When I passed her by, she stretched out her arm, as if calling me.
She reminded me my great-grandmother, an almost 100-year-old southern Italian woman, wearing a piece of black fabric around her head, her eyes almost blind, whom I used to visit when I was a kid.
Old and ill, but so sweet. In my imagination, she was blind because her eyes had seen too much: war, poverty, death. I pitied her.
However, she was full of gratitude, always smiling. That little big woman always surprised me.
This woman in Petra also gave me the impression of being someone who had much to tell. She was spinning an old handmade spindle, and she was so keen to show me how.
I checked my pockets, and didn’t have even one dinar to give her. But she shook her head and said something, quite emphatically, in Arabic.
“She doesn’t want any money.” The guide tells me. “She just wanted to show you the old way of sewing.”
I completely misunderstood this woman: she wasn't there for money. She was there to remind others of something. It is in those memories and in the chance of sharing them with the new generations, where this woman found her happiness, just like my grandmother did.+