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Tuesday, December 10, 2013


    I will call her Mariam.
    She stormed the office where I was seated . With her blue jeans and her warm red top, her pony tail, her large smile and her penetrating eyes....
"How do you want your Nescafe?" was her first sentence. Before greeting. Without greeting. She set the rythm, made it clear: she's responsible of coffee and care in this very busy care center...
"With one spoon of sugar please" I found myself replying. Had no choice, no way I could refuse her suggestion. I had to have a coffee. Then she turned to my friend :What do you want to eat for breakfast? Man'ouche? okay, give me money I'll go buy it". She took the money and run.
Then she ordered us to wait until she prepares us a proper calm corner to eat.

Mark Webster, Modern Woman Abstract oil painting
    While sitting there on my chair, among so many individuals, I saw her "living". She invades life, takes it by the throat and scream: I am alive!

    Then we moved to the kitchen, her private kingdom. She invited us to sit among piles of mattresses, bags and boxes. "I bought you Man'ouche, care for a tea with it? Tea is good." No choice again. Seconds, and a hot cup of tea was replacing a yet unfinished cup of coffee, with half a Man'ouche. We were merely starting to bite our food, Mariam was already heating water to make Lebanese coffee. "Nothing beats it! I need it now! We'll have it together."

    Between a pot and a plate, between a cupboard and the sink, Mariam spoke...

"I didn't get a good night sleep. My sister was banging her head all night, while humming. I had to hold her head so she don't hurt herself." When I asked what's with her sister, she replied:" she has a mental health problem. Our mother didn't think vaccine is important."

"My brother has mental illness too... Another mistake by my mom..."
She takes care of both, and of her dad... A dad she doesn't like much apparently, by looking at her face...

    Mariam left the room to take someone's breakfast. Once alone with my friend, she told me the whole truth about Mariam... She was repeatedly abused by her father since she was 7 or 8 years old... The damage on her body was so deep, she had to remove her uterus...

    Mariam was suddenly a goddess in my eyes... A survivor, a phoenix.
She grabs life by its throat and shout: I am alive! I will be good towards my oppressor, I will take care of others mistakes, I will make sure everyone is feeling good while I'm around...And nothing is going to stop me.

Mariam disappeared again. I got busy. Then, outside, was an old man with Down Syndrome sitting on a chair, with a shy smile. He was waiting for something...
Suddenly his face lightened up, when he saw her... Mariam came, took his hand, and ordered: "Let's go!" Then she turned to me and whispered:"poor guy, he waited for me to take him home, he has no one."
She missed one detail: he has her, they have her.
Life has her, and she owns life, she owns empathy, she owns compassion, she owns the most natural way I could ever imagine.

Monday, May 6, 2013


Everybody want to put me in a clear, defined place, a corner.
Everybody want to label me.
Looks like I have to be either white or black. I have to choose my side.
What if I can't? 

What if I'm torn?

- I admire all Arab populations for an awakening moment. For seeking freedom. For saying "enough" tyranny. For discovering their potential.
- But I 'm scared to death when I see the power that took place. I'm afraid those freedom seekers are being killed now. And a darker force is crawling to steal what have been accomplished.
- I admire Tunisians, Egyptians, Bahrainis, Libyans, Syrians, Yemenis... revolutionaries.
- I fear Tunisians, Egyptians, Bahrainis, Libyans, Syrians, revolutionaries.
- I respect the Syrian upraising when it begun.
- I fear the slaughter house it turned out to be.
- I can't but feel anger for the international dead silence and acceptance of atrocities in some places, while raging over others, depending on interests. But can't say I totally lost hope.
- I can't blame only the "west" or the international community. I can't neither blame only the "east".
- I can't pretend to be the victim all the time, to be right. I can't also play guilty all the time.
- I can't understand righteousness in watching Chechnyan, and many other foreign fighters and mercenaries' presence in Syria, killing, raping, kidnapping, while the "free world" is either watching or filtering what they want to see.
- I can't understand righteousness in killing Syrian civilians by their government, neither by their freedom fighters.
- I can't understand how reports of Sarin usage in Syria, are being politically used to nail the regime or the FSA (depending on political positions), while lives have been lost in a massive destruction weapon.
- I can't understand slaughter by anyone. I can't understand how blood is believed to bring justice.
- I can't understand how some believe by acting as bad as their enemy they can bring peace.

I'm torn.
I can't take a "white or black" position. Because all I can see is shades of grey where no light seem to come wipe all the blood and hatred.

    No sir, you left no more freedom seekers in Iraq. There are no more safety, peace, security. No more minorities (as their name indicates, they are not that important maybe).

     No sir, there are no more freedom seekers in Tunisia, they are now fighting to protect women and minorities from forced veil, rape, and primitive rights, simple basic human rights.
    No sir, there are no more freedom seekers in Egypt, they are now fighting to lessen the grip of Muslim Brotherhood on everything. Fighting to keep women safe when walking in the streets. Fighting to let minorities express their beliefs without the fear of attack and death.
    No sir, there are no more freedom seekers in Bahrain, I mean, did you ever see them in the first place? They seem invisible to the "free" world. And what about Yemenis? Do you have any idea what they are going through?
    No sir, there are no more freedom seekers in Libya. There is a lot of western oil investors, among mercenaries.
    No sir, there are no more freedom seekers in Syria. Real freedom seekers are shut out, they are trying to keep faith in their nonviolent dream. The rest is thousands of mercenaries (be it on Syrian Army side or Free Syrian Army). There are innocence killers, nihilists, butchers, beasts. There are hundreds of ruined cities, villages. Thousands of raped girls, shattered families, displaced...
    No sir, I can't hear Israeli fighters all day and all night over my head, and see them attack countries and believe that they are "merely defending themselves" as I couldn't swallow your "preventive wars on terrorism" before. Can't seem to cope with your position when you can't compare losses and see who is paying the highest price.

    No sir, I can't seem to see the "transitional phase" you seem to be sure of. I mean, I can't sit and say "oh, well, it happens, it's a transitional phase, let some more die, let some more fear worst nightmares, let some is the price for freedom". I just can't. Because I believe life and peace have more importance in the 21st century, equally, for all races and nationalities.
    No sir, I can't sit and watch some of my people drag my whole land to an unwanted place. A war. A fear for our safety.
    No sir, I don't want to sit and say:"there's an 'international agenda, no matter what we try' ".
    No sir, I can't seem to find that "Arab Spring" you insist on calling despite everything. I lost it in the middle of hatred and death.

    I'm torn sir. 

 I just can't frame the situation I am witnessing. I can't take a "clear" position. I can't smell death and pretend one is totally right and one is totally wrong. Can't see that in wars civilians are just numbers, are just collateral casualties, are just victims. 

    Who gave you the right to decide if I die or if I live? If I have to choose between what you see is right or what you see is wrong? If I deserve a country or not? If I deserve security or not? 

    Or let me re-frame my question: what pushes you to decide to stand up for me or not? To say I deserve to be safe now, or I'm not that important? What Chart did you sign?

    I'm torn. I'm afraid. I'm angry. I'm sad.
    The worst part is, no matter what my opinion is, I'm just a victim project, my kids are just victims projects, my family, my friends, are just victims projects, and you don't give a damn.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

What to expect when you're expecting?

That awkward moment when you realize you expected too much for nothing!
I hate it when it happens.
Expecting is a killer.
Expecting love, care, respect, from people you love, care for and respect, and not getting it...
Expecting a kind act, a smile, a kiss, a call, a laugh, a hug, a pat, a word, a look, and not getting it.
Expecting understanding, empathy, presence, and not getting it.

Expecting comes from unmet needs. And we all have unmet needs. We expect good things from people we love, we expect bad things from people we fear. In the middle comes the non-expecting zone from people we don't care much for.

Expecting occurs when we think we deserve something as humans. It ends when we have no more faith or confidence. When we loose hope. Even then, a small act might awaken expectation back. And off we go with another expectation round, with all the hurt it brings.

"Don't expect anything from anyone" goes the quote. Easy to say, tricky to apply. Our human nature has needs, our human nature seeks love and respect. We are social creatures, we interact. We do so for a reason: we expect a mirror effect. We want the mirror effect. So, we expect. Then sometimes we reach disappointment. Disappointment comes from people we care most for.

But expectation has no balance, no logic. We expect a lot from others who sometimes can't reach our expectations, and we are disappointed. We expect from others as we see others. We put them in a position that is sometimes too high for them, or too difficult. We think it's easy for them to do, but that is just our way of seeing things, and our disappointment is related to our expectations, not their act.

Maybe we should remind ourselves that expecting doesn't mean getting. Expecting is an expression of our needs and dreams. Maybe, then, disappointment would lessen. Maybe then, the hurt would not be a killer. Maybe then, it would just be a hard moment we can overcome.
Maybe then, expecting wouldn't be closely attached to disappointment.

But again, wouldn't that affect the amount of love involved with expectation? Must we love less, care less, to expect less?

So, to answer the question "what to expect when you're expecting?" my own opinion would be: "when expectation is related to personal relations, expect hurt, expect disappointment. It comes as a package when needs and feelings of both persons or group of people, are not on the same wavelength."