“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”
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: Initially posted last year, I re-post the below here today again, on this year’s International Women’s Day, unchanged, and will probably do so again, for many years to come…. An Arabic translation can be found here.
*** Continue reading “As a Woman…”
Note: this piece is a translation of Eye on the East’s previous post “Lebanon: ‘Naming and Shaming’ as a Duty.” The below Arabic version was published in the March 1-6 2014 issue of Zahle weekly Al Rawaby.
يتعذر علي ان اتذكر عدد المرات التي سمعت فيها المقولة السائدة في لبنان “دون ذكر الاسماء” عبارة قصدها تجهيل الفاعل والتعامي عن قول الحقيقة ورفض تسمية الاشياء باسمائها, فنشعر بالاسى لغياب الوضوح و الشفافية في كيفية عمل النظام اللبناني. Continue reading “لبنان: التسمية و التشهير هو واجب”
I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve heard the “let’s not name names” or “دون ذكر أسماء” refrain in Lebanon and feeling at a complete loss for words and hopeless, yet again, about the way this country works. Continue reading “Lebanon: ‘Naming and Shaming’ as a Duty”
Death is not something that is under our control, but sometimes it is… Continue reading “Even in Lebanon, Some Deaths are Preventable”
I’m quite sure not even a Maronite Patriarch could have pulled off such a gem. Technically, they do have a right to, given that the “glory of Lebanon has been bestowed upon him” (“مجد لبنان أعطي له”). Then again, some Christians could have come up with this too, because as some of them have told me (half serious, half jokingly): Christians (read Maronites) created Lebanon, they have the right to destroy it, and if we extrapolate, they could be the only ones to save it as well… Continue reading ““Only Christians can save Lebanon”: A Quick Response”
Sometimes, I think it would be easier to just re-post my thoughts and frustrations on Lebanon, again and again, in view of the current situation. I am not inclined to write a “Beirut Yet Again and Again” after the latest explosion in Beirut’s southern suburbs on January 2, after having written “Beirut, Yet Again” (بيروت ايضا و ايضا) following the explosion in Downtown Beirut on December 27. The nature of the explosives may have differed and the location slightly shifted, yet nothing else has changed on the ground. Continue reading “Lebanon: A Gloomy Look Ahead”
Yesterday’s explosion in Beirut – killing former Finance Minister Mohammad Chatah among around seven others who remain to be identified – is a sad way to end a year already painted blood-red. With the ongoing violence and bombings in Tripoli, Dahiyeh, and the recurrent attacks on Lebanon’s border with Syria, 2013 was a tragic year, but in true Lebanese style, it could have always been much worse… Continue reading “Beirut, Yet Again”