Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Nazem Khoury Survives Again

No thanks to the tainted pieces of cloth that sit in their high chairs and act like they're running this sad excuse of a government.

You know, I have tried to uphold a certain degree of respect and appreciation towards the man Saniora, mostly because he took on with resolve and resilience the tremendous job of putting together a government in the murky aftermath of the Hariri assassinaion.

And also because he was an honest, hardworking man, a number cruncher that is, ever more so than a politician. And to me, that's a good thing. Or let's say it usually is.

Today, PM Saniora bless his heart, needs to forget about his numbers and crunch some heads instead.

Let's round it all up, shall we?

Five major assassinations with tens of ancillary victims, at least two additional, miraculously non-fatal assassination attempts, and multiple "small" explosions in the christian populated areas of the capital. The result of investigative "efforts"?
But of course! Got a pen and a paper? this might take a while. Alright. ONE lame syrian suspect, TWO sorry ass suspect portrayals, and... wait a second. There's no and. That's it! HAHAAAAAA! Fucking BRILLIANT.

Oh but I forget. A comprehensive UN sponsored investigation with an exquisitely detailed recount of the circumstances surrounding Hariri's assassination. Bottom line? Hang on to your seats, Syria is probably involved! Well, NO FUCKING SHIT! Syria probably involved 2al...

Now Mehlis is gone, for personal reasons, and the new Belgian prosecutor is getting death threats. Should I venture a guess about the personal reasons behind Mehlis' resignation? Quality time with his wife and kids I bet.

Anywho. Let's go back to more recent events. Hezbollah. Where to begin and where to end with Hezbollah. An armed militia with governmental and parliamentary representation with blatant, hit you between the eyes, allegiance to Syria! SYRIA! The same Syria that was kicked out of Lebanon under Lebanese public and international pressure for screwing up the last thirty years of our history!
Well call me fucking stupid if you will, but if this isn't Treason with a capital T then I don't know what is. And they have the nerve to complain about representation!

As if this weren't enough, the precious Shebaa farms came back into the spotlight a couple weeks ago maybe, and only yesterday, three to six Katyushia rockets disturb the calm of Kiryat Shmona. Who did it, I wonder. Certainly not the Hezb since they vehemently denied it. I guess it's the ghost of Christmas past. Ah the good old days. Anyway, Israel couldn't care less about who claims responsibility, and promptly retaliates, while putting the blame on... Take a wild guess? YES! The Lebanese government! How unfair... After all, it isn't our fault if Hezbollah decided to establish a militaro-politico-religious autonomy on Lebanese territory. Because we Lebanese, believe in the sacred right of free political expression and alliance. Of course we do, and that's mostly why we're so much better than most everybody else. So KUDOS to us, though BYE BYE to our country.

God I digressed. Back to where I started with this Arrrgh of a post. Mr. Saniora bless his heart.

I know, it's particularly easy to make fun and criticize when you're not soaking in the mud puddle he's probably in. Nevertheless, when my country is every criminal's safe haven, when people get killed and nobody gets caught, when military groups set up shop on our soil and challenge the very core of our struggle right in our face, when nothing, and I mean NOTHING is being seriously done to change the set "disorder" of things, I am left with no option but to say to Mr. Saniora, excuse me.. emmm sir? would you please DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!?!?!

I mean, please?

I've pretty much given up on Lahoud leaving office before the end of his term. But you know what, who cares. Let him bask in the sun at the "bain militaire" and the Baabda Palace until he turns into a piece of bacon. We have someone who's honest, hardworking, loyal to his country, and the closest match to a leader in a leader's position we have.

All Mr.Saniora needs is a couple of steel balls, an iron fist, and a sense of urgency, and maybe we will start seeing a few criminal heads rolling at our feet.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Dirty Laundry


I hate politics. And I am tired of reading and writing political posts, though I've not really written more than a handful of them over the past year or so. Do these pieces I write even qualify as political since they truly lack the eurdite analysis so commonly found on lebanese political blogs, and compensate for the lack thereof by an oh-so-artistic frame of expression, and an on-and-off passionate, almost incendiary discourse driven by such widespread despair and decrepitude? It doesn't matter really. The cause they serve is political and that seems to be good enough.

Yes I hate politics, and I despise politicians. I never entertained the thought that I could or would be political. But how can I not be when I see my country being torn to shreds and slowly taken apart like a slain lamb. How can I not scream. I can't not scream. Cries come racing out of my throat in spite of me, and transfigure into earthshattering(!) posts on how to save the country and change the world.

Right. Here they are, my revolutionary words, dead in the womb it seems. A good couple of hundred people read them, five leave comments, and three million are waiting, afraid, asleep.

What is this for, really, when all my pain and anger-ridden rhetoric is as far reaching as a shadow cast at high noon. The cause, the country, my brethren, my family, me. Maybe it's just me. Or is it just nothing at all, and I am but a dog barking at its own wagging tail.

This is all very difficult. Maybe one day we will save ourselves, maybe we will change and regain our nation and identity. Now I find it hard to believe, but maybe we will. In the meantime, and if it happens, will I ever be able to say I was part of it, that I helped bring it all to life, the metamorphosis, the liberation, the revolution, while being stranded here, behind this congested keyboard and illuminated screen?

It ails me to say so, but unfortunately not.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

My Wishes for this Christmas


May we realize that no one does or will ever care about our fate and future as much as we do, if at all; that if we don't stand up for ourselves no one will ever stand up for us; that help may come from others but real change only comes from within; that freedom is the child of sacrifice, and sacrifice is the child of Love, and Love is what can ultimatley save the wounded land soaked with the blood of its sons and daughters, the martyrs we lost.

My wish for this Christmas, that to this wounded land we shall give our Love, every single one of us, fully and unconditionally, at any price, for as long as we shall live.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

A Message from the Lebanese Abroad

Maya, an active blogger and member of the Lebanese Abroad sends out this message which, I hope, will be far reaching and elicit the response it deserves.

To our fellow Lebanese

This article is addressed to you from your brothers and sisters from around the world. We, the Lebanese abroad, have a very strong voice and we are taking action. You are not alone because the tragic events taking place in our beloved country have united us globally. The murder of our leaders, fathers, brothers and sisters are bring us closer together.

Our group, Al Moghtarebeen is planning to gather this summer in Beirut to show support for our people in Lebanon and to show the world that the millions of Lebanese abroad will not stand by watching all the tragedies unfold. We plan to travel in large numbers from different parts of the world to be there in Beirut and show everyone that we, the Lebanese, Muslim and Christians, are united in the name of our country Lebanon.

We need the support of groups and organizations in Lebanon and around the world to make this event an unparalleled success and show the world who we are. We are a young group, born after the murder of Mr. Hariri and kept growing with the successive murders, the most recent of which was that of Mr. Tueni.

To all Lebanese groups, to An-Nahar and all media, ministries, embassies, universities, to Mr. Saniora, Mr. Jumblat, Mr. Berri, M. Hariri, M. Michel Aoun, Mrs. Setrida Geagea, M. Mohammad Fneich, and all Lebanese around the world, let us unite and work together to show the world that we are one.

Contact us at – let us work together in support of Lebanon

Established in 2005 in the United States, Lebanon Expats and are the voice of Lebanese scholars, businessmen and professionals living abroad. Their mission is to promote the powerful presence of the Lebanese abroad by carrying on social activities that will improve standards of living, and economical activities that will create job opportunities in Lebanon.

In March this year, the group sent a giant Lebanese Flag around the world to obtain signatures from Lebanese living abroad, the flag toured the USA, Canada, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, France and Lebanon.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Two Minutes in Front of a Grocery Store


"Who is this punk taking my picture?"
"Fucking punks with cameras"
What's there to take a picture of..."
"It's so damn hot..."
"Where is the country going to"
"Damn this country and its shitty government"
"They'll never find who did it those incompetent cowards"
"I wish I could send my boys abroad away from this shit hole"
"Fucking criminals and their car bombs. We thought we were done with this crap"
"Poor May. I wonder what will happen to her..."
"I wonder who's next"
"I wonder what will happen to all of us..."
"Damn Assad and his children. They left us with NOTHING."
"But we're the sons of bitches who let them, because we can't ever agree on anything"
"Damn this entire region of scum and shit"
"What it needs is a lot of oil and a matchstick, and POUF.. good riddance"
"Akhhh... my head... I just want to go through the day and be safe in my own house"
"And this damn house that's barely standing anymore"
"No. I shouldn't say that. Thank God we still have a roof over our heads"
"God save us from having to borrow money"
"They're all WOLVES out there..."
"No one cares about anyone anymore.."
"Damn wolves and this country and this tragic situation we're in..."
"I swear the war days were better. At least we knew what to expect. And there was money. Where's the money now. No money."
"Fucking dollar and central bank and reserve and economy."
"I'm sure we will all die hungry except for those thieves on their chairs stealing from us and treating us like damn sheep..."
"But you know, we deserve it. We should have fucked them all. Fucking bastards sons of bitches all of them..."
"Hehe... All for the sake of Lebanon. WHAT Lebanon? 'al Lebanon 'al. There will be a Lebanon when the chickens grow teeth."
"Fucking lying bastards with full pockets and snake tongues. Hope they die of indigestion."


"Good. That fucker is gone. Him and his camera. Fucking new generation. Good for taking pictures and listening to Haifa and Nawal..."
"Those worthless bastards are going to rebuild the country? My dick will rebuild the country before they do.."


"It's so damn hot. I'll just go inside and sit in front of the fan. Nobody's bying anything anyway. Fucking country. Hope we all go to hell."

Sunday, December 18, 2005

In Desperate Need of a Head... get the ball rolling. We're done with lame ducks, and headless puppets. It's high time for someone who's steadfast enough to brave the looming dangers and seize the reins of an uncertain future. Only a strong and secular leader can unite all Lebanese under one flag and for the sanctity of its cause.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Old Habits

Over the emotionally gruelling last few days, I've been painstakingly trying to stay afloat, taking short dips into a growing sea of relinquishment, but quickly resurfacing to breathe. I did not know whether I should lose hope, or hang on to it.

But I should have known better. Hope is an old habit and old habits die hard.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Composition: Freedom


Time, they say, heels all wounds. Maybe time will rust and shatter away the iron bars of our political and ideological prisons. But time is not a generous giver, and as much as it giveth, it taketh away. Our pride, our determination, our unwoven memories, our stillborn dreams, our chance to look back with more than an empty stare at an empty, contemptible past. People of my country, stand up, for waiting is no more an option, nor is sterile complacency. The iron bars casting their stiff shadows on our pale faces are begging to be broken, and they shall be, inevitably, completely, and soon. Soon enough for us to remember how we freely took our first steps through a brisk and exciting new day.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Our Revolution


This is us, proud Lebanese, mighty prisoners of our weaknesses and fears, of our flags and slogans. This is our sad revolution, and the dismal fate we committed ourselves to fulfill. How unfortunate. And Gebran, I just hope you're peaceful enough where you are to accept that yours, and so many people's blood was spilled in vain.

Let Me Beg

It is late. I am terribly tired but I just can't let myself sleep before letting something out. Yesterday, when the news came to me in the morning, I cried. I cried for the second time in my life over the death of someone I never met in person. This evening, reading through tomorrow's annahar, the text and the pictures, I was barely holding back my tears.

This should NOT have happened. But it did. So for the love of God, for the love of this wounded and tormented piece of land we call ours, for the love of everything and everyone you hold dear to your heart, let's make sure that this damn well happened for a reason.

What is it that you want. What is it that you're waiting for. If begging, then let me get down on my knees and beg. I beg you not to let the dark shadows of defeat blind you and wring your soul. This is it, brothers and friends. THIS IS IT! This is our chance to change the swamping status quo that can, and should no longer be tolerated. We've endured many sacrifices and we might just endure some more, for the sake of our land, our dignity, and the disfigured bodies of our slain heroes. But let us be the ones enduring the sacrifices WE choose, not ones that are chosen for us and thrown at our shameful empty faces.

I said it before and I'll say it again, once, twice, a million times if need be. GET OUT ON THE STREETS. Start in small groups if you have to and merge together into an endless and invincible sea. Bring down the leaders that have long led us into the dark alleys of derision and despair. What's the point of more international investigations? to prove that Syria is the culprit? everyone knows that the Assad clan is behind it all. EVERYONE. The answer, if one, lies in moving together and cleaning up our rotten political core rather than wiping a few specks of dust off the surface. No one will clean our internal mess for us. This is our job and only ours to complete.

Again, for the love of Lebanon, Libnen el 3am bi moot, gather the masses, march onto Baabda and force Lahoud to resign. Let us clear the way for a true, spirited, and loyal leader who will pull the Nation back together, and hopefully move us all out of impending oblivion.

Monday, December 12, 2005

What Needs To Be Done

Two hundred kilograms of explosives waiting for Gebran's motorcade and tearing it to pieces is not an outsider's job. The murderous precision of this act screams an inside job under the auspices of the syrian regime. Sit-ins, candle vigils and anti-syrian graffiti are no longer the answer. The cedar revolution at freedom square was a great first step, but it is no longer sufficient. There's only one thing to be done. Lahoud needs to step down, or be brought down by force. The Lebanese youth, the beating heart of this dying nation, need to march to Baabda, and put an end to the reign of this vermin once and for all. The wooden puppets belong not in palaces but on wooden sticks over an eager blaze. Time is running out. We need to take charge of our destinies, for once be our own heroes, not light candles and call for help, but take action and make room for new blood and new leadership before an otherwise inevitable downfall. Change has to be imminent. If Gebran's martyrdom is not enough to propel us through the whirlwind of metamorphosis and revolution, then mark my humble words, nothing EVER will. Pride cannot be bought. Freedom cannot be borrowed. Let's just remember that as we watch Gebran's charred body prematurely sink in the entrails of our mother soil.

Gebran Tueni Dead?

No, we all are, including our beloved country if what happened this morning does not spark a revolution. Khalas. 3alayyi wa 3ala a3da2i ya rabb. Fuck my dream. Welcome to my lebanese nightmare.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

There's Light


"Allo? Yes. It's me. Good news. I am at the end of the tunnel. Yes there's light. I told you there would be. It's chaos outside, but there's light still. Things'll be better with time. Yes I'm sure. Alright I'm going out. I am excited too. Wish me luck. Yalla. Goodbye."

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Feeling Useless


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Our Lives


No matter how many lives we touch and how many marks we leave behind, this is our life, watching the world unfold from a distance, with us or without, as we slowly move back to our warm cradle in the stars.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I Live by the Palm Tree


This is going to be the first of the last few pictures from my trip to Beirut. Getting close to the end of the roll. I'm feeling nostalgic already, and unsure about what's coming next. But ain't that the spice of life? I keep reminding myself that it is, though I too often forget.

Accidental Parallels


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Fleeting Tree

Through the driver's window, a random aim at 80 miles an hour. A big kiss to the little fairies of photographic good fortune.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Over Troubled Water


"Next right to McMinnville. Exit 87"

Driving in the rain, as if through his own life, he kept counting the exits he flew past, like an old man remembering every time he hung his hopes on a lottery ticket and lost. Every exit was not a lottery ticket he lost, it was one he never bought.

"Just one more. Exit 88"

He knew he could not stop or slow down until he reached home. Until he found it. But the road was still far stretched into the horizon and the sky somber and unforgiving. Under the yellow-grey steel and concrete bridges, he felt safe for an instant before the fleeting shelters rapidly faded in the saggy pocket of the past.

That was it. Next right to McMinnville. The last exit he will not take. Or the first and last one he ever will.

McMinnville. Yes. But not this name. From then on, he was going to call it McKinnville. His ville, the place where he found himself, where he could stop on the curb and take a walk, his warm trembling shadow thrown at his feet one mile away from the setting sun.

McKinnville was to be where he would calmly stand and contemplate the murky rain water flowing under the bridges where he used to be, and where many still were, stranded in their cars, driving towards a meaning and a destiny of their own.

His destiny was to be here. Not because it had to, but because it could and because it was time.

Also because now, he could finally feel it in his skin.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Balustrade