Saturday, December 23, 2006

On my way home

Full flight from Nashville to Atlanta. A family of eight. And Nan.

Nan: This is going to be the best Birthday ever. I can't wait to get to Indiana.

Daughter#1: Nan, it's Christmas. We're going to Florida.

Nan: Are we really? I thought we were going to Nashville! HAHAHAHA!

All the family (and me more discretely): HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Nan: So why are we going to Nashville?

Daughter#2: No Nan, we're going to Florida. For Christmas. Are you excited?

Nan: No I am not!

Grandson (to Daughter#3 in the seat behind him): She asked Nan if she was excited to go to Florida and Nan said no I'm not! Hahahahaha!

Daughter#3: Oh Nan! Hahahahaha!

Nan: I'm glad we're going to Nashville. I miss Nashville (Nan smiles. Everyone around her smiles too)

(Silence. The captain makes an announcement)

Nan: Did you hear that?

Daughter#1: What Nan?

Nan: The captain said I am not on the plane! am I on the plane? because if I am not on the plane you need to go get me.

Daughter#2: Nan you are with us on the plane. And we're going to Florida.

Nan: Okay. Good. Good. (Pause) Because I would hate you to leave me behind.

(Silence. The plane starts moving)

Daughter#1: Nan? Where are we going?

Nan: And how the hell should I know! I'm just going along..

We're all just going along. Beirut tomorrow, and like you, I don't know where I'm going.
The plane takes off, I'm strangely sad, I start reading but I quickly fall asleep. Short flight. I'm woken up by landing.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

On Israel's "Right to Exist"

Smart and insightful article showcasing a small but essential part of the israeli conceptual propaganda machine.

[...] "Recognizing Israel" or any other state is a formal legal/diplomatic act by a state with respect to another state. It is inappropriate -- indeed, nonsensical -- to talk about a political party or movement, even one in a sovereign state, extending diplomatic recognition to a state. To talk of Hamas "recognizing Israel" is simply sloppy, confusing and deceptive shorthand for the real demand being made. [...]
Music on deaf ears.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Nothing's gonna change my world..

..if I carry my world with me wherever I go. Last sunday, a bird died on my porch. In my world, when birds die, it's only a chance for them to fly higher, where the claws of predators and the guns of hunters can't reach. While everything is still going awfully wrong in the world, especially the small world where I come from and the slightly larger world around it, it is sad (though somewhat comforting) to realize that in violence, we only fulfill life's most basic construct. Life feeding on life. Life the Monster. Life the Cannibal. Life's insatiable drive to propagate, and its endless capacity to self-destruct. All human rights and human laws are artifice in this ruthless scheme, the fruit of fear and weakness, of a realization that only us humans have, the tragedy of seeing and comprehending the fragility of our existence, and our inability to do anything about it, except fooling ourselves into establishing safer and more predictable systems of living, and occupying ourselves with the elusive pursuit of happiness. The bird that died on my porch was not the victim of violence, but it might as well have been. It was the victim of life, and where it lies now sure seems like a better place to fly and sing.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I'll keep your secrets for you

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Some mistakes are unforgivable, even if you mean well.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The imbecile has spoken

Who are you, miserable little fuck, to talk about what is constitutional and legitimate, as if there was anything constitutional or legitimate about you or where you are.

Let people on both sides, or on no side of the street say whatever they fancy, and let me say this; any human, animal, or object associated with this creature, and whose plan this creature supports, is an enemy of Lebanon. This excuse of a man represents the lowest of the lowest of Syria's vile servants, Syria you people, SYRIA, the government that exercised continuous, unrelenting control over our internal affairs, impunibly through the cold-blooded killing of countless prominent political figures, and whomever had the balls to publicly denounce it, and point an accusatory finger at its despotic, murderous ways.

Have some of us completely done away with their long-term memory? Since when was Israel our only enemy? Since when were the Lebanese prisoners who lie in Israeli prisons the only ones we have lost? what about the hundreds of young Lebanese men who were abducted, thrown in the cells of Mazzeh, tortured, killed and made disappear off the face of the earth? do these not count? why, because Syria is our sister, and these are internal family affairs?

Listen, I despise and abhor people like Geagea and Jumblatt, murderers who were and still are active participants in the Lebanese conflict, and I would like to see them wiped off the face of the earth, just as much as I love every last true Lebanese of all sects anywhere in Lebanon. Every last Lebanese deserves the same political, social, and economic rights as any other, regardless of their backgrounds and affiliations.

But let it be clear to all, any man who joins troops with the Syrian troll is to me as guilty as anyone who joins hands with the Zionist troll. If the political, social, and economic rights of the shiites are not fulfilled, I would be the first to set up shop and sleep in a tent with them in martyr square. However, as long as Hassan Nasrallah's posture so perfectly coincides with the Syrian archenemy's posture, I will denounce him, his wit, his charisma, his followers and his political plans, just as much as I will denounce Geagea, Jumblatt, Gemayel etc. and any endorser of the American-Israeli regional ambitions and plans.

Let him wash his hands of Syria's filth, let Sanioura wash his hands of America's filth, let there be a (I won't say new) true Lebanese president, who truly represents the people of Lebanon, and only then can there be ANY hope for unity and reconciliation.


My latest attempt at art.

(Watercolor, Strathmore 140 lb., cold press, 14x11")

maybe a song

it's 9:30 in the morning
the walls are still off-white
it seems i'm still here
it seems i missed my flight
i know
i should have been
cruising somewhere in between
music and cheese steak cities
but the plane
that was to take me
just woke me up instead
and i listened to it leaving
sleeping under my bed
it's 11:30 in the morning
i'm still right where i was
under my bed
still waiting
my life taking a pause
i know
had i been early
i would be there by now
but i missed my flight this morning
i missed it many mornings
i know i did
i do
but i just don't know how

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The plea that no one will hear

My one and only plea, to all the Marchs and Februaries and Summers and Springs, to all those in power and those aspiring to be, to Nasrallah the charismatic, to Aoun the enigmatic, to Geagea the fanatic, to Jumblatt the lunatic, to those stuck in their serails, their churches, their mosques, their tents, their visions, their rights, their demands, their affiliations, on both sides of the fence, to the Lebanese, THE LEBANESE, on the streets, in martyr square, in houses, in apartments, in palaces, in cities and in villages, down on the coast and up in the mountains, within the borders and abroad, I have things to say to you I wish you could hear.

To all of you who have a sense of belonging to this land and all of its people, those of you who cheer for Lebanese teams when they come back with a trophy or a medal or nothing at all, to those who are proud of Lebanese achievers, artists, scientists, businessmen who, against all odds, reach for the stars, and touch them, not just in Lebanon but all around the world, to all those who feel this is their home, their land, their roots, their tradition, even those who don’t carry a passport but have been part of us for long enough that they feel it is where they belong, to all of you, I have things to say to you I wish you could hear.

To all of you who stand on the edge of the mountain, in the streets of Chtoura overlooking the vast, green and ochre patchwork of the Bekaa valley and see Lebanon, who peek at the sun and the sky from between the columns of Jupiter's temple and in the eyes of an old farmer from Baalbeck and see Lebanon, who grab a fistful of earth and blood from Bint Jbeil, Maroun el Rass, Saida, Sour, Haret Hreik, Zahle, Marje3youn, Ayta el shaaeb, Ghaziyyeh, Bekfayya, Trabloss, Ashrafiyyeh, Qana, Qana, Qana, and feel Lebanon, who drive down the coastline from Nahrel Kabeer to Nakoora, from rocky shores to sandy beaches to establishments of pure concrete, where boys play with the 7askeh and swim like little fish, and middle aged men spend hours holding their sinnara, waiting for that big farrideh but not really, because they will later tell stories about it anyway, to those who stop in Batroun, Shekka, Jounieh, Rawsheh, Khaldeh, Rmaileh, Sour, who wash their faces with the fresh drizzle of the murky sea that cradles the worn out wooden boats of those fishermen looking to feed their families, to those of you who wet their feet and fill their palms with the salty blue waters and smell Lebanon, to all of you who wherever they go, north, south, east, west, take the same bite out of that man2oushet zaatar, eat the same kibbeh, kafta, fattoush, tabbouleh, samak mi2leh, hommos, baba ghannouj, wara2 3areesh, ka3keh bi knefeh, bi2lewah, znood el sett, and taste Lebanon, to all of you who listen to Fayrouz, the mijanah, the 3ateba, the nay, the zajal, the derbakkeh, wadi3, mil7em, salwa, saba7, and hear and sing Lebanon, to all of you who watch the dabkeh and dance Lebanon, I have things to say to you I wish you could hear.

I wish you could hear me telling you that Lebanon has more enemies than you think, from Israel who destroys our land and kills our people, to the Palestinians who want to make us the new Palestine, to Syria who doesn't acknowledge our existence and wants to make everything that is ours its own, to the United States and Iran who use us for their grander schemes of domination and power. None of those are our friends, none of them should be our allies. We are all we have, and we only have each other and this land that brought us together. We are all one, and if we distance ourselves from all external influences, and I think we can, we will unite, and we will see our common history, our common roots, our common future, our common land through the untainted lenses we don't yet have.

And the weak of faith who say that there is no such thing as Lebanon, that it is an artificial French construct, an illusion, a dream fostered by the Rahbani's and carried on by the wishful populace, to those who believe in ascribing Lebanon to some greater geopolitical entity that does not complement it but strips it of its heritage and identity and throws it into the dungeons of memory, they can move along to a land that doesn't have children of its own, but borrows self-made orphans to fill its sinking void. And to those people I say, if you don't believe in Lebanon, it's not because it doesn't exist, it's not because of your historical understanding or political erudition, but because you can't feel nor taste nor smell nor see what the Lebanese feel and taste and smell and see, and because you don't belong except to your own big egos and independent souls.

Let you and people like you freely choose their path. But to all of us who believe in Lebanon, let Lebanon be the only path we choose, and let's choose it together as brothers and sisters, as one people, with one purpose, and one love, let's do only that, and we shall most definitely prevail.

En'at3et Feenal 3arabiyyeh

Quick fixes work sometimes, but they never last. Serious, professional fixes often work. But when serious fixes at the core of the problem are neither practical nor possible, the whole thing had better be thrown away and replaced once and for all.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The familiarity of silence while in this head plays a poem, and in the background, no not the background, in the foreground plays a song that tells it like it is, silence, a beautiful garden, do you still want to see it if it looks everyday the same, yes, silence, hands bathing in the morning, hands you see and can't let go of, a song, a voice, love, and nothing else.

Friday, December 01, 2006

And I will sleep somewhere close enough to watch you and hear you breathing. On your bed, on the sofa, on the floor, on the floor of another house, of another country, even if by myself, even if ten thousand miles away.