Archive | August, 2009

عاشق من فلسطين؛ محمود درويش

31 Aug

” كتبت ما يلي بعد قراءة قصيدة محمود درويش “عاشق من فلسطين

يقول محمود درويش

فلسطينية العينين و الوشم… أقول بالتأكيد

فلسطينية الإسم… أقول بلى

فلسطينية الأحلام و الهم… أصمت!

فلسطينية المنديل و القدمين و الجسم… تصدر عني همهمة خافته

فلسطينية الكلمات و الصمت… أبكي

فلسطينية الصوت… أنهار

فلسطينية الميلاد و الموت… أقول كلا..ربما! لست أدري

لست أدري ألى أين إنتمائي، الى بلد ميلادي أم البلد الذي أحمل جنسيته. الى البلد الذي أمضيت فيه حياتي، أم البلد الذي سيحوي جثتي…
أم إنتمائي الى بلد والداي؟!
البلد الذي اغتصب على مرأى الجميع و كان العالم وما برح ساكناً، مشاركاً في الجريمة بصمته المستفز وتدخله الشائن. البلد الي اعتقل نصف أهله في ومن أراضيهم وتبعثر النصف الآخر في بلدان داس أهلهأ عليهم وعلى كرامتهم. بل وأنكروا عليهم آدميتهم وحقوقهم ثم أعاقوا سبل الحياة أمامهم. ألصقوا نعت اللجوء على جباههم، حتى لا ينسى هؤلاء مأساة شعبهم وتبقى رائحة التشرد العفنة تزكم أنوفهم وصورة الموت لا تفارق خيالهم.
لكن أنا لا أحمل هوية زرقاء، بل جواز سفرعربي- لا يهم الى أي بلد ينتمي-  فكيف أنتمي لشعبٍ لا أعيش مأساته؟!
كيف أنتمي اليهم وأنا في السجلات مواطنة ولست لاجئة…

أيار 2005

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An Early Morning

30 Aug

I just love early mornings! The serenity of the world without people is amazing. Only a couple of homeless dogs wandering around, searching for food, I guess.  I could throw them those chicken leftovers from yesterday’s iftar, but then mom would kill me. Those chickens will be a part of today’s iftar :D.

Anyways!

The birds are just having an extravaganza :D. A pigeon landed on my balcony 1 meter away from me.  She is so beautiful. A bit stupid maybe, she keeps on moving her tiny little head left and right, in sudden moves! I think she got some kind of a syndrome :S. Oh! She flew away! Maybe she felt offended :/

The sea is very calm with a blue-silver color.  Many fishing boats are returning to the port. A dark blue line behind a white dot in that blue silvery sea :D. Amazing!

Our neighbor, who is a taxi driver, has just started his car and his working day as well! Some contemplation about this… I’m embarrassed to say that I’m going to bed now, when this 65 years old man wakes up at 6 am (maybe earlier) on a Sunday morning and gets off to work!

We think we are better than those stupid, brainwashed people, when in fact we are worse! We are a bunch of spoiled brats!

I’m still going to bed now, but not in the same great mood which I had when I start writing this post. I hate you 3ammo Abou Hussein!

Death

29 Aug

My friend has just told me that his father passed away last Monday.  He didn’t want to tell me so not to woe me!

It has been 5 years and 8 months since my dad passed away.

Now his father died.

How could I make him feel less of the pain. How could I tell him that life would be okay. That life would go on, and we should not let this grief or this pain to stop us from living our life.

Empty words! These words are just useless. Funerals are held so people’s hassle would make you forget about your grief for a while. A mean of distraction, as if you are undergoing anesthesia! You will be numb, a robot, an actor reciting a well prepared scenario!

Once it’s over you will be aware of the loss! Then and only then the pain begins, it may fade away sometimes but it will never disappear. And no one will be looking at you from above, smiling whenever you are happy. Neither he will be proud upon your graduation. This person seized to exist.

I know what he feels now, I know how he’ll feel a month from now, a year..I know that a dad can’t be replaced, no one and nothing will ever replace this loss! How can I make him feel better when I know what a bitch the feeling of loss is.

He didn’t want to tell me to spare me the heartache! He thinks my heart will ache for the loss of my dad. I don’t know if he is right, since what is killing me right now is that I know the suffering he’ll pass through and I don’t want him to feel the pain. I don’t want him to suffer.

He said,I know that you don’t know

and I need your guidance

my dad passed away

My tears rolled and my brain froze. The year my dad died, 2 of my classmates  lost their fathers as well! That is not right, no one should live this,  no one should go through this!

I know exactly how my friend feels, but I don’t know how I can make it less painful. He needs me,but I got nothing to give him, I got nothing!

It’s raining now! It’s raining right during August. I love the rain, but that only brings more tears to my eyes.

It’s been raining for the last 15 minutes. I’m still staring at the screen. I hate this feeling of inability. I wish I can protect him from those feelings of loss and pain. I wish I can spare him the agony now and forever.

He has been always there for me, and so have I. But now I don’t know what to do.  I feel helpless.

Marcel Khalife

25 Aug

Marcel KhalifeLast Month I had the chance to attend a concert for Marcel Khalife in Tyre- a city in the south of Lebanon. Nothing compares to listening to Marcel live, to feel the waves of his voice directly, to sense his passion as he caressed the strings of his oud, or as he ignited the desire of the lustful female in it. To say it was a great concert or breath-taking would be underestimating to its real worth. That night, Marcel’s songs brought up lots of memories, smiles, shivers and when Omaima Khalil sang “عصفور” I teared!

Marcel Khalife,to me, is family, childhood, laughs, freedom, joy, family, dad, home, naive childish dreams, safety, laughs, Palestine, belonging, resistance, fighting, children, innocence, west Beirut, east Beirut, Lebanon, sorrow, tears, laughs,passion, love…

Whenever we had a family visit, especially when my sisters, brother and I were kids, we had a crisis about what music to listen to in the car. A whole hour, and sometimes more, of dull music of Um Kulthoum, Farid Al-Atrash or Sabah Fakhri can never be tolerated! An hour of  Um Kulthoum repeating the same verse over and over and over again is plain torture. Not to mention how boring is Farid Al-Atrash and how annoying he is with his depressive songs. Similarly, dad would never tolerate listening to Amr Diab, George Wassouf, Michel Jackson or Bon Jovi. We needed a compromise, a solution that fits both sides, and makes family visits less annoying!

Finally we agreed on Marcel Khalife. As a kid my favorite songs were: تووت تووت ع بيروت، عصفور، طفل وطيارة. Till now these songs are able to send chills down my spine. What’s funny is that I didn’t understand these songs back then :D. I had no idea that there was a hidden message in the lyrics neither did I know what was the situation  in Lebanon! To me, Marcel Khalife was never  a symbol for revolution, or a symbol for the communist party in Lebanon. For God’s sake, I didn’t even know what is the meaning of the word “communist”. Marcel was the  songs that connected me to the past lives of Mom and Dad in Lebanon. Lives that I’ve created in places I never know, I imagined the people, the streets, the conversations, the laughs and the huge friends’ gatherings. Marcel was never a rebel, he was the joys in the long car rides till we reach my uncle’s or aunt’s place. Then how Mom used to preach us about behaving, being polite and not to fight with each other or with our cousins. Last minute MANNERS lessons :D. I love you Mom, you are so adorable.

Then I grew up and I started to understand what Marcel Khalife was really saying in his songs. I grew up an I learned about the Lebanese civil war! I learned how Beirut “the magical place” was torn into 2 cities, east Beirut and west Beirut. I knew what Marcel meant by his song الليلة بدي خلّي الكاس.

A few years later the “Intifada” started and طفل و طيارة  became clear as well. The image of a twelve years old boy confronting a military tank with a stone, and a terrifying look from solid eyes shown through a slit in the Kuffeye wrapped around his head, explained what this sentence means; طارت الحدود، حدود الولدنة…برق ورعود تقصف ع الدني. وطارت اللعبة وطارت معها القصة وصاروا الولاد شقفة من القصة…

Only then I knew what it’s like to never be a child, to loose the ability of having childish dreams. To be men since the moment of birth. The term child does not exist for Palestinians. Those youngsters are conscious about their battle, no one forced them to fight, they chose to. They didn’t choose not to be children but they chose to never get squished under the burden of occupation.

Every song for  Marcel has a story, each song has a special place in my heart! Marcel’s music has accompanied me through my whole life! Each period in my life has its identification for Marcel which in turn identifies my awareness in that period!

Marcel Khalife is more that just a oud master and performer. Marcel Khalife made history and helped in its documentation.

PS: Today I enjoy Um kulthoum, Farid Al-Atrash and Sabah Fakhri songs.

Shadi’s Outcome!

24 Aug

Dedicated to Shadi Haddad a.k.a 5hadz, I wrote this as a reply to his post; “The outcome

I believed my whole life that money is just a mean to get to your goals and never it is the goal. Money will get you a house in Amman, but it’ll never get you the grandchildren. Now-a-days people are never satisfied. No, I’m not talking about that stupid satisfaction which some people define as the lack of ambition. Satisfaction will be when you realize that the life you’re living is a thousand time better than what you’ve dreamt about 25 years ago. It’s when you say “..in his and our eyes that’s more than enough” and the fact that this feeling is what will keep you giving and pushing yourself beyond limits, to make him proud and to be proud. 🙂

Weird enough Shadi, that in the same time you wrote your post, I posted this as my status on facebook: “Life is all about appreciation. Make me happy, I’ll make you happier… Make me sad, I’ll ruin your life 🙂

I was convinced that it shows power! Till my cousin “Ghassan” commented saying:

من شكر فلنفسه و من كفر فعليها

Even though I replied saying: “that would make sense only if you were dealing with gods,” but somehow what he said came into me. The human within me, which I apparently had masked and exiled, rebelled and hit me real hard. Thus, I wrote this reply but I didn’t post it; “It turned out I’m not a human! Only a lower multi-cellular organism, that feeds upon vanity. Ghassan, only recently, I’ve realized that; and I’m seeking salvation just to be a human again! Trying to swim against the flow but I’m swamped by it over and over again!!

I slept that night with that thought in mind, just to wake up the next morning and read your post! How did I react you may ask! I turned off my laptop, get dressed and went for a long walk. Many thoughts came to my mind, previous conversations and images of people I knew. Then I realized that every feeling I express, every laugh I share is from a written scenario! For many years my friends blamed me for being good, for having a “good heart” till the extent that I preferred that people would curse me instead of saying, “Zeina, you have such a good heart!”

Through my whole life, everybody -friends, classmates and people I randomly met- never missed a chance to break my hopes, murder my joys and kill my passions. Here you are not allowed to express what you feel; you are not allowed to share you joys. Those are your weaknesses which your close, best friends will use to get you down, ruin your plans and fuck every moment of joy you’ll have!

I wish I was exaggerating. I wish I was wrong. The keywords to describe people here will be: hypocrisy, narcissism, fanaticism, vanity and being opportunistic. These traits created a fucked up community which lacks trust and honesty. Now I never remove the mask, and every thing I do is what is expected! I blame myself the most for being weak, for allowing this damned society to infect me!

I’ve always cherished friendship and friends. Now I wish I can enjoy one memory with past friends without the feeling of being used. After the realization how fake and fragile our relations were, I’ve taken the opposite extreme of staying away, not getting involved in any friendship, in any relation. But then I started reading your blog :). The openness in sharing personal thoughts, the courage to speak about anything- not necessarily “taboos”- but simple everyday details, the care about the other, the true feelings of solidarity of joy and pride. All of those broke me down, shattered my external strength and indifference. It made me see the fucked up person that I’ve became!

I want to stop living in an act. I want to be able to love, to laugh, to care and to believe in people again, and I will 🙂

Shadi, wala, hold on to your humanity, it’s giving me hope that good still exists, and humanity still exists! The day you’ll give up your humanity and cross to the other side, will be the day that I will believe that life is not fair and that God is not good!

Lebanon’s Magic: the amazing 10452 Km

18 Aug

Dedicated to my riding pal, Roula 🙂 to all the guys from nearby towns.

When you are in Lebanon this summer, you definitely should try the “van” ride. Not any route, but the Saida-Beirut route.
For first timers, here are the directions; take a cab to “taht Jesr al- Cola”. When you are there look for the guy yelling:
“ssssSaida ssssSaida… 3a Saida domazeill!! Saida watan?
A nod will be enough and he’ll take care of you.

You’ll get the best of these rides on Friday and Saturday nights, especially between 9:00 and 10:00. The “shofariyeh” will be at their prime time, with loads of energy. At that particular time the passengers number peaks and those are wired up after a long day and even longer week, just looking forward to a joyful calm weekend.

Magic would start as the “van” is full and the “shofair” takes his position behind the wheels. The old regular highway as u know it would turn into the longest roller coaster in the middle east and one of the fastest in the world (190 Km/h). This is no regular ride; it’s the most unpredictable, dangerous, adrenaline provoking rides ever.

What makes the ride this special is that u can never predict the “shofair’s” attitude. U can never predict when he will cross from the most left lane to the most right lane to take a sudden exit dodging the “darak”, “traffic jam” or just for the fun of it. As a result you’ll end up “above or beyond” the person sitting next to you. U can never know when he will hit the brakes so ur stomach will be literary in ur mouth.

If you are lucky enough, you’ll get the bonus level, only if the “van” takes the “Ouzai’i” route. Hold on tight since the “shofair” would be going down in each hole, climbing whatever exists on his way, on maximum speed. The more holes he goes in, the better things are and the strongest he gets. Just be careful not to hit your head by the ceiling if you’re sitting in the last bench.

if u take this ride in winter u’ll live a whole new experience. water will be everywhere, turning the highway into ponds and lakes, reaching 30 cm height in “Na’ameh” area. the “van” going on max speed will splash everything around. The jeep next to it will splash water into your inner soul, even if you’re not sitting next to the window and even if the window is closed. Killo will splash killo 😀 (weird enough all ppl in leb now own a jeep ^o) eno it’s not for showing off.. it’s actually a must coz in leb u’re always off-roading)

To live this experience to the maximum, be sure you do as follows:

These rides are double the fun if you’re not alone, so grab your best friend along.. if you are 3 it’s fine, but never more.

Choose a “van” that has handles in the back of the seats. (for safety)

Try not to sit in the last bench to enjoy the bonus level with minimum damages ;).

If you’re alone (and single) sit next to the cute guy or the beautiful girl (depending on which you are interested in) since as the “shofair” pulls his unpredictable stunts, you’ll end up “b 7odn li 7addak”.

If you get scared or could not take it anymore, get down from the “van” or shut your eyes, take a deep breath and think about your happy place… whatever you do never ever, I repeat, NEVER EVER say: “shway, shway”, “3 mahlak, sho newi te2telna?!” or any other related phrases. Even try not to talk with the “shofair”. It would be as if you are raising a red cloth to a bull which is already provoked.
The consequences could be fatal.

This ride is not for young, sensitive ppl, really old ppl or ppl with previous or present heart problems.

Be sure you have your ID and its clear (ya3ni if ur mom accidentally washed ur jeans with ur wallet still in, apply for a new ID and stay away from these rides until u get it)

Last and most important, make sure u empty ur bladder or do not drink lots of fluids before taking the ride.

It’s important to mention the “Dawleh’s” contribution to add suspense, special effects and that extra something to those rides.
Thanks for cutting electricity off some towns along the route. Making sure that not the same segments are always dark or always illuminated to maintain the “surprise” factor.
Thanks for creating such a unique road, since after its destruction during “harb tammouz” only gaps has been filled so some segments are lower than others, and some speed bumps arises in the middle of the highway.

finally we should thank the ministry of transportation for their efforts to maintain safety on roads. Since the road has been paved only once (when it was first built) it became slippery. They pealed off, or more accurately, scrap the upper layer of the asphalt off (as if there is more than one lol) to increase friction i.e “Man3an lil Inzilaq”.

kil ride w ento b kheir 🙂

A Confession!

17 Aug

For a whole week now I’ve been trying to convince myself that I’m happy. That what happened was nothing, just another educational experience! Just another lesson that I have to learn! Something that  was never meant to be any other way.  Trying to act indifferent, showing that I totally control my feelings. I claimed that I didn’t get carried away.

But I got This feeling of emptiness. And why do I feel betrayed? Why do I feel used? It’s not what happened on that night what bothers me, it’s what happened after. Am I this stupid for not to expect that?! Maybe I wanted to believe that this could be true, so I shushed every sound of reason! But am I the only one to be blamed?

Maybe I’m making big deal out of nothing, but I can’t pretend that I’m not hurt! I can’t pretend that I’m fine anymore.