“This living room used to be wider; this balcony used to be more spacious. Of course your love, ya habibi, was as big as the whole wide world.” – Fairuz, “It Wasn’t Like This.”
In one of many songs written and composed by her son Ziad, Fairuz laments how different things around her once were. The living room, the lemons, the olives…even the soap was different! ‘Different’ undoubtedly implying ‘better’, and applying to everything from inanimate objects to the love of a dear one. Apparently, that someone’s love ended up as sour as the lemons…
Continue reading “The Good Old Days – أيام الزمن الجميل”
These are no ordinary times. I doubt anybody in their wildest dreams (even those behind movies that told a similar story to what is happening today) imagined that, a day would come when the world, would suddenly, stop. That our lives would be turned completely upside down; that nothing could remain like it used to be beyond the confines of our homes; and that very little would stay the same when life slowly comes back to how we used to know it. Continue reading “Stories in the Times of Corona”
Since all of us here in Lebanon are in revolutionary mode these days (67 days no less & counting), I’d like to tell you a small story:
In 2014, and in the run up to the 40th anniversary of the start of Lebanon’s civil war, local and independent publishing house NoirBlancEtCaetera thought of commemorating this painful chapter in our history with a book. The premise was all about hope and not giving up on Lebanon, to be individually expressed by a varied group of Lebanese authors, writing a message to Lebanon and a declaration that despite all the ups and downs, all the challenges and lost opportunities, there was still hope for Lebanon. The project was delayed but revived earlier this year, and writers were informed during the summer that the book was set to be officially launched in mid-October. Our beautiful October 17 Lebanese Revolution delayed the official launching, but it still happened in the midst of our revolution, despite the odds. And in all honesty, I do not think there could have been any better time to publish and launch it anyway. Continue reading ““Liban : Messages Pour Un Pays””
For as long as I have written about Lebanon, I have realized that the road toward change would need time and patience. I knew it would take a lot of time, but the more time passed, the more I ran out of patience and deeper into hopelessness that I would see any change at all. Continue reading ““From What Used to be My Window””
Beirut never asks you to come back to it. It entices you to and makes you come back out of your own volition. If Beirut were a person, it would be irresistibly charming, more than anybody you would ever meet. Someone you would keep falling hopelessly in love with, even though you’d always know it would be a tumultuous, love and hate relationship with no future whatsoever. If Beirut were a force of nature, it would be a glorious sunset after a furious storm, though you’d always be left guessing when the next storm will hit, because it always does and stronger than the one before. Continue reading “Ungrateful, Beirut”
Note: This is the last in a series of four thematic Lebanon-related posts, based on a conversation between the author and a Lebanese citizen who preferred to remain anonymous. The first three posts (on politics and the parliamentary elections, the economy and the environment) were published last year.
Eye on the East (EOTE): Happy Easter.
Lebanese Citizen (LC): Thanks, I guess.
EOTE: Not much of an Easter person yourself? Continue reading ““Godless in the Land of Gods””
There are few other things that bring me as much happiness and fulfillment than as writing. The happiness it brings is both from how it allows me to express myself in all elegance, freedom and simplicity, as well as from the joy it brings to others readers and the bond that it invariably cements between us, writer and reader. No matter what the topic, no matter when and how and for who, writing is a mission, a cause, a means and an end in and of itself. Make of it what you want, interpret it as you wish, but never underestimate its power. Continue reading “In Just Six Words…”
Note: This is the third in a series of four thematic Lebanon-related posts, based on a conversation between the author and a Lebanese citizen who preferred to remain anonymous. The first post was on politics and the parliamentary elections and the second on the economy.
Eye on the East (EOTE): I never thought it would take so much time to reconvene.
Lebanese Citizen (LC): Well, you know that I’ve been here. You’re the one that’s always so busy. I hope you’re not going to end up like one of those people who is always soooo busy, but you really wonder what they’re soooo busy with. Continue reading ““Land of the Cedar””
This is the second in a series of four thematic Lebanon-related posts, based on a conversation between the author and a Lebanese citizen who preferred to remain anonymous. The first post was on politics and the parliamentary elections and the third on the environment.
Eye on the East (EOTE): So where were we?
Lebanese Citizen (LC): I had started talking about garbage and the economy, but you stopped me because you wanted to grab a drink. Continue reading ““Resilience””
Note: This is the first in a series of four thematic Lebanon-related posts, based on a conversation between the author and a Lebanese citizen who preferred to remain anonymous. The second post covers the economy and the third deals with the environment.
What’s the best – or laziest – way to reconnect with a subject that you haven’t dealt with in a long time? Talk to someone who does. That’s exactly what I did, as I thought of the best way to write my first post after what turned out to be an unintended and unannounced break from the blog. Continue reading ““Politics and Election Nonsense””