``When I think of the word ‘habibi’, I think of Antakya. A small town on the Turkish-Syrian border where my parents were born. We used to spend our summer holidays in Antakya....``

Ideal Kanal


“After arriving at the airport, we directly went to my grandparents’ house. Like always, my grandmother would be waiting at the window and as soon as she saw us, tears came to her eyes and she greeted us with the most beautiful Arabic words: ya yeruhe (my soul) ya kalbe (my heart) ya habibi/ habibti. My grandma could hardly speak Turkish. Every sentence started and ended with one of these words. I liked it very much. She loved me differently. When I saw the habibibag for the first time, I was overcome by a feeling of joy. As if I had found a missing part of me again. Since then, the bag and I have been inseparable. “Habibi” reminds me of my roots, of my big family and means as much as home to me. 🖤”