“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”
Note: Eye on the East has the pleasure to feature guest writer Ambassador Samir Chamma who in his Arabic article below pays a moving tribute to late Lebanese Ambassador Fouad Al Turk. In “Fouad Al Turk: Another of the Greats Leaves Us, Further Impoverishing Our Country,” Chamma remembers his friend and colleague as the distinguished diplomat, faithful patriot, champion of dialogue, poet and kind and generous human being he will always be known for. This article was also published in Lebanese daily An Nahar (July 22, 2012) and Zahle’s Al Rawaby weekly newspaper (July 19-24, 2012).
فؤاد الترك … وكبير آخر يغادرنا وتفتقر بلادنا
… وباكرا باكرا التحقت باثنين من كبار سفرائنا. احباك واحببتهما. قدّراك وقدرتهما: ادوار غره ونجيب صدقة.
امينا عاما للخارجية انتقض نجيب صدقة.، رفض غاضبا- اواخر الستينات القرن الماضي- ان يكون شاهدا لاتفاقية قاهرة، برؤيته الثاقبة رأى انها ستقهر بلاده فتوقّع مع توقيعها عليها اخذها الى درب جلجلتها وستأخذ معها القضية الى الجحيم. Continue reading “فؤاد الترك … وكبير آخر يغادرنا وتفتقر بلادنا”
I like to compare living in Lebanon to standing on quicksand. The longer you stay, the faster you sink in the bundle of developments, traditions, expressions and customs, slowly losing the precious perspective needed to be able to see things for what they truly are. Continue reading “Vocabulary of Failure”
If all roads lead to Rome, is Lebanon’s road to secularism doomed from the start?
When I look back at the beginning of our road to secularism, I see an empty path that slowly gained loyal adherents along the way. I see glimmers of hope from those that believed that one day, no matter how far, they would not be forced to go to Cyprus to have a civil marriage. Continue reading “The Road to Secularism – Part III”
As someone who believes that one must judge others not only by their words, but also by their actions, and for the sake of my credibility and convictions, I woke up on Sunday, March 20, 2011 with the intention of ‘putting my money where my mouth is.’ And so I joined what turned out to be the largest demonstration to date, of tens of thousands of fellow citizens, calling for the downfall of the confessional regime in Lebanon. Continue reading “The Road to Secularism – Part II”
If you happen to be in the Middle East these days without punching your fist in the air, calling for the downfall of someone or something, then something must be wrong. To be fair, the people of every single Arab country (and Iran) are/would be completely justified in doing so. Yet in the chaos and confusion of it all, there was one single nation standing out, that was apparently on the sidelines of all the action: Lebanon. Continue reading “The Road to Secularism”
From Bouazizi to Tahrir Square; trying to keep up between Manama, Benghazi, Tehran, and Sanaa; and before we turn our walls into live feeds of events in the countries that remain, I think of Lebanon… Continue reading ““When will we become Lebanese?””