Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy 2006!

My baby hates the sound of my nails clicking on the keyboard. He loves the sound of the key when I come home
He knows landmarks in my memory that unlock a world of dreams and happiness and nostalgia. He knows when to evoke them.
He knows my weaknesses as much as he does my strengths. He loves both.
He makes fun of me when I get angry but helpless. He makes me angry and he makes me helpless.
He interrupts my conversation onthe phone to tell me if I put the phone in my mouth, his voice will resonate in my head. He's right. It does
He thinks homing is a word. He says it indicates a state of existence softer than roaming. I think subjacent is a word.
He invented a new board game. I can’t tell you what it is. He actually wants to patent it.
He loves to cook. He promised he will leave the cooking to me.
He thinks he shouldn’t have to go to work. I agree with him.
He thinks smoking is not cool anymore and wants me to quit. He bought me a hookah.
He says I almost have two opposite sides to my personality. He hasn’t seen the other sides yet.
He says I have a horrible singing voice. I sing all the time when he’s around.
He thinks yellow should only be worn on Halloween, horizontal stripes never work and vertical stripes are dangerous. He has an eye for fashion but he wears sweats.
He told me my nose ring is hideous. He then said worse is the mark left behind.
He doesn’t want to have babies, ever. He thinks he’s a baby himself.
He thinks I can’t commit because I’m a free spirit. He thinks we match because he’s a free spirit too. I think it’s his way of telling me he wants an open relationship.
His best memory of me is dancing on the crocodile table. That was ten years ago.
He says his happiness is what matters the most. He says i'm his happiness.
He says we’re still 28 not 29. 2006 did not count because we were apart. We’re celebrating the new 2006 year this year.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Results from the negotiation room
And Happy New Year all

Thanks again Chas,

Andrey, started by disagreeing but he proposed this:

"We start by suggesting the first step in a plan to bring peace". Let me start by not agreeing, as I think that we should start from the other end: How do you see the final solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? What will it be like, this situation, in which there will be an equilibrium between the achieved and unachieved demands of both sides, between what is just for these and those and of course what is just (period). Why start with this question? Because you can move the discussion on from here, with questions like: "What are the obstacles towards achieving that", "How do we deal with those obstacles" and so on.”

And so we did and this is what we came up with:

( thanks mone, Snurdly, Lirun, Ingrid, Andrey, Ibn Bint Jbeil, Rhiannon and Zee for commenting and moderating)


- Two-state solution: We all agree.

(Lirun suggested peace keeping force running along the borders)

- Fair peace:

(Israel is supported by the US and is the 4th strongest military power in the world but that shouldn't imply that Israel should use its power on its neighbor. Hamas, on the other hand, need to have defined 'demands'. The Palestinians need a fair representation on the way of their independence).
Which raised mone’s concern, “I wonder however, what is the exact ambition of the Israeli government? What is exactly the driven principles behind the Israeli Government backed by the US, especially after I found out more about the philosophy of the "elite" and their own ambition of controlling the world no matter how it maybe destructive to their people or others.”
We agreed that this won't get us anywhere for now.

- Defined borders and real independence:
(with the surrounding countries once and for all, sea, air and water. Plans should be presented to the UN, land mine maps and so on. 48 borders). Andrey said, “If, at least based on 67 borders, Gaza and the Bank should be connected, by land, constructing 2 parts of Palestine and 2 parts of Israel - all connecting in one point (use your imagination), I think that it would be fair, and it would give the Palestinians a better feeling about the arrangement - so they would not tell that they have been tricked. Also people would not have to pass through check points that way, while going from Gaza to the West Bank. Also, if the border includes jewish settelments inside the west-bank, they should be given the right to choose to stay under the Palestinian rule (there are many normal people behind the green line, not just settlers.”

1- Checkpoints should go
2- Settlements should go
3- Jerusalem will be a meeting place (Lirun’s romantic idea).
4- Borders + Water:
Andrey said, “This is actualy not such an issue, water can be dealt with as we have seen in Jordan-Israel peace treaty, where Israel is obliged to supply a given amount of water to Jordan per year. Projects like the National Water Carrier can be built to Palestine, or better: Palestine can be connected to the soon to be built Israely-Turkish pipe line (of gas, oil and water). The question is about the borders between Israel and Palestine: there are some families scattered around the 2 sides of the border, and so on.”

- United Palestinian government:
Unified representation for Palestine in the form of a legitimate government diplomatically respected by the international community is crucial (A just well-defined withdrawal will push the two Palestinian entities in power into agreeing on the proposed solution. that way Hamas won't be obliged to dismiss Fateh and traitors because they conceded to whatever is given to them. something Arafat couldn't do during the Oslo accord).

- Economical prosperity:

(Palestine will need the help of other countries (hopefully Arabic countries as well) to recover economically. prosperity gets rid of anger). Rhiannon said, “Monetary concessions do need to be made to Palestine, for their agriculture, hospitals, and educational systems”.

- Points we didn’t agree on:
1- The refugees. The right to return
2- The prisoners
3- Shabaa farms and Golan heights.



- We need to learn from past mistakes. The unilateral withdrawal and the punishment mentality don’t work and is still under the abuse of power mentality.

- New beginning:

(how do we educate a new Israeli generation that is not mostly military and how do we raise a new Arabic generation that don't hate Israel?). "Recognition of Israel"?

- Think simple:

Any Israeli would not wish to bomb the Palestinians and any Palestinian would not wish to bomb the Israelis. We all agree on peace. How do we bring forth the people's opinions? Who's creating this? (the politicians and we're paying for it and our children will after us. we need to stop the denial. I say there's a dangerous theocratic mentality controlling us and you have to say there's a neo-Zionist movement trying to draw the map for the new middle-east. both scare me to death. we need to say that neither represent people like us. most of the poor people who just want to be safe and go on with their daily life are like me and you)

- Reinstate trust and show good intentions:
Return what belongs to Syria and Lebanon. Then if HA won't have a cause, Syria won't have an excuse and the Palestinians will be content if agreement was reached and they will ask to be left alone)
- Identity and acceptance:
mone thought, “Israel was formed in the middle of Arabic Region that speaks one language "Arabic" and has similar background. It actually seeks an isolated "identity" from its surrounding neighbors. Can this entity get accepted any time in the short or long future? Putting helpful emotions aside, I think not.”
To which Andrey replied, “Mone, there are many things that will bring Israel and Arab countries closer - tourism and economics. Tourism: Israelis love traveling, and if it's cheaper it’s better. Druze, Bahai, Christians - all have holy places in Israel. As for economics, I don't think that you can imagine the amount of Israelis in Arab countries once these markets will open. Another thing is lots of mizrahi citizens - many speak Arabic (so do many ashkenazy, who studied well at school), their home cooking is arabic, there is a whole branch of eastern music in Hebrew in Israel. And 20% of Israel are Arabs who speak both hebrew and arabic (so do many Palestinians). Anyway, in time of peace Israel won't be isolated, slowly but certainly everyone would be speaking Arabic here.”
And mone replied, “However, I don't think personally the solution will be ready in 2 or 10 years, I think, both sides will suffer much more before they brake the barriers (and the cement blocks that they just built) and try to shake hands and live together...”
And then we fell apart ... Oh well ... All the same anyway..

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Negotiation room

Chas came up with the idea of putting Lirun and myself in a virtual room so that we can work out our differences when the discussion heated up between us this last July.

I want to borrow this idea and try it out here with a few of the commentators who always seem to be in a dispute about issues in the world and the Middle-East.

I know the dispute can and will go on forever so this is more of a committee with a specific question to answer. The question that Andrey asked me early on in this blog. What are we doing to bring peace to the ME? The focus of the question is the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It cannot be separated from neighboring countries so we can discuss that in the light of its effect on the Israeli/Palestinian issue alone.

So the assignment could be very interesting: Lirun, Andrey, Snurdly (and anyone else who's interested) on one hand could represent a spectrum of political opinions but will naturally represent Israel's interests and Rhiannon, mone and myself (and anyone else on this side) will naturally represent Palestine's interests.

By now we know we have differences in opinions and we are well aware of these differences so there is no point in repeating them. At the same time i don't see the use in pointing fingers or going back to the past. We have to look at what we have at hand and try to suggest a solution that will please all. If people like us with such opposing views could reach a middle ground, i don't see why politicians can't. Greed and power of course but in the process of reaching an understanding ourselves, we might at least see that clearly.

We will start with the two state solution of course and go from there.
Some members on both sides might be to the extreme but this is only a good representation of the political elements on the ground.

I elect Zee to be the moderator since he is objective (after all he's swiss) and throughout the discussions we had in the past he showed opposition to both sides.

So i say we start by suggesting the first step in a plan to bring peace. What would that be in your opinion? More importantly why hasn't it been implemented yet? You can engage in a discussion here in the comments section or answer on your blogs and i'll be happy to show your answers here.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

On Israel's "Right to Exist"

Now that the Palestinian civil war long sought by Israel, the U.S. and the EU appears on the verge of breaking out, it may be timely to examine the justification put forward by Israel, the U.S. and the EU for their collective punishment of the Palestinian people in retaliation for their having made the "wrong" choice in last January's democratic election -- the refusal of Hamas to "recognize Israel" or to "recognize Israel's existence" or to "recognize Israel's right to exist".
These three verbal formulations have been used by media, politicians and even diplomats interchangeably, as though they mean the same thing. They do not.

"Recognizing Israel" or any other state is a formal legal/diplomatic act by a state with respect to another state. It is inappropriate -- indeed, nonsensical -- to talk about a political party or movement, even one in a sovereign state, extending diplomatic recognition to a state. To talk of Hamas "recognizing Israel" is simply sloppy, confusing and deceptive shorthand for the real demand being made.
"Recognizing Israel's existence" is not a logical nonsense and appears on first impression to involve a relatively straightforward acknowledgement of a fact of life -- like death and taxes. Yet there are serious practical problems with this formulation. What Israel, within what borders, is involved? The 55% of historical Palestine recommended for a Jewish state by the UN General Assembly in 1947? The 78% of historical Palestine occupied by Israel in 1948 and now viewed by most of the world as "Israel" or "Israel proper"?
The 100% of historical Palestine occupied by Israel since June 1967 and shown as "Israel" on maps in Israeli schoolbooks? Israel has never defined its own borders, since doing so would, necessarily, place limits on them. Still, if this were all that were being demanded of Hamas, it might be possible for it to acknowledge, as a fact of life, that a State of Israel exists today within some specified borders.
"Recognizing Israel's right to exist", the actual demand, is in an entirely different league. This formulation does not address diplomatic formalities or simple acceptance of present realities. It calls for a moral judgment.
There is an enormous difference between "recognizing Israel's existence" and "recognizing Israel's right to exist". From a Palestinian perspective, the difference is in the same league as the difference between asking a Jew to acknowledge that the Holocaust happened and asking him to acknowledge that it was "right" that the Holocaust happened -- that the Holocaust (or, in the Palestinian case, the Nakba) was morally justified.

To demand that Palestinians recognize "Israel's right to exist" is to demand that a people who have for almost 60 years been treated, and continue to be treated, as sub-humans publicly proclaim that they ARE sub-humans -- and, at least implicitly, that they deserve what has been done, and continues to be done, to them. Even 19th century U.S. governments did not require the surviving Native Americans to publicly proclaim the "rightness" of their ethnic cleansing by the Pale Faces as a condition precedent to even discussing what reservation might be set aside for them -- under economic blockade and threat of starvation until they shed whatever pride they had left and conceded the point."---By John V. Whitbeck. Full article here.
What feels amazing to me is that, growing up, we did not speak of Israel. Saying the name Israel will give us feelings of fear and resentment and absolute hate. We did not understand why we hated to hear that name because, believe it or not, we were not raised on hate or on politics. Our parents wanted what is better for us. It was very hard though not to be exposed to the hate the Palestinians who took refuge in Lebanon carried with them and since they became part of the Lebanese society eventually, it became part of our national memory as well. The hate did.

When one grows up, one tries to examine his values and i do not say re-examine. I had the time and the freedom to think about how i feel towards Israel. I had to get rid of the pre-conceived ideas and the rooted feelings that were even involuntarily planted in me by my society. As a kid, the name Israel was associated with fear, with running for life, with neighbors getting blown up in the invasion of Beirut, with poor Palestinian refugees and their kids that my mother helped, mostly with confusion seeing my parents being helpless. As an adult, the name Israel evokes pictures of babies blown up under the bombs, ruthlessness and unfairness, mostly it is my turn to feel helpless. I then realized, I did not hate then. Kids do not hate. I hate now.

(And more useful documentaries that mone linked here)

And a short quote nicely summarizing what to anticipate in the war between the US and Iran, posted by Rhiannon (soon to have her own blog to have all this valuable information available in one place and backed up)
"Now, we must turn our attention to Iran. I believe that our government is considering initiating a war with this Islamic mega-power. They aren’t quite sure of exactly how to go about this in order to rally the American people behind this decision. So they will either state that Iran is a nuclear threat, or that their support of the Shiite Muslims in Iraq is empowering the "civil war."But I believe the truth is simpler than that: Iran no longer accepts our dollars for oil. This deflates the dollar on the world market and creates inflation in the United States. Therefore, we might possibly stage a false operation of Iranians killing our soldiers in Iraq in order to give us a good enough reason to declare war.....or we might just sit down and talk to them. The coming election will decide this. If the present administration maintains control of Congress, it might only be a matter of days before a new plan is executed. If control of the House is lost, America will be forced to negotiate. As our position in Iraq becomes more tenuous we are being forced to reassess our foreign policy concerning Syria. The United States has maintained no connection with them stating this isdue to their previous alliance with the Soviet Union and their occupation of Lebanon. Yet, the real reason we refuse to recognize Syria is because Israel captured the Golan Heights in the 1967 war between Israel and the Arabs. Despite a UN resolution stating Israel must return the Golan Heights to Syria, they have never done so. This is because the Golan Heights holds the most precious resource on earth: Water."--- Dannion Brinkley, November 2006.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Silent night ... Scary night ...

Fear fear of the clocks
Wild teeth-clenching sights
heart wrenching tears
angry birds roaming at the docks
a fleeting tune from everyone’s memory
asphalt grown grass hearts of concrete
Rapa pam pam
Home and warmth
And peace for me and you

Under the bed he went hiding
The skies are roaring with madness
Mama washed her face
Papa went missing
No food on the table
And a dead tree in the ghetto
Rapa pam pam
Forgiveness and forgetness
And peace for me and you

In the streets they went roaming
Searching for the perfect find
Flocks of stomping plastic
Shine and lights and red and green
And across the bridge her spilled hair
Some spilled crumbs and some despair
Rapa pam pam
Wealth and fairness
And peace for me and you

A cascade of all there is
Is all there is. Perfect symmetry
Of virtues does not happen and mirror-images
Are a waste of the imagination, keep it random
None is gained and none is lost
Do not pretend to give just do
Rapa pam pam
Love you the world
Take some, give some
And let the love through

The crispy smell of your skin
Under the fresh morning dew
your head resting in my hands
my chalk-white skin crumbling
and under the tree two boxes
one is empty and the other is for two
Rapa pam pam
Hugs and kisses
And peace for me and you

She tied her hair and tied her brow
Opened the door to a silky silhouette
The day she loved him is the day she left
life is to be lived and giving …
It takes the audacity of a woman
And sometimes it takes two
Rapa pam pam
Days that come and go
And love for me and you ...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

- I’m not happy
- You’re not
- Not at all, it seems.
- You’re happy enough, no?
- No. I don’t have dreams anymore and all my days feel the same
- Yes I know
- I really think that you coming to my life will make me happy
- I am in your life
- No, I want you here. I want to see you every day. I want to be happy with you.
- Ok will do.
- I’m not a happy man. Help me change that?
- I’ll be happy to do that.
- Are you happy?
- Yeah.
- Why?
- Look at what I have

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


By Deb Reich (a writer and translator in Israel/Palestine)

Dear Santa,

I live in Israel/Palestine and I think I am probably addicted to the big bad conflict we have here. We all seem to be addicted to the conflict we have here. We are so used to it, sometimes I wonder if, given half a chance, we could really learn to live without it. Meanwhile, the academics study it. The politicians cook it and bake it and spin it. The pollsters monitor it. Nonprofit organizations and NGOs mop up the messes, frequently lethal, that it makes. Dissident poets bemoan it, and the journalists (with the exception of a courageous handful, who tell the truth) pretend to report on it. The prisoners find their education, for better or worse, in its shadow, while the wardens find some kinky pleasure there, or anyhow their paycheck.

Dear Spirit of Love,

Or whatever your name is - get us into rehab, quick! We need help! We are massacring the neighbors - we are killing each other here. People are besieged, shot, bombed, terrorized, and I swear, some folks justify this. They justify it. How sick is that?! We need help! Most of us want to stop the killing but we don’t know how. Help!

Dear Abby,

I am a Jewish freethinker in Israel. (Sometimes I write “in Israel/Palestine” because it seems to make more sense, but we won’t go into that now.) I have a question. If Jewish renewal in Palestine after a thousand generations is visionary and noble, why is the idea of repatriating the displaced Palestinians after a mere fifty or sixty years seen as delusional? I don’t get it.

Dear Allah,

I have an acquaintance, a Muslim, whose brother is a political prisoner. He’s been in prison in Israel more than twenty years – nearly half his life. He went into a cell at age 25, waving his banned manifestos; that was in 1986. Soon, he’ll have a Ph.D. and I think he’s starting to lose his hair. He writes eloquent essays in prison and works on his research. I’d like to play him Libby Roderick’s anthem of the oppressed, “How Could Anyone,” beginning: How could anyone ever tell you / you were anything less than beautiful? Tell me what else I can do for him. How will this balance ever be restored? How will this debt ever be paid? His name is Walid Daka. He belonged to a banned organization, and maybe he helped to plan violent acts of resistance; I don’t know. But I think his real crime was being born Palestinian, because all the rest followed from that.

Dear Jesus,

Come back! We need you! But don’t come back as a woman, they won’t listen. Don’t try to come back as an ordinary Muslim traveler on an airplane, God forbid – they’ll arrest you at the airport. Don’t come back as a foreign (guest) worker: they’ll take your passport and lock you up. Don’t come back as a cabinet minister because, inside of a week, you’ll start to care more about keeping your car and driver than about comforting the poor and afflicted. Better to stick with the donkey, like last time – but don’t try to cross a checkpoint with it; they’ll think it has a bomb in its belly and they’ll blow it up, poor critter. I read the other day that there are over 500 checkpoints on the West Bank now; hard to believe. That’s a lot of checkpoints. So maybe come on foot. Or get Scotty to beam you over here. But come quick! We’re sinking. And whatever you do, don’t go to Bethlehem this time. It’s under siege and crumbling, but the people are incredibly resilient. They’ll break your mortal heart.

Taken from this site.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Happy holidays

All of you going home have a great time..
Layoul, Maya, Hashem, Annie, Zouzou ..
I am sooooo jealous

I love christmas.
It reminds me of lights and songs in Hamra street and Dbayyeh when we were kids.
It reminds me of the holiday we spent in LA.
Of warming up next to the dead fireplace in Faraya with guys in the background screaming that they're out of anti-freeze.
It also brings back a sweet sadness of a time up in the snow ...
The big window, a basket full of red velvet, pate and wine ...
The intimacy of loneliness and the constant taste of sadness
Menthol cigarettes, blue carpets and green masks
And a room where we all came together
in silent prayer ...
oh yeah.. and Moulin Rouge

powered by ODEO

and another tag

Tagged by zee,
I don't know what this tag is about but here goes,

"She liked to go shopping at night, she claimed that the groceries were tired and so made no resistance to being bought. She opened the door and Gould said hi, without taking his eyes off the television. Shatzy looked at him, don't expect much, but it would be an improvement if you at least turn it on." City, Alessandro Baricco.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Calm the fuck down

It's bigger than us. Well of course. Nothing new. We always know as Lebanese that our internal issues are a mere reflection of anything that is happening in the region. We're cursed with geography.

I have posted Alex Jones' terror storm earlier on this blog but check the rest of his links here.
The only lesson to get out of this is how pre-planned and how big of an operation all this is. The troubles that resonate throughout the ME right now being nothing but a reflection of a larger power struggle in the world is not a reason for us to lose our principles or not to take a stand against it. However it is worth to stop and think. It is worth not to fight each other over matters that get planned by the leaders and get inflicted upon us. It is worth to look at the big picture and rise above our differences and take a stand together. Let's not self-destroy in the process.
I wish we just calm the fuck down. As hot headed as we are, thugs carrying guns on the streets are not going to solve our problems.

Descartes tells us, "Science in its entirety is true and evident cognition. He is no more learned who has doubts on many matters than the man who has never thought of them; nay, he appears to be less learned if he has formed wrong opinions on any particulars. Hence it were better not to study at all than to occupy one's self with objects of such difficulty, that, owing to our inability to distinguish true from false, we are forced to regard the doubtful as certain; for in those matters any hope of augmenting our knowledge is exceeded by the risk of diminishing it."

I think Descartes is an elitist bastard. Of course his maxim could be applied to science as we all know that the more we discover and learn, the more we know how much we still need to learn. That does not mean that the lack of initiative towards a better understanding on an individual level as well as a collective level is something we should give up on.
In politics as well, Descartes' warning fits nicely with the Orweillian state of mind that most uninformed people are left with. In the extreme case, people are getting informed on a portion of the facts and discarding facts that do not serve their blind loyalties or oppose to their system of belonging and beliefs. Emotions are very dangerous when they interfere with a thought process and only result in a state of cognitive dissonance where one believes in the facts that serve one's emotions.

What's the solution?
I would never say listen to Descartes and remain passive in this case. Learn the truth, the full truth and nothing but the truth? That could be a start. Think and don't be emotional.

So it's bigger than us. That doesn't mean it's beyond your scope of understanding. Politics should be a science for the people. That means get the full story and get a full knowledge before you react. No one should be thinking for you and taking your decisions for you. However, you have to look at all the facts before you go on fighting each other. You have to pursue all the facts and make your decisions with moderation and plan your reactions away from emotions since if we learned anything from science is that we never know everything. We don't know all the facts.

We will as they go down in history books. We will as secret files become declassified. Maybe 50 years down the road. We will all find a piece of truth that we missed out on.

Does anyone feel confident about their knowledge enough right now to go and fight based on it? Does any leader inspire enough confidence to us right now to be followed blindly?
Did any religion ever tell you to fight?

Let's calm the fuck down!
A postcard...

Postcard reading " Dear America, This is an illustration of something that happened to two Palestinian friends of mine as we were all trying to cross through the Tayaseer checkpoint in the Jenin region of the West bank. Soldiers detained them for over an hour, threatened to beat them, and accused them of being Hizballah terrorists. One of the soldiers told them they were "disgusting Arabs who should be beaten like animals and stay in jail". Postcard by Katie Miranda.

Not to spread the hate dear 'evil twin' but not to live in denial either.
What mother raises her children to call other human beings animals? What Arabic or Israeli or American or any mother raises her children to dehumanize others?
Didn't promise we were the love generation? Which generation exactly will come to a world free of hate and racism? What will it take not to raise our children on this and not to propagate the segregation and the supremacy?

Thursday, December 14, 2006


أعلن شمعون بيريز أنه التقى سياسيين لبنانيين، لكنه رفض الإفصاح عن أسمائهم. وقال، لصحيفة «كل العرب» الأسبوعية التي تصدر في الأراضي المحتلة عام 48، إن إسرائيل مهتمة بعدم حدوث انقلاب في لبنان. وأضاف: «نحن معنيون بأن يبقى لبنان دولة مستقلة وكاملة من ناحية الأرض والمياه، ونحن ضد أي تدخّل أجنبي على أرض لبنان، وجيش حزب الله هو جيش إيراني مزود بالأسلحة الإيرانية ويتلقى الدعم المادي من الإيرانيين، آمل ألا يحدث انقلاب في لبنان، فالانقلاب سيُحدث الدمار في هذا البلد».
You ask shou sar?

They’re all snatching promising us a feast
Promising a piece of meet
We help with the hunt
The eternal hunt
And we forget that we’re all vegetarians
Now who’s going to make my salad?

Meanwhile …
- Ok ok enough with the silver belt already. I’ll get you the belt. I promise. We gheir heik?
- Mashi. Hayda el jaww halla’
- El jaww bil’shat? Shou sayyafna? la allah bi3tiya ... El balad keef?
- Same
- Yi7ri' ikht hal same? Are you being careful?
- Yeah the scene is back to monot
- Eh l7amdellah. Ya3ni talama fee sahra …
- Kill shi mnee7
- Are you out of your mind?
- No.
- How did you change your opinions so easily anyway about all this?
- I must be thinking no?
- Or giving up …
- Oh save me …
- How come we have inherited our parents’ intolerance even when we haven’t endured the burdens of the first war?
- I believe in standing up for who we are and I believe that life is not worth living in fear but all I can think about is how tired I am of all this …
- Tayyeb ok … Wein Ziad?
- Ba3ed ma’ija
- Ma7ayle’eeki 3al sahra?
- 7ayle’ina 3al terwee’a. ya7oo 3am bineim bil7adath la’enno immo dashareto.
- Meet marra eltella shoo badda minno bhal3omor? Haydi 3ammte majnouneh.
- Howwe ra7yjannena.
- Eh ma walad. Iza halla’ ma tsarraf heik, emta?
- Ra7 nitla3 3al starlet bokra
- Bokra khamees
- Eh maba’ nroo7 Cassino?
- Ma3am tshoufo allouna?
- La’ aktar shi Bil starlet 3a tawlet johnny
- Ya3ni mara7 titzaharo?
- Yimkin ba3dil dohor
- Tayyeb ntibho 3a7alkon. Bawwseele Tarek
- Eh ok. Matinsi le’shat lefoddi
- Hayyene talabto khalas. Battal fee shi bildene gheir ‘shat foddi.
- Lah. Fee orange we akhdar we asfar we l’azra’ 3ale7doud we fee ‘shat el amen we ‘shat eltames we fee zinnar elma7abbeh we tadamon wel wifak … halla’ khalleena 3al foddi
- Shou sa’eele. Bye habibi
- Bye hayete.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

We'll sit this one out?

Maybe the next vigil, the next cause, the next fight ...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

La Pedrera

One more letter.
One more letter is all she can read.
One more letter before she resigned to a world of uncertainty. Before she leaves her planned days and planned fate to unravel the thick crust of life.

She will read and by the end of the lines she will forget him for good. She will leave her grief behind. This overwhelming feeling of sadness that became her accompanying emotion and her comfort. Today her physical pain leaves no room for sorrow. Today she chooses to be angry. She chooses herself and she chooses to blame the world for her troubles.
This was a letter she wrote for him,
“ My beloved,
As he becomes weaker before me every day, I cannot help but think about the futility of this path we call life. As the reason of my turmoil turns helpless, I cannot but question myself. I have to question my courage and my commitment to myself and to you. I have to question the reason I remain by his side. I long for you my love and I am in constant pain. My memory betrays me more so every day and it feels cruel when the memory of your face is all I have left. I ponder upon life around me. I look at the trees and the flowers and the dry leaves dancing in the wind and I wonder. I wish I could transcend my soul into a more simplistic form. Into a leaf hugged by its mother branch, into a fading ray warmed by the curb, into a dancing star hiding in the sky. I wish I could be a murmur, a lover’s whisper, a twinkle in a child’s eye. I wish I could be a tune that will once die. I wish I could be happy. I wish I could melt away like a sand grain under a foaming wave, like the memory of my life, like my skin under your touch. I wish I could love you once more. He screams my name in the long feverish nights. Long nights my love. Nights made bearable only by my watering eyes meeting the early morning rays. Long nights of sickness and of stillness in my heart. Tears are a wonderful thing. These rivers of my melting soul spilling away. These rivers of washed hesitations and washed sins and washed regrets. Regrets mean nothing when we do not have a choice. We cry to comfort ourselves and not to show regret. Tears are personal. These involuntary inevitable bursts of moaning hurting muscles oozing in drilling fluids, drilling into my face, drilling the lines on my skin. This kindness of nature. This natural right of our body to revolt and to react to the strength of our deep disappointment and confusion and distortion. Distortion. A distorted life is what we all live. A distortion of reality is what I am. A left shade of what I was prepared to be.”

She pauses and looks into the glass.
It is fall and the world has given up.
This habitual feeling of loss and of hurting. She collects her face in her fingers and tries to cry in vain. She cannot be sad anymore. She does not have the luxury of giving up in a storm of emotions. She chose anger instead. She was angry at the world. Loss was not of her making. Loss was the cold hand of fate that took her child away. Loss was inevitable and death was a reality. People die but children were not supposed to die. She suddenly remembered Emma. There was another. Her baby. Her baby that would be a piece of him. That would have his face. The empty cradle. A sudden emptiness. A sudden pain in her stomach. The crimson center piece on her desk. The smell of torture. The smell of blood in the wash room. The face of her mother. The darkness that was now her life and outside her window. A dim light coming from the house across the street. That trivial house that enclosed a trivial life and a silly family. That frozen woman who lived by the rules. Those plastic flowers. Those plastic lives. Those lives lived without her. Life will not cease without her. Or without him.

Who knew
Who knew that a moment stolen in life,
Is life?
Who knew that the beginning of one’s happiness
Never happens …
Who knew that the chilling morning breeze
Might remain one’s reason to live
That the days carry happiness only before they achieve
That there is nothing to unravel
That life is the act of unraveling.
That constant betterment leads to perpetual unsatisfaction
Who knew
Who knew that to choose not to wrestle with demons is to live blissfully
Who knew life’s anesthetic routine is not to be questioned
Who knew that jolts of joy are gifts to the youngsters
And that love visits only once?
Who knew?

“Some people cannot just be. Some people have to make a mess of it all and some women seem to need the reassurement of a lifetime every day. Life faces me every day. I do not know anymore if I am the reason of his survival or that of his pain as I do not remember if you were my cure or the reason for my ailment. The baby is growing inside me.”

I think it has been a year since I last saw him. We called him Techno Rami. He also went by Rami Tuesday and the Egyptian. He looked like the descendent of pharos and acted like one. His sense of style is what got him through. Through many circles and many rounds of forgiveness that is. He lived off of 42 street and I always thought it was fitting. He managed a high profiled underground lounge in the meat packing district reserved most of the nights for last minute fashion after parties, he had a mounted hookah in the living room, extra bob Marley orange shirts for guests, bottles of water every where and a complete set of skin treatment lotions cleverly hidden in his bathroom. He stayed up one night comforting his friend as we listened in the next room. Men obsess about the women they love too. These two men were far from intellectual and nicely fitted the profile of the wholesome night guys who you never introduce to your mother. Nonetheless they suffered and they actually displayed human-like feelings and disappointments in love. It was nice to know.

He came home running on a very cold December night. I was just about to clean my face and get ready to bed. He ran to his room. He must be coming down with a cold I thought. I can’t get sick again. I should stay away from him. People who get sick become so undesirable like people from horror movies who get bit by a vampire and want to hide it. He’s hiding the fact that he’s sick. I will keep away from him. He came out of his room after half an hour. His manly scent preceded him. His naturally auburn highlighted hair was now showing as he lost his wool cap and it fell next to his long lashes bringing the hazel that intercepted the blue in his eyes. He had replaced his old pumas with solid heel black Armani loafers that added a flirtatious young touch to his seriously pleated pants. I wondered who ironed his shirt. I looked him up and down and must have almost embarrassed him with the look of pride I had in my eyes. Ok go I said. Go before I change my mind.

We were having coffee as we do. We played with words and drawings and games and we laughed. I laughed like I haven’t laughed in a long time. We were screaming and cheating and fighting and not keeping scores. Every now and then we would just relax and talk. Every now and then I would shy away with my looks and think how did it happen? Every now and then I would remember our nights on the town. Running home to change into a night outfit, hopping through cabs and hopping through bars and hopping through guys here and there. Drinking and collecting phone numbers and harboring hangovers. Days long gone … I wish you were here with us. We always loved to play games me and you and we managed to fight and cheat and laugh every time. We sang karaoke in your living room and I couldn’t carry a single tune and you teased me. They promised to love us together and they promised to try and move down there with us. This might just work after all …

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


It’s quarter to life
A letter a picture and tomorrow

I’m 29 tomorrow. I know! I don’t look a day over 28 and a half!
My mama is coming soon …
I will be engaged soon … Yes! Engaged! Me!!!
I know where I’ll be early Spring. You guessed it ...
And I move to my new job early Summer

Soon nothing will be the same …
Life does surprise you when you least expect it …
It’s true …

I'm so stressed out right now and seem unable to hold a thought
So excited right now about all the changes around me
So scared still .. Good scared though ...

We'll see what happens ...

Today i go to bed, my good old bed,
I wake up to my New York
walk to my lab, talk to my boss,
get lunch at the same place
have a coffee break with Mia
Maybe see Mazen, Wassim or Tina ..
Design an experiment with Corina ..
fill out some forms, send some emails out ...
Write ...

Most of all start saying goodbye
little by little
every day ...
And start enjoying every moment left
In this place i called home for so many years
And in my cozy little life here ...
And i can't wait for what's next!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Ya Ot3et Sama!
(pic, courtesy of

Wlak meet kiss ikhtek shou mahdoumeh wala the polite I think you’re cool …
Meet 7abibi arrab nos we nos wlal pretentious so you like hip hop, Spanish rock? …
Meet la i7sob alla makhala’ak welal keep it up and I will report you to someone …
Meet naffekh 3alayha tanjali welal you will have to step to the opposite sidewalk to smoke ...
Meet holel tawoo’ madaaaame baddik yehon mbahhrine walal I’m gonna need you to repeat your social security number …
Meet mafi sle7 3al shatt walal you will need to show your ID at all times and have it visible …
Meet oumi tanor’os yasabiyyeh walal hey what’s up, you need a beer, you’re fine?
Meet eh maba3rif shou baddi ishtighil walal I perfected my resume to match each recruiter’s demands and I have a bitchin cover letter …
Meet you work on proteins, like in steak? Walal so … biotech or pharm?
Meet double parks walal walks in the park …
Meet keis 3ara’ wala Cosmo we Martini … meet man’oushe wala muffineyeh …
Meet ‘re3 3ala 3ein lemraysseh wala thug in a navy shirt having an after work cocktail with his Wall Street colleagues on second ave. on a Friday night …
Meet sitt hoda ghasiletek shou ndaf wala so like.. I went to the gym while I had my clothes in the dryer …
Meet ya albi ya mama wala think about it rationally and have a detailed plan …
Meet bearded guys Che-style with green shirts and lots of issues wala clean shaved dudes with big muscles and lots of career options …
Mar’ad 3anze bi libnan wala meet studio apartment bi nyc wala meet town house bi La Jolla …
La Jolla???
Keef sorna hon?
Wein ar3et jiddna?
Seem to have lost it!!
Where are you authorized to work? Ummm … Lebanon
Where is the country of your nationality? Also Lebanon
The country you were born … Again … Lebanon
The country of your heart? Lebanon
Ouff hal heart shou baddo yil’a …

Tayyeb i see the mood has shifted a little.. At least on the blogs ..
I see laughter and songs and pictures and renewed promises ...
Keep smiling ... mafi a7la minkon when you smile ...
El La Jolla el ... hayda lli na'esneh ...