“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”
“Darkness is oppressive. Silence echoes what I do not want to hear. Night is a curse that keeps on coming back. Night is the green screen onto which everything is projected, what I do not want to see nor feel, my anxieties, my fears and pains. The sunrise ushers the relief of light, the glow of which makes the burden of things feel slightly lighter.
The hustle and bustle of survival gets in the way of despondence, yet the feeling lurks around almost every corner. The day feels endless because the struggle for survival offers no respite. And before you know it, darkness comes and it starts all over again. More often than not, this is how it feels these days.”
Continue reading “Selective Writer’s Block: When Some Things Are Better Left Unwritten”
It’s been one endless, torturous month already. One month since what were childhood nightmares of war exploded when we thought we were living in peace. One month since our lives came shattering down into unrecoverable pieces in front of our eyes, just like the glass that remains in every street and corner of this broken city. One month since we thought that life could not get any more despondent, but to our own despair, it did. One month since the Beirut Port blast, since all the paths we ever walked in the city were drawn in blood, since its sound continues to reverberate, viciously intertwined with ambulance sirens, cries of fear and pain, since the night’s mortal silence became a sound only few were brave enough to listen to. One long month and it feels like the wound will always stay open.
Continue reading “One Month Since the Beirut Blast: “The Wound Will Always Stay Open””
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”
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…”
They said people would take to the streets because parliamentary elections would be cancelled. “We are a democracy,” they said, “people won’t let that happen.” But people did let elections be cancelled, twice.
They said people would not let the garbage crisis go without a fight. “People may not care about democracy and holding politicians accountable,” they said, “but this is about garbage and their health.” But people also gave up, protesters couldn’t keep the demonstrations together, and the garbage crisis continued and a sustainable solution has yet to be found. Continue reading “So They’re Gonna Raise Some Taxes”
There are those whose passing makes them heroes, because some wrongfully believe that in respecting death, there is a duty to bury all that was shameful and negative and remember only what was good and virtuous about them, no matter how deceitful this memory made be. But there are others whose passing cements their status as heroes, not only because we have no choice but to remember and appreciate the genuine heroism they displayed during their lifetime, but because in their passing, we lament how few of them are left, to carry on the fight as they did. Continue reading “Farewell Ghazi Aad”