still resides.
Beating along to the sounds of the salah
and dressed in my favourite abhaya.