Archive | November, 2009

Wrinkles

28 Nov

To my grandfather, Abou Saleh, to his land, to his olives in Nazareth and oranges in Beirut..

By the way Ghaleb, did you know that my mom lived in Mrayjeh as well,

Ghaleb: No way!

It’s true I’m telling you. They were neighbors to Abou Izzat..

Ghaleb: Wait.. Is your grandpa Abou Saleh?! Abou Saleh the Palestinian?!!

You know him!

Ghaleb: My father and my uncles talk so much about him. He was such a great man, a real man! Till now I hear great stories about him!

A little chat between my colleague and I.

I  know my grandfather only through my mother’s stories, unfortunately. Stories that are mixed with soil, with seeds, fruits, herbs and lot’s of pride. Stories about a little boy responsible for his younger brother and sister after the death of their parents. About Nazareth and a generous heart..

Pardon me but I can’t hold my tears, and I can’t speak further.. What’s in the heart is hard to be converted into words.

But something about wrinkles fascinates me. I look at my grandma’s hands and I just smile.. I look at the face of the old man sitting next to me in the bus, he notices that I’m staring :/ I look the other way, but some weird strings keep pulling me to watch, to follow the wrinkles’  lines, to get into the depth of his eyes. To live his life, to get all his experience, to ask why old people are this cynical?!

Is it life? Is it due to our “stupid” culture which strips the elderly of his/her vital roles, thus boredom invades their souls?

The following picture I drew from an Arabic magazine called Al-Arabi which I guess is still published till now.

عم عبدوSource: Al- Arabi magazine, issue #341, April 1987

The old man’s real name is Ali Abed Al- Rasoul, but my sister likes to call him Abdo!

I feel that my posts are always missing something! Don’t know what it could be, but words are failing me these days.

تناقضات

23 Nov

لا أذكر متى بدأ الأمر أو لماذا.. لا أذكر كيف فصلت ما بين نفسي ونفسي.. أو كيف وُلِدت تناقضاتي. لكني أرى في داخلي أربع شخصيات متناقضة وإن كانت تشبه بعضها الى حد غريب.. شخصيات تسعى الى السيطرة و لا يمكن أن تتحمل التعايش المشترك..
أربع شخصيات كل لديها قضيتها.. شغفها .. وحبها!

حبها الوحيد و لن تستطيع أن تحب غيره، فالمشاعر لا يمكن تجزئتها للمحاصصة…

أنثى متحررة برغباتها، شرقية بطباعها.. أنثى بمللها .. وذبذبتها .. وسوء تصرفاتها.. أنثى بتناقضاتها ومزاجيتها..

ابنة قضية.. ابنة الحرب. الهرب من انتمائها الحقيقي لا يجدي نفعاً! وإن كان الإنتماء للغربة…

جسد واعٍ دوما لحقيقة وجوده العابر، و أن كل يوم يمر إنما هو خطوة أخرى نحو الفناء و تأكيد على عبثية الحياة

و روح بدائية، جموح… روح غجرية  مملكتها الفوضى والجُنُون. . .  وعَدَمِ الانتماءْ

Lebanese University

22 Nov

Lebanese University Logo

To the Lebanese University.. for the times we spent there, for the knowledge, for the memories..to the friends back then, strangers now!

Yesterday a friend of mine tagged me in this photo which shows our faculty during the vicious Lebanese civil war!

Lebanese University faculty of sciences during civil war

Lebanese University Faculty of sciences during civil war

The photo sent cold chills down my spine, violently that it shook me! Everything I ever read about that war came to my mind. I relived every emotion of hatred, fear, pain, vanity, grudge…I could smell the blood and the rotten dead bodies!

I realized for the first time that in the same rooms, where we conducted experiments, people were shot, humiliated, tortured and killed. That there were bloods on the same walls where we wrote calculus formulas for an exam!

Faculty of Sciences Library

Faculty of Sciences Library

Starring at these photos, tears ran down my cheeks! I had no idea that it would be this painful.

To think that we walked on the same footsteps as those people!

Four years we spent there.

We the children of each sect, each religion and every background! The children of those same people who fought for 25*  consecutive years!

How ironic! How stupid!

Lebanese University faculty of sciences 2008

Lebanese University faculty of sciences 2008

This is how the faculty looks now. The buildings were renovated, the labs were upgraded and enhanced. All faculties were merged into a large campus as seen in the next photo!

Lebanese University Campus

Lebanese University Campus (North view)

All the war scars (bullets in the walls, wrecked balconies… ) were covered up and polished,  garnished even.. but they were never deleted nor forgotten!!

The war transformed humans into mutant creatures!

Or is it the other way round?! Didn’t those creatures start the war in the first place!

*Opposed to widespread belief, war never ended.

My first job!

15 Nov

I started my first “real” job last Monday.

Tuesday I was at the ministry of agriculture, attending a meeting where I had to represent the organization.

Wednesday I was in the shittiest moods ever.

Thursday I thought about quitting.

Friday I was in a struggle with myself.

Saturday I ended the week successfully preparing for another round 🙂

Not gonna go into the job’s details, but rather I’ll share the details of my inner self.

I started the week with a positive attitude; exploring around, getting to know more, reading files and previous projects… Pure enthusiasm!

On Tuesday things started to go downhill as the person responsible for attending that meeting couldn’t make it. I, by default, was appointed to replace her. I didn’t know where the ministry’s building is located. I got lost getting there. The bastard taxi driver dropped me off saying that he can’t get into the street since it’s a one way street but it’s only 10 meters to the right. I walked down the street, got harassed by a couple of jerks on free-delivery motorcycles, just to find no ministry.  Nothing at all! There I was wandering around in a calm residential street; no human appeared to ask him/her about directions. On top of that I had no credit to call anyone.

I thought about returning to the office but I didn’t accept my surrender. Finally there was this lady who kindly dropped me off to the main road. There I found a taxi that got me to the ministry and it was 3 kilometers away in the opposite direction of which the first taxi driver had told me. I Arrived 50 minutes late to the meeting since I was lost in the ministry itself as well. There I had no idea about what they were talking about, and I was embarrassed to ask. Damn my stupid ego! :/

I returned to the office freaking out, wondering if things can get any worse. And to my great surprise, just to increase my frustration, it appeared that what I experienced was nothing compared with what to come.

Wednesday I was asked to report about any stationary, computer programs and other logistics that we would use. I was like WTF, how shall I know?!

I freaked out, man! I totally freaked out. I was in the middle of something where I knew nothing, feeling useless and incapable. That feeling of incapability shattered my strength, my self-confidence into pieces!

I have no administrative experience and I didn’t apply for an administrator vacancy. I was afraid of my ignorance and lack of experience, so I thought about quitting. I worked hard to find all the faults and flaws in the job. I presented them as my alibi to quit, I convinced mostly all people (family and friends) but I couldn’t fool myself!!

Two things kept me from quitting.

First did my certainty that I can’t look to myself in the eye knowing that I have escaped. Second was something a friend once said, that to get what you want you have to make double or even triple the effort, and excel while at it.

There I was struggling with myself, fighting about perspectives. What I saw as a problem myself saw as a challenge. I thought she is stupid and she said that I’m a coward!

Eventually she won!

Tomorrow will be my second Monday! Let’s hope I’ll do less mistakes, and that ego will be broken so that more self-confidence will be build!

Matrix Reloaded!

10 Nov

He had left :(. He just called me from the airport!

In the last 15 days, when my brother was here, I realized how much life had changed in the last 4 years. That we or shall I say I turned into a robot! To do only what has to be done. Even when I laughed it was according to a specific standard. Even spontaneity was just another line from an Oscar winning scenario!

Those 15 days reminded me of what real spontaneity is. What it’s like to eat “wara2 3areesh b zeit” at 1:00 am followed by black olive sandwiches with slightly green tomato, a lemon twist and onions :D. What it’s like to shoot liquids out of your nose while laughing, to literally roll on the floor laughing. How it feels to act stupid, screaming from the top of your lungs, to dance idiotically, to dance the “dabke” at 8 am on a Sunday then have “foul” for breakfast..

What’s it’s like to be a family not just a group of people!

Everyday life chores distract us from what really matters…from what’s really sincere. The rush steals, or I may say, kills our humanity! We’re always in a hurry not to be late for class, to reach the office on time, to write that paper, to send the fax, to pay the bills …

And here we are willingly entering the system, being a part of the matrix! Forgetting about our humanity. Letting it all slip from our hands, enjoying nothing, feeling nothing, becoming just another “Smith”. Being categorized, classified, used, stored, abused, brainwashed, accepted, rejected always the “maf3oul behi” never the “fa3el”.

Yeah I was teaching Arabic grammar 2 days ago lol

Annnyways..

Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage, into a prison where you cannot taste or see or touch.

A prison for your mind.

Morpheus: I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.

I know the door, but sometimes I forget about it. Other times I cross it willingly in and out from the matrix!

If I was the director to that movie, I would have made the “Smith” and “Neo” characters done by the same actor.

In each of us there is both! Maybe we only have to learn how to create equilibrium and let them both live in harmony.

That is what we lack, equilibrium! We are such extremists, and though we are hypocrites we would never admit that we are really schizophrenic!