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Monday, December 24, 2012

My Christmas

One more year, I am still alive, I'm lucky,
Again, I have my health, I'm lucky,
I'm celebrating Christmas one more time, I'm lucky,
I have my kids, my family, my friends, I'm lucky,

I still have a roof to keep me warm, I'm lucky,
I still have enough to keep me from hunger, I'm lucky,
I still have enough clothes to keep me from cold, I'm lucky,

I have no direct life threat, I'm lucky,
I can walk, see, hear, touch, I'm lucky,
I have a job, and many luxuries of life, I'm lucky,

Too many blessings and kindness in my life.
I do not always see them and feel thankful.
I tend to pretend it's all my personal effort.
I tend to take them for granted. 

Not today.

Today I wish a Merry Christmas to all those who lost a dear person,
To all those suffering lack of health and crying in silence,
To all who can't celebrate, for political, religious or fear reasons,
To all those who lost a family and will have empty seats today,

Merry Christmas.

Today I wish a Merry Christmas to all children and grown ups who have no roof to protect them,
To those who are under the rain, the snow, the cold, feeling left behind,
To those who are merely surviving,
to those who have no job, no food, no clothes, no love,

Merry Christmas.

To people in war, hatred, fear,
To those considered not worth a life,
To those in prisons,
To those in refugees camps, on borders,
To those jeopardizing their lives on boats heading to get a better chance,
To those who lost a country,
To those who lost their luck.

Merry Christmas.

For maybe today I see you, I feel you, my thoughts go to you...
But tomorrow, I might be you.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Meeting again, 22 years after.

It was yesterday...
22 years ago.
We were young women filled with dreams and expectations, eager to finish school and fly away.
We were the same class of girls in our school. Some of us friends since kinder-garden.

We left our seats for other groups of girls and spread our wings away from childhood.

Each one of us took a path. Some married their first sweethearts, some did travel...
Life took us away from each other. We wanted to see the outside world, the “real” life. We wanted to leave that childhood and youth behind. Life had a lot to offer and we were ready...

22 years after... one simple photo brought back a whole life. A single photo, posted by one of us. It was our school gown, the one we wore for years, filled with wishes and love written by all of us to each other, with drawings and hearts. We wrote those words on the last day of school, before going for good.

And suddenly, through social media, we started finding each other... Few days, and we were over 18 girls chatting online.

I insist on the word “girls”... We were women outside this chatting box, inside, we rediscovered the girls in us, still alive, still fun, still hilarious!

A reunion dinner was a must.

So, 22 years after, we did it, we met again.

22 years after, we're still the same. With life stories to share...

22 years after, we came back with a big number of kids, two divorces, one remarriage, one breast cancer (won battle), one dead child (lost battle), two single ladies, three living abroad, great professional lives...

22 years after, we came with tons of stories, some sad, many funny and happy.
22 years after, I was amazed to see myself discussing kids, labor, work, disappointment... with the same girls I used to talk dreams, expectations, love...

22 years after, it was yesterday.
22 years after, it was so long ago, yet so close.
22 years after, we are still those girls filled with hope, topped with a few years of experience, some wrinkles, few disappointments, big hearts, and wisdom.

22 years after choosing to go away, life brought us back together, through one simple school dress, to remind us that true friendship doesn’t just fade, doesn’t just go, and doesn’t need a daily reminder to exist. It’s just there. Period.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I Need a Break.

I need a break here. Need to stop.
I need a break from your anger, from your wrath.
I need a break from your sacred wars.
I need to pause. Take a breath.
I need silence.

I need a break from your hatred, your scary mind.
I need a break from the nightmare I see with open eyes.
I need to pause. Need a breath.
I need silence in my head.

I need a break from your killing, your explaining.
I need a break from your arrogance.
I need your silence.
I need to pause. Need to breathe.

I need a break from your theories, your ideology.
I need a break from your judgement, your philosophy.
I feel like choking, need to breathe.
I need your silence.

I need a break from your world, your colors.
I need a break from your black and your white.
I need a break from your wrong and your right.
I need your silence. Need a breath.
I need to pause. To forget.

I need a break from watching you, hearing you.
I need a break from suffering because of you.
I need to pause. Need to breathe.
I need your silence.

I need my sky, I need my dreams..
I need my innocence, my colors and my wind.
I need a long break. I need a deep breath.
I need a long silence.
I need to live.

Sunday, October 21, 2012




I pressed the button.
Kaboom! I saw it go off. Bam!
Felt so strong. Felt so proud. I did it.
I watched the moment of silence that followed.
I stopped time for few seconds. Then everything started to collapse, people started to moan.
I walked away calmly. Tried to play scared on my way out. No one saw me, everybody was shocked, everybody was in disbelief.
If it wasn’t for my security, I would have told them I did it. I wanted so much to show off. To say I’m the one who stopped time. But as planned, I had to run quick, and reach my hiding spot before leaving this place.

Kaboom! The sounds and images keep playing in my head!
Kaboom! I broke lives.
Kaboom! I killed an "enemy".
Kaboom! What will follow is my aim.
Kaboom! I proved my beliefs.
Kaboom! I killed the threat.
Kaboom! And few more with him. Who cares?
Kaboom! The price to pay for my beliefs.
Kaboom! They will become numbers with time. They will be the same old victims. Kaboom! Who cares?
Kaboom! I killed some kids. I can live with that knowing I reached “him”, I eliminated “him”.
Kaboom! The plan has been executed.
Kaboom! I did it for the "cause".
Kaboom! Sometimes we have to sacrifice lives along. Don't they all say that?
Kaboom! Now reactions are just as expected.
Kaboom!  They are calling for hate.
Kaboom! All over again.
Kaboom! So predictable.
Kaboom,! Right where we want them to be.
Kaboom! They started to fight.
Kaboom! They will be more and more divided.
Kaboom! Some will try to calm the game, but Kaboom again no one will listen.
Kaboom! Been there before.
Kaboom! I will win my case.
Kaboom! I pushed the button of hate.
Kaboom! Revived their trauma again.
Kaboom! They will answer as expected.
Kaboom! I stopped time, stole lives, ruined others. Took an eye, took an arm or a leg. Took a home.
Kaboom! Now they will fight who owns martyrs fallen on the ground. Will use them, shrink them.
Kaboom! Hate is so easy to trigger: one button. Ask me, I know.
Kaboom! They hate me, but will never find me. I'll be either dead or away. Who cares?
Kaboom!  Dead or alive, I win. I rest my case.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Lost women of Arab revolutions.

    We came from many countries, from the East and the West, gathered in Amman for a conflict transformation conference. We came to meet, to learn, to teach, to discover, to unite...

    We met after so many changes in the Arab world...Arab Spring, as some like to call it. We met in the middle of the turmoil. In the middle of the total makeover. In the middle of madness. In the middle of change.

We met while people are unleashing the beast inside them in many places. We met while men are playing war and women and children paying the price on the short and long term. We met while democracy of numbers is killing democracy ethics.

But we met.

It was a break time, a sharing time, a discovering time, a peaceful time, until one late night...

    We were out in the city, having non-alcoholic beer and watching a football match between Germany and Greece.  Cheering for Germany to please Lucia, our German friend on the table, while she supported Greece "their country is in crisis, they need to cheer up a little”.
    Few minutes later a half Jordanian half Palestinian girlfriend joined us with two other ladies. One, Syrian, with a lot of make-up and an unsuccessful plastic surgery but with a lovely smile, the other, Iraqi, younger, more corporate and reserved. Both blonds.
The game wasn’t over, but Germany was leading 3 to 1.The group wanted to stay a little more, I was tired. Lucia too. We were about to say good night and hail a cab, when the two newcomers suggested a lift, on their way back.

"Sleeping Girl" by Roy Lichtenstein
    Amman is a busy city at night, and traffic made the trip longer. Lucia wanted to know more about the region, about the people, and she started asking questions. They started telling their stories...We were at the back, it was dark. We were ears, just ears...then we became ears and hearts...
Make-up was out, smiles too, replaced by sad whispers of despair...

    The Iraqi fled her country few years ago, now lives and works in Jordan. Her homeland is too dangerous to live in. “People go out in the morning not knowing if they’ll get back alive”. Her Iraq is so close, yet too far... I couldn’t see her face, but I felt the tears in her voice. Then her silence...

    The Syrian is married, and lives in Jordan. Her family is still trapped on the outskirts of Aleppo. She calls her mom everyday to hear some scary stories. She can’t go there, they can’t come here. Her mom tells her to forget about Syria, she longs to go.  Crimes, mutilations, rape are her daily feed.
On the same morning her mom shared a nightmare with her: two bodies of neighbors floating in the local river... Her voice is sharp, loud, filled with anger and despair. Her only link to her country is telephone line. She lives through those invisible waves of sounds and words.

    The night became heavier. The city lights blurred. I was in a strange city with three strange women. Two blond heads in front with no country, lost in a remote city, trying to look good and alive, dreaming of “going back”. 
Two of many others, who asked for change, for democracy, who were everywhere. Two of many who were among the first to pay heavily the freedom they wanted. Two of many who discovered they were not welcome in the new Arab picture. Two of many who are scared to death for their security and their lives. Two of many who committed the crime of being women. Two of many afraid of rape.

I may become like them one day... I’m on the edge too.

    We became three lost souls in a strange city in my head. Lucia was our visitor. Our tourist. 

    When we reached our hotel, I ran out of the car with a heavy heart. Lucia was in tears, hugging both ladies with empathy.
In the elevator we stood in silence. When it stopped on my floor, she just hugged me and said :”what  a sad way to end a night!”

I smiled...thinking: “what a sad way to live a life”...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Mom Versus Woman

So, one day, you become a mom. You reach the peak of your life, the goal, the achievement, the meaning of life for women (...)
Hmmm. Mabrouk!

With motherhood, you get a fact... you don’t give it a lot of thoughts at first. You realize you have a new exclusive label: you’re just a mom now. You get the invisible label titled: mom. Even your first label: married woman fades away. But who cares! Isn’t it the natural path of life?

You find it fulfilling. You brag about it, you turn your whole life into Mothers Land direction.
You cut your hair to get the mom look, like all other moms, you defend your bouncing belly and your scars. You only talk about “them”, your kids, about how you raise them, how wonderful you are as a mom, how loving, caring, altruist, generous, self-denying person you became. You believe yourself when you say how wonderful it feels to give it all, to take the background seat, to loose all attention and enjoy the new center of your life, to become second, or third, or tenth...

You believe yourself when you say you stop everything about you, your work, your life, your love, and decide to become a feeding, loving, educating machine.

Everybody around you tells you how wonderful it is, how sacrifice is rewarding, how self –denial is the most fulfilling feeling. You are almost a saint! With less virginity.Your new image is just as everybody told you about your whole life! You fit marvelously!

It’s all true somewhere. Somehow.

Being “the mom”, sharing mothers code, mothers discussions, mothers fears... looks wonderful.  It’s a whole different world!

Suddenly, one day, something happens. You feel tired, you feel left behind, you feel you’re growing old, or getting fat... Something inside you tries to fight you.
A young girl with dreams awakes. A young woman with hopes emerges. Someone you forgot about tickles your well-established way of being.

Is it someone from your past? Is it someone you killed before?

You start to become bitter. You become aggressive. You even may become rude. You start to show a dark side through cruel sexist feminist jokes.
You realize that you missed a lot. You remember the child in you, that needs care. You remember the woman in you, the lover, the selfish, the sexy woman in you that needs love. You remember the human being in you that is not a saint, or a virgin. You remember the lazy person in you that needs rest, calm, peace...

And you feel guilty. Of course you’re guilty! You spent your whole life fitting in the image everybody told you about, everybody before you went through. And now that you fit, you want something else? What’s wrong with you silly woman? What is it that you want?
Women! They’re all the same! Don’t you just love that sentence? Women don’t know what they want! Look at you now! You have it “all”, and you feel bitter? You’re nuts!

So you hide your feelings, and decide to do something...

You start fighting the world your own way, by hiding your belly, exercising, changing hair color, wearing make up, filling your skin, shopping... You try to shout in silence to the world that you are still a woman, young and sexy. You try to remind the world that YOU exist...
Sometimes you look pathetic... sometimes it works for a while.

Or, you decide to fight yourself instead of the world, and you eat like there’s no tomorrow, you let yourself go, you merely look at the mirror, you hide more and more behind your sick altruism, and brag about your kids who left you long years ago, who ran away from you.

Or, you decide to fight your partner and your kids, the reason behind your feeling! It’s because of HIM, of THEM, “I gave you everything you bunch of ungrateful sick selfish family of mine!”. You really feel they owe you, they belong to you! You made this family! You forgot everything about you for them! They must shut up and kneel on your feet!

Your bitterness has no limits. Your “war” transforms you! You become a beast.

Self-denial, huh? Altruism, huh? Giving it all to others, huh? You really thought you’re a saint? You really thought you can forget about yourself and exist through others? You really thought it won’t affect you, huh?

You left nothing for you! You killed that young girl, that lover, that sexy, that dreamer, that lazy, selfish, cute, human being called “woman” in you! You are your own torturer! Your own criminal! Your own “bad guy”! Stop blaming! Stop arguing! Stop not living! Be a mom, but stay a woman, a lover, a selfish, a lazy, human being sometimes! Keep your space for God’s sake! And spare us your bitterness!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Je viens de rentrer de la cérémonie de remise de diplômes aux élèves de terminale au collège Melkart. Je devais dire un mot au nom du comité. Mon mal étant très grand, mon inquiétude dépassant les pépins de leur avenir académique et professionel, j'ai accusé... Zola était là, en moi...
Jai crié ce que je considère être de loin plus important que les soucis de leur futur académique... J'ai crié ma rage. Mon cri a atteint les coeurs.. Mais pendant combien de temps? 

Voici ce que j'avais à dire...

"Voici venu le grand jour...
Enfin ! Fini l’enfance, l’école et tout ce qui va avec...
Vous voilà à un nouveau seuil de votre vie, qui ne sera pas le seul.

Et en ce jour, aussi solennel... J’accuse !

- J’accuse notre génération de baisser les bras...
- J’accuse notre génération de n’avoir pas réussi à devenir de bons citoyens...
-J’accuse notre État confessionnel, sectaire, marginal et pitoyable....
- J’accuse notre incompétence à accepter et tolérer notre pluralisme....
-J’accuse notre peur de “l’autre”, cette peur qui nous pousse à nous haïr et à retirer l’humanité de toute personne osant être différente....
- J’accuse notre violence passive et/ou agressive, qui n’attend qu’un prétexte pour émerger à tout moment...
- J’accuse ce que nous léguons à nos enfants....
- J’accuse la peur et l’ignorance qui nous dicte notre quotidien, et qui nous pousse à croire qu’on détient la vérité, que nous seuls avons raison, que nous sommes une race supérieure...

Chers diplômés, pardonnez-nous si par peur, par mauvaise expérience, par mémoire courte et par succession d’erreurs... nous vous avons légués nos idées toutes faites et nos préjugés saugrenus...
Pardonnez-nous nos gaffes tout au long de ces années...

Au seuil d’une nouvelle porte de votre vie qu’allez-vous être? Qu’allez-vous devenir?

Laissons de côté votre spécialisation, votre carrière. Vous avez un bagage riche pour vous permettre de faire le bon choix. Votre collège vous a bien formé, vos parents aussi....
Qu’allez-vous retenir ? Dans quelle direction allez-vous creuser ?...
Quels citoyens serez-vous ?...
- Allez-vous faire comme nous ?
- Allez-vous perpétuer notre peur de la diversité ?
- Allez-vous vous contenter de geindre tout en restant coincés dans vos positions ?
- Allez-vous comme nous, prôner la citoyenneté, pour la reléguer derrière votre religion, votre clan, votre région ou votre parti politique, que vous mettrez toujours en premier ?
- Allez-vous, comme nous, adorer votre tortionnaire ?
- Allez-vous, bientôt, perpétuer la tradition de porter les mêmes visages au pouvoir par peur du changement ?
- Allez-vous encore nous croire quand on essaye de vous léguer notre vérité ? Nos partis pris ?

Ou bien allez-vous vous révolter contre nous ?

- Allez-vous nous surprendre avec votre capacité d’accepter la diversité de notre société ?
- Allez-vous démolir ces murs de peur et de haine qu’on a savamment érigé entre nous ?
- Allez-vous enfin croire que tous, nous aimons ce pays ? Tous, sans exception, mais  chacun à sa manière ?
- Allez-vous opter pour la communication constructive sans préjugés ?

Ou bien allez-vous, comme nous, vous contenter de parler pour ne rien dire ?

- Allez-vous user de votre jeunesse, de votre bagage, de vos rêves ?
- Allez-vous prouver à notre génération souffrante, que nous ne sommes pas condamnés à perpétuer la peur et la haine.
- Allez-vous prétendre, comme nous, que l’enfer et les problèmes,  c’est toujours les “autres”, ou allez-vous nous surprendre?

Le changement commence en soi. La révolution la plus dure est celle faite contre ses propres préjugés. La course la plus performante est l’autodépassement

Vous avez des ailes. Déployez-les !
Soyez le changement que vous voulez voir dans ce monde...

Vous êtes au seuil de la vie adulte: prenez votre envol, et creusez votre humanité. Le reste n’est que détails.

Bonne chance !

Tania Ghorra

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Armageddon recap (all the way to hell)

Beirut- AFP
Let's try to recap all what happened in Lebanon during the month of May 2012, maybe we can understand madness...

1- "007" Arrest operation of a certain Shadi Moulawi, in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, from the social bureau of Mr Safadi (MP and Minister), allegedly accused of being a Qaeda activist, offering help to Syrian rebels.

2- Big demonstrations on the main square of the city by a group of angry Islamists demanding his immediate release "or else". Tents quickly put in the streets for a likely long sit-in.

3-Burning tires and closed streets all over the country.

4-Few hours later, clashes between everlasting enemies/brothers in 2 streets of high poverty and illiteracy starts. Alevis and Sunnis. The infamous Bab El Tabbaneh and Jabal Muhsen set on fire.

5-Heavy gun fire with elaborated costly weapons in the hands of people living under poverty line(2$/day), kids aged 10 and 12 armed and proud to "defend" their streets from intruders, left the city in a state of shock.

6-Army starts interfering. Snipers shoot passers by, victims on all sides, sit-in still active.

7-Hatred statements by some local leaders and religious illuminated souls. Army still calming down the game and entering hot neighborhoods.

8-Just as things seemed to start to wrap up, Bahrein, Qatar and UAE, simultaneously order their citizens to refrain from coming to Lebanon, and invite those here to leave (...).

9-Threats by "angry" "citizens" to bring the country down if Moulawi is not released.

10-Morning after, two opposing groups got the permission to have 2 opposite demonstrations in Halba (20 minutes away from Tripoli clashes), remembering a 2008 (May 7 clashes) sad chapter, where some people were savagely killed by other people savagely attacked (as they say). Bad timing, bad decision.

11-On an Army check point, something still unclear happened, shooting started and a Sunni Sheikh and his companion died on the spot, shot by the army, while on their way to one of the demonstrations. Both demonstrations cancelled.

Akkar-Credit Al-Akhbar
12-All Akkar and North Lebanon set on fire with anger. Revenge is the only demand. Blood versus blood.

13-Burning tires all over the country.Blocked streets.

14-Calls and talks, live coverage, open investigation...

15-Angry Islamists want their long time prisoners (without trial), in Roumieh prison, out, as a compensation, along with Moulawi.


16- Out of nowhere, Beirut, Tariq Jdideh, lives a wild surrealist night. Clashes erupt between two Sunni fractions. One accusing a man and his group of being an intruder, unwelcome with his "different" ideas in the neighborhood( allegedly Shia Hizbullah sympathetic). I don't know why, but they decided to kick him out, using RPGs and heavy weapons. Beirut on fire.

17-Again, burning tires all around (plus garbage boxes closing the streets).

18-Other Lebanese people like myself, spent the night watching a real XBOX, Nintendo DS and PS3 war game live on TV, until 4 AM in the morning. Army stayed out of the game for hours before deciding to play and restore order.

19-Morning after: calm. Burned houses and cars. But the "unwanted" guy was out, declaring: "I'll be back!"

20-Barely realizing the situation and trying to link things together, Lebanese got another surprise...


21-Moulawi was out! Released by Judge with a 500,000LL bail. He got back to Tripoli in MP Safadi's own car. Received a "hero"welcome by all. Oh he was just helping refugees here, his people claimed. Sit-in ended.

Tripoli- Reuters
22-Moulawi, a new public figure, a new face of heroism is born.


23-Few hours later, breaking news: 11 Shia pilgrims coming back from Iran by land, kidnapped in Syria.

24-Burning tires all over the country. Streets blocked.

25-Long night waiting for the plane carrying the women pilgrims, released, while men still held hostages.

26-Seemingly calm day (finally), became just a mirage, when a clash erupted in USJ university, between Hezbollah (Shia) and Kataeb (Christian) students. Army interfering. Quick action from all to calm down the dangerous game.


27-A breaking news: car bombing in Iraq hits a Lebanese pilgrims bus, killing 3 Shia women, and a dozen wounded...

28-Burning tires and few streets blocked.

29- Few blocks away, a gathering in Ashrafieh in support of the Lebanese Army, after the many accusations by some political groups. (No tires involved).

30- Three people shot one dead, in their shop, over a 47$ bill.

31- Burning tires. Streets blocked.

32- Night gala: Caracas, Hamra, Beirut. Four people started a fight with guns and hand grenades, terrorizing the neighborhood. Army interfere. Long night. Three security and army people shot...

33- Still no news from kidnapped pilgrims.
34- No one asking to disarm civilians.
35-Arms back to closets until tomorrow or the day after.
36-Kids back to schools for final exams, or to streets for final fight.
37-Kuwait joining other Gulf countries and not coming to Lebanon for summer.
38- ...Will keep you posted when I get number 38.

I tried. I really tried. I tried to link things. I tried to understand. I feel alienated. I feel silly. Did you understand a thing? because the only image I see, is that I lost a country. I lost a Nation. I lost hope.

R.I.P. the Nation

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


What's bitching?

-Bitching is when you keep saying you're aware of your leader's faults and can't find one single mistake he did.
-Bitching is when you deny that your leader has something to do with your bad situation today.
-Bitching is when you desperately try to find silly explanations to his actions.
-Bitching is when your leader is not in power, he convinces you that he was a better leader.
-Bitching is when you keep saying you accept the others because your are the good guy.
-Bitching is when you keep saying women are equal but they are all bitches.
-Bitching is when you keep saying men are great but have their brain between their legs.
-Bitching is when you keep saying yes to woman education but no to equal chances at work.
-Bitching is when you keep saying men have no place in education and nag about their lack of involvement in it.
-Bitching is when you live wild with all available girls and refuse to marry an experienced one.
-Bitching is when you pretend you don't care for appearance and feel disgusted by people different from you.
-Bitching is when you say we're all equal and add your "BUT" before bitching on others.
-Bitching is when you encourage revolutions and stay on your couch doing nothing but wait for change, clicking 'LIKE' on your Facebook.
-Bitching is when you know a bad attitude, and decide to be a bystander.
-Bitching is when you talk about humanity for hours and dehumanize your housekeeper.
-Bitching is when you pretend to be something you're not.

-Bitching is not a fornication action, it is a fornicating thought.

-Bitching is not a gender issue, it's a human dark side.

-Bitching is an art we all master. And yes, it's the oldest one alive!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy Anniversary bunch of liars!

April 13,
Friday 13,
37 years after...

Yeah yeah, the bus of Ain El Remmaneh, war symbol of Lebanon is out again for one day.
Yeah yeah, few people standing chanting "no to war again" (tenzakar w ma ten3ad).
Yeah yeah, you're watching TV from the luxury of your home, sitting on your couch, switching between electricity and generator, jumping to the roof checking your water tank, and cursing war and its memories.

Yeah yeah, you're all nothing but liars!
What have you learned from war? What are you doing to prevent it? What will you do tomorrow if it starts all over again?
I know you liars! I see what you're telling your kids inside your walls. Silly! you think they keep your hatred and your fear of "others" at home??? They carry it to schools and vomit it to their close friends without even knowing what they are saying! They are repeating your madness!Verbally for now, until next round.
Bravo to you! you deserve a standing ovation! Now you're sure to have your kid carry your flame, till grave do you apart.

Yeah yeah, I believe you when you say you love Lebanon! You love it your way, you see your truth, a tailor made country, created to fit your squeezed, narrowed tiny sick size.

Yeah yeah you're right
Yeah yeah, they're wrong
Yeah yeah, your God is better
Yeah yeah, he will prevail with your help
Yeah yeah, you don't want war but will not stand here watching if "they" start
Yeah yeah, you accept others, BUT
Yeah yeah, you respect diversity, BUT
Yeah yeah, you are Arabs, BUT
Yeah yeah, you want peace, BUT

Why don't you shut up a little, why don't you admit a little.
Admit you are the same as 37 years ago, following the same leaders, the same myths, the same policy, the same path???

You learned nothing! you are liars! Your new generation is the proof! Willing to go back to war if it starts, meanwhile doing nothing to prevent it. Look at them waiting for their sons to come back... This is war! it's death, loss, tears, and regrets...
Credit: Ramzi Haidar AFP

You did nothing during all the time you had to learn, nothing but weep your destiny for being born in this part of the world. Nothing but chewing the same hatred and stereotypes. Nothing but electing and re-electing and re-re-electing the same people. Nothing but cursing them the next day you bring them for four years before going back to re-elect them once more.

You want things to change? really? you fat ass lazy corrupted little human beings! LIARS!
Read history, if you want to learn. But you choose the comfort of staying where they put you. You carry the Stockholm syndrome in your genes! Go read what Stockholm is all about!

You learned nothing!
And you're doomed to repeat your same mistakes.

So go on, cry a little, or cry a river, have your mea culpa for a few. Then go back to your hatred lessons again, you're so good at it!!!

Credit: Olivier Rebbot
Happy Anniversary bunch of liars! See you on the next round!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Essential tips to become an Arab political leader

-Be the "son of" or "from the family of" (Ben, El, Ibn...). In this part of the world, whatever you do, you will always be judged according to your family roots.

-Have a family tragedy in hand, a story to tell, to raise compassion. A chain reaction story. Someone killed, followed by another... any kind of drama that can always pop up when needed. Everybody knows story telling pays.

-Spend some time in the army, or in a militia or guerrilla. Try to take part in an armed conflict, be it against an external enemy or an internal one. Better be in command if available. You can create the hero story people strive for.

-Following your "wars", make money. If you did not inherit your several generations money, your chances of political leadership are lessen, BUT, you can always get with the right people, and make the "right" business, wait few years, become a mogul, then attack politics. That's when you succeed.

-Do charity, do charity, do charity. Always give enough to keep people starving and coming back to you for help. And try to archive every step there. Have the press always next to you.

-Talking about press, be very generous with some of them. Choose carefully. Be creative. And they'll be at your feet. And if you face some stubborn journalist, have enough power to shut his/her mouth up.

-Flirt. With superpowers, with oil countries, with intelligence, with men, with women...Just flirt.

-Once in your dream place, in real power, keep the smile, but strengthen your place.

-Eradicate any antagonist.
-Set your laws. Your rules.
-Get married, have children quickly. Have a boy (preferable). Raise him to become your heir: tell him your family name history, your family drama, your family trauma, your heroic battles, your achievements, or just your money. Put him next to you during charity acts. During media interviews...
In other words, read above, copy and paste in your heir's head.

Then, don't forget to thank me :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Writing my history of the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990)

Chapter six

My first funeral.

Before having the chance to see the horrific broken Down Town of Beirut, I had to live another strong moment. My first funeral.
In Lebanon, it is a moment you never forget. An experience .
When the dead is young, the funeral becomes a macabre dance, a wedding, with rice and petals, screams and sad songs, drums and trumpets. The coffin swings and turns in public places, and the departed is for the last time, dancing without expressions.

The funeral I wasn’t invited to, was our young neighbor, Zouzou.
My memories of him before he died are vague, but full of fear. He used to scare me. He had a poker face. No expressions. No smiles. No words. He was rarely in the neighborhood. I loved his other family members, but not him.

I didn’t know where he used to go for long periods of time, until the day I heard screams.
He was killed.
He was a martyr. Shot in the heart of the battle, Down Town Beirut, in what was called: Harb el Aswaq or Battle of the Markets.

Quickly, our neighborhood became very busy. Waves of people, all in black, white ribbons on the street, on the balconies, sad faces, no laughs.
All houses were open to receive visitors. Every woman became a coffee maker. And a traffic of small traditional cups next to the coffee pots started.

I was confined in our house. No way I could go to Zouzou’s living room. “The body is on a bed in the middle of the room! Not a scene for kids.”
I didn’t get the “body” idea. But was okay not to go in, since Zouzou scares me.

Few hours later, the streets were filled with black dressed people, my mom took me up, to stay with two young girls (teenagers) living on the first floor. Directives were clear: "Take good care of Tanya girls, stay inside, don’t go to the balcony.”

We did right the opposite.

When the band started playing, with drums and trumpets, we ran outside all excited. But we quickly noticed we shouldn’t dance. Everybody was head down, sad or crying.
Suddenly we heard women lamentations. A group of “professional crying women” (called Naddabah in Arabic), paid for the occasion, came out. They used to come to funerals with the responsibility to repeat unbelievably moving sentences while crying, to help create the mood... (This tradition almost disappeared now).

Then, the real screaming and crying started. The family came out, with Zouzou sleeping on a tiny bed, his open coffin. We had the same reaction at the same time, the girls and I. We stepped back. Then, we knelt and grabbed the banister to watch without being seen.

The procession was right below us. The rice was showered from other balconies, the petals too. Then a series of barbaric gunshots started filling the air and nearly muted the music and the paid crying ladies.
We got scared, but curiosity took over, and we stayed. At a certain point, Zouzou was right below me, less than 3 meters away...and time stopped. He was asleep, waxy skin, no smile, like always, wearing white. But he had cotton in his nose and mouth...

I nearly fainted of fear, he was surely going to open his eyes and give me his weird look.

But he didn’t. This was the last time I saw him.
He became our street’s martyr, our tax of the war, he paid our due, he became a hero.
That was the official story. But everybody knew the real one, and kept the secret.
Who cares? He passed away, he became a hero, I saw him dead, and now I can live happily ever after without being afraid of him. Life goes on.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

They say (a message of peace from the land of fire)

This was the song I wrote for the international non-violent day. We celebrated it at UNESCO Beirut.

The young people I work with in Melkart school were on stage singing peace and love. Sending a message of hope. A simple message but as strong as love.

You can follow the link below to watch it on Youtube:

True, violence is loud
True, it can bring out the croud
True, it makes the news
And true, it's all around
But it's also true, as you may know
We seek peace, and we know how
Life can be if we take time
And listen to the whispering voice
Of humanity and conscience
Just like the wind blows
When sun shines after the rain


They say my land is made of fire
I tell them that it's made of love
They say it is doomed forever
I tell them not if there is love

True, Nonviolence is here
True, it speaks very clear
True, it is in the news
And true, it has achieved
But it's also true, as you may know
A lot is still yet to do
A whole lifetime is not enough
But listen to the whispering voice
Of humanity and conscience
Just like the wind blows
When sun shines after the rain...

Monday, January 30, 2012

What do you mean by: "For better and for worst"?

What do you mean by worst?
What is the worst you can imagine?
Is your worst a bearable one?
What do you mean for better and for worst?
For better is easy to understand. We all want to believe in "happily ever after".
But what are the limits of worst?
And why don't you give a better explanation? A list, or something.
Worst is a dangerous word. A word carrying nightmares hidden in soft letters.
What is the worst thing for you? What is YOUR limit of endurance?
Because it might be different from mine.
When you say those words, people barely hear you. They're busy making sure their look is great, their friends are having a blast.
But, really, do you have any idea of what you're saying? what you're telling them?
You're telling them to bear the unbearable, if it comes...
Till death do them apart!!!!
You're deliberately putting people behind bars! (golden ones).
You're telling them to never think back again. Even if heaven turns into nightmare. You're telling them to hold on when everything is collapsing.
You're telling them to be saints. To leave their humanity. To be your image.
Have you ever experienced "worst"? I mean the real "worst", not difficulties. Have you lived a daily nightmare? Have you the slightest idea about what goes on in couples' nightmares? Really. Have you?
Have you opened a door and saw suffering souls behind?
Do you know that worst wars are happening behind those doors?
You're just saying a mechanical sentence, without even thinking. You're just forcing others to hold time, change, age, experience, memories, hurt, wounds... frozen.
Do you really think it works?
Look around. Open'll see what your words have done to simple minded souls.
Have a look, and you just might not sleep again.

Monday, January 23, 2012

“Demoligion” schizophrenic symptom

I’m not the sick one! You are!
I have no schizophrenia, you do!
I’m on the right side, you’re on the other one!
I will be in heaven watching you burn in hell!

If you have a democracy, I have created the demo-ligion, a fine blend of democracy and religion (as I see it), where I choose what suits me when needed.

In my Demoligion, everything is special.
I vote again and again for the same people. I know my vote “makes a difference”, but I choose to keep things as they are. It’s more fun to have topics for nagging all year long.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Roumieh prison: the national “trash bag” of humanity

    Every time I go inside those walls and those metallic gates, I come out with a heavy heart and head, with shame and disgust of what ever happened to our humanity.

    Yesterday, we did it again. We went visiting the death row inmates in Roumieh prison...
It was cold and rainy outside.
But we were offered toothless smiles and a warm coffee. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Writing my history of the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990)

Chapter Five

First encounter with fear.

    The scene of the man dragged by the blue Camaro (chapter four), was so strong that my conscience pushed it away to my subconscious for a long time before it emerged. It was a horrible moment, but I did not fully understand the enormity of the act, and didn't live fear. Not yet.

    My first real encounter with fear was going to take place very far. It was going to be strange. I was about to discover two kinds of fear: fear of space and fear of human beasts.

    After Down Town war, battles spread in other regions. Down town became a ghosts place. Snipers moved and chose other front lines. Shops were history here. Doors wide open, gutted, blinds swollen with holes... But a new population and a new kind of street vendors settled on the sideways of this ghosts city. A new kind of clients emerged too. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Essential tips to become a popular Arabic TV broadcaster:

-Be sarcastic.
-Be arrogant.
-Be pessimistic.
-Be skeptical.
-Be pretentious.
-Be the star.
-Always bring the attention to you.
-Always interrupt your guest.
-Don’t listen to your guests’ message: they might influence your prejudice.
-Keep this word in mind: liars.
-Think of your next question when they are still giving you answers on the current one, you don’t need to know what they are saying.
-Pretend you’re interested, and right afterwards ask a very silly question: it destabilizes both guest and audience.
-Throw a joke when least needed.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Writing my history of the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990)

Chapter Four

    I used to love Sundays. We used to go out, twice a month to Harissa, through cable car, have lunch in its restaurant, overlooking the breathtaking Jounieh bay, and the two remaining Sundays were divided between flower picking during spring and barbecuing during winter. Summer meant beach to us. I can pretend to be born in the water! Seashore was few hundreds meters away from home. 
    I have used dozens of paint tubes on pebble drawing. I had bags of shells.

    At the time, only two or three resorts were built on the shore, the rest was called "Saint Balech", or "Free Saint", referring to saints names given to resorts and centers. Saint Balech was for everybody. 
Beautiful scenery, feet in the salty water, I would look up and see Harissa on the mountain, so far, and yet so close, or, head in the clouds, look down from Harissa and see my bay, so close and yet so far! 

    We didn't have a car, and didn't need one actually. Everything was a walk away: my school two and a half minutes walk, the main square 3 minutes, the only supermarket, 5 minutes, the sea, 7 minutes... This was our world. We couldn't go further. Further meant danger.

    I counted all the slabs of the sidewalk for years. These sidewalks were a part of my daily life. Of my story. But not all stories are nice memories...