Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Being There


Sunday, February 26, 2006

My America


Back to back cookie-cutter houses hiding under small patches of snow. Wide open sky lightly veiled with a thin film of mid winter clouds.

It's calm and it's peaceful.

My America.


Back to back copycat houses with nothing but numbers to set them apart. My house is the second one after the naked ficus tree, in front of the dumpster. I took off the number and left a dirty palette, two worn out paintbrushes, and three empty color tubes waiting at the front door. But since I took off the number, I can't find my house in America.


In America, there are back to back people carrying numbers that set them apart. I came without a number, but I brought with me a name, people whose history I carry, whom I left behind, the modest country where I was born, where I was given brown eyes, brown hair, and a bag of memories that's never quite full. Here, they gave me a number and told me to keep it safe because my life was attached to it. I threw away the number, because it wasn't mine. And now, I am no one in America.


Back to back cookie-cutter houses hiding under small patches of snow. Wide open sky lightly veiled with a thin film of mid winter clouds. Stand there and watch. Them number your soul.

312-85-9921. 10000-4114-232-2375. 3103. 4011-5097-3549-4812.

Sowly numb your soul.

All is numb now.

All is numb.

Calm and peaceful America.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Blinding headache.. lights I can't breathe.. I wish I could sleep through your life..

I wish I could sleep...

Sunday, February 19, 2006



Saturday, February 18, 2006



This comes a little late but I'll post it anyway.

I've always believed that stark contrasts between different composition elements, thrown within a single visual frame, bring out considerable esthetic value and pictorial intensity, values I constantly seek to achieve as I tackle the sensory world around me with a camera or a paintbrush in hand.

What contrast often does is project through dissonance a sense of complementarity and equilibrium, or disequilibrium for that matter, that would otherwise be evasive to the observing eye, and if not evasive, then often not powerful enough to stir viewers and leave a definitive mark in their minds.

Having said that, the contrast evoked by images depicting people who have nothing in common but their self-serving disparate agendas, mascarading harmony and union to a naively optimistic, if not credulous crowd, stirs not an emotion of esthetic satisfaction, but one of utter disgust.

I just hope these pictures and mental images remain vivid when the sad lebanese governing "elite" goes back to its ritualistic name-calling, finger-pointing and poison-spitting, and we, the free and powerful youth, go back to our daily ranting, raving, and blaming everyone but ourselves routine.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Four Arcades


They were four arcades.

Their elegant curved contours flowing rhythmically through a story.

Like the soothing, imperceptible vibrato of his fatherly voice.

Four arcades, and beneath them, four windows peeking carelessly, incessantly at the past.



They look eternal.

Nothing remains.

Will we ever understand.

Our Tragic Truth

"The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments"
-William H. Borah

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

More of the Same

We, proud and vociferous Lebanese, have undoubtedly established a keen ability to gather in hundreds of thousands, all brothers, all sisters, holding hands, waving flags and banners, in memory of defunct leaders and in the name of a persistent cause.

But as we're able to gather, are we truly together?

And as we rally, are we ever able to really act?

Those are the questions that make half a million lebanese seem to me more like a lentil soup than a rally, or for that matter, a revolution.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Happy February 14th


Thursday, February 09, 2006


He lives in small places, amidst the simple and the poor.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

He Was a Nomad

He was a nomad, for all he knew, pushing the last strokes of color on the cold restaurant wall. For years, he recognized no borders. The entire world was at his chapped, painted fingertips. Yet somehow, his traveling soul always searched for a way back to the land where he was born. He knew not where it was. At least, not anymore. Yet he carried it around with him in a grey duffle bag, with the old brushes, the stained color jars, and the rest of his useless little things. His land had become the paint stuck between the bristles of his frayed brush, and pasted on the walls of people he barely knew. He was a nomad, true, but one with a land, a distant and beautiful land he barely remembered, yet one he knew he would never leave.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

My Name is Fouad

My name is Fouad. I was born and raised a Christian. Growing up, I never missed a Sunday mass, I sang with the church choir, I helped Father Hanna collect and count the church's weekly offerings, I read passages from the bible to church attendees during ceremonies. I was baptized in an orthodox church, I got my catechism in a maronite church, I served and sang in a catholic church, and I attended mass in all.

My name is Fouad. My baptism name is Jacob, my middle name is Mohammad. I was born in a muslim neighborhood, my best friends are practicing Muslims, I know coranic verses by heart, I walk around with "ayat al koursi" in my bag, I can and sometimes do sing the "athan", the call for prayer, and I get goose bumps as I listen to its gripping sound breaking through the tangerine sunset skies of a calm and fasting Beirut.

My name is Fouad Mohammad Jacob B. Yes, I am a Christian by chance and by choice. I am also a Muslim if you choose to trust my muslim friends who heard me say "I believe that there's no God but God and that Mohammad is the prophet of God".

Yet today, as I stand faceless in a world shrouded by a burka and stabbed by a crescent and a cross, as I watch blinded angry people wrecking, burning, destroying lives in the name of religion, prophets and God, I can't help but wonder.

Wonder if God knew what he was doing when he sent us the prophets and their books.

Wonder if the world would have been that much worse if we didn't have a sacred justification for hatred, destruction and death.

Wonder if I would still be Christian if I wondered whether there really is a God to begin with who accepts what is being done in his name, or if that be the case, whether there should be a God at all.


My name is Fouad Mohammad Jacob B, and today, Christian or not, Muslim or not, as a believer, I am taking a break.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Squirrel for You


Not my best photographic effort, but the only squirrel I have. And a sleazy looking one at that :)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Waiting for You


I'll have an empty plate for one
And drinks for two...