By : Hatem Dhwibi  a.k.a CoOL Burn


And I found myself on a plane..

I found myself on a plane going to the United States of America, I had my tickets and my visa in my hand, how did I get a visa from Tunisia to America is a long story but not to be told because it won’t be understood as I want it to. Monday at 4 pm was my departure from Tunis-Carthage airport, my mother, my sister and her husband, two of my best male friends, three of my closest female friends, my aunt and her daughter, they all came to say goodbye, they thought that their coming will make it easy for me but that just made it harder, I could hardly held my tears because I always want to stand strong, they cried and I smiled at them, I bet that my mother was praying for a good reason to happen so it holds me back but I also know that she wants me to run after my ambitions, she was just scared and I wished I could hug her more. I couldn’t stand leaving her and I still can’t but I have to because I, like most of the Tunisians, found out that Tunisia is despair.  I had a plan of what I will be doing when I get to America but as I stepped in the plane, everything was gone, all my thoughts has disappeared, I was like a new born, so I took my seat and I decided to wait and see.

My first station was the Doha International Airport, a very big airport, I spent more than an hour trying to figure out the entries and the exists, I hated the process of checking in and out over and over, I had to take off my shoes and my belt and everything several times. I’ve reached there at midnight, I had to wait until 8 am for my next flight to the Dallas International Airport. Now here is what confuses me the most and I still can’t figure it out ; my departure from Doha airport was November the 14th at 8 am, I’ve reached the Dallas airport November the 14th at 3 pm, but from Doha to Dallas I spent 15 hours in the air..!! isn’t that confusing? The Dallas airport was even bigger but I already get used to being lost so I knew how to figure it out, thank God I could read the signs, I had to wait again from 3 pm to 9 pm for my next flight to my final destination Arkansas, Ft Smith, I’ve reached Ft. Smith at 10 pm, a tiny sweet comfortable airport and I was like “ that’s an airport”.

I didn’t let myself compare between where I was and where I am, as far as I saw, there’s no similarities, way too different worlds. The next morning I just couldn’t hold myself so I went to explore the shops and restaurants and so, I went to Walmart, anything whatever it is that you might be looking for is in Walmart.


I believe that every place in this world has a history, so for sure there should be some history in Arkansas, my thought was right. From Ft. Smith I headed to the North-East side, to VAN BUREN, just over the Arkansas river, there was the old town of VAN BUREN, this town goes back to the Western days, the 1860s, when there used to be an Indian territory there and most of the people who lived there were outlaws.

 “The blue and the grey”, an old movie that was filmed mainly in the main street of VAN BUREN  town, and as I went there, I found workers trying to turn the street into dirt in order to film another movie. I came back by the bridge heading South-West to the Fort Smith National Historic Site, the closer I get to the site, the stronger the voices become, I was hearing voices and seeing picture on my way calling for Judge Parker, then I figured out that the history of that place was mainly around the judge ISSAC CHARLES PARKER, an exciting story to be told in my next article…

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