Friday, September 29, 2006


I have always been fascinated with the Ads of ASOLUT VODKA, I think they are very creative and aesthetic; I even have their book....
I received this picture by e-mail. I don't think this officially belongs to, but I decided to post it nevertheless.

(Dahieh, a suburb of Beirut, used to be Hezbollah's stronghold, and home to their headquarters. During the July'06 war, it was almost completely destroyed by the IDF).


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My Colorful Journey. [Pick Your Color]


When I was little, if you asked me which what my favorite color, without hesitation, I would shout out: “Blue!”


Blue is the color for “boys”, and Pink is for girls. This is how we would discriminate. Again by color. Not by the color of skin though, but the color of commodity. If you are a boy, you are automatically labeled blue, and if you are a girl, you are pink. If you venture into crossing to the other side, i.e. your mother made you wear the pink shirt in which she thought you looked cute, you instantaneously become the mockery of all the kids in “da hood”. And the same scenario plays back if you were a girl instead.

Then I grew up a tad more, and Red became my color. Red is strong, red is fast, red is aggressive, red is the color of my favorite football team, Bayern Munchen… Red is definitely what I like.


Then I started reading, and I wore black. I read, I watched movies (no more karate movies for me - miss them though), smoked, gotten drunk, and black was still my color. Black is mystical, mysterious, attractive and very powerful. My clothes were black (sometimes blue), my favorite car was black (no more red)… and I liked girls with black hair (sometimes blond, or red...).


When I studied “colors”, I started thinking my choices. I did not pick colors randomly anymore; every color was intended and deliberate.
This proved to be a very stressful, difficult task, and a monumental responsibility. But I loved and enjoyed it!

Ocre + Prussian Blue + Bordeaux + Olive green
Orange + Blue
Black and White
Black +Shades of Grey + Red + White


Yes Pink!

I then liked the color pink. I typed with pink on msn, I colored plans (architectural drawings) and models with pink. This time, I even chose to wear pink (despite my macho friends' comments).

But if you ask me now, which is my favorite color, I would have to say:

Minimal, pure and simple White.

The color White, is all the colors put together. I think that when time comes, and you are able to look at the whole palette, and instead of stressing and obsessing, you absorb all the colors, analyze them, and peacefully click on the color white, I believe that means your colorful journey matured, you have matured, and are now in peace with your colors.

I pick White!

Some associate the color White with death; am I more at ease with the idea? I don't think so!

I never got rid of Black It often comes back to haunt me.
Red; Bayern Munchen is still my team.
I mostely wear blue jeans.
And I still type in pink on msn.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The World in Flags.

I received this email, from a friend of mine back at UofT. Thank you Rania.
On another note, I chose to remove today, the black sign off our beautiful Lebanese Flag that I post in the index.
The Norwegian diplomat Charung Gollar was asked to present
The UN with a graphic showing the main problems in the world in 2004.

He presented a set of 8 pictures entitled "The power of stars" and was applauded for the simplicity of his idea.

In spite of having no pretension at all, his work was presented to participate to the Nobel Price of Politic Marketing.

Attached are the 8 pictures presented. Please click on the flags and read the legends...









Thursday, September 21, 2006

“en ville sans ma voiture” [in town without my car]

In a commendable attempt to improve the quality of urban life, the City of Montreal, and for the second year in a row, declares tomorrow Friday, September 22, 2006, a day where urbanites are encouraged to leave cars at home, and use public transit.

The project had its birth in France, 1998. The French government decided to cancel it this year, after the number of participants dropped dramatically in the past years. In Montreal however, according to “Descarie et Complices”, a Montreal statistics firm, 40% of those who drive everyday in the city, chose to use the metro (subway), the bus, the bike, and even walk, on that special, environmental, urban friendly day.

Tomorrow, roads will be closed; crowds, cafes and boutiques will take over streets as well as sidewalks. On September 22, 2006, Metropolis will offer us an unrehearsed theatrical display of silhouettes, in a magnificent spectacle.

If you want to be part of the oceanic crowd tomorrow, get out to the streets, use public transport and give back to urbanity and the environment. Better yet, walk and meander throughout the city like Baudelaire’s Flâneur, and discover Guy Debord’s Society of Spectacle.

Here’s to good urban design, and excellent urban life!
Here’s to Montreal.

In a related story, weather forecast for Friday and Saturday: RAIN!

One city cannot have it all.

Read more about "en ville sans ma voiture" here.
(in french)
1500 cities all over the world are joining in to this wonderful envrionmental phenomena.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Tag!

I could not escape the curse of the Tag. I have been tagged by both babykaos, and arch.memory.
I combined the questions of both Tags, since they were pretty much similar.

Here it is:

1) Are you happy/satisfied with your blog with it's content and look?
To my mind, the content and the look of a blog are intimately connected to one another. Graphics are very important and so is the literature.
A good blog has to appeal to me graphically and aesthetically, and has to provide an interesting discourse.

It took me a while to chose the layout for urban_memories, but I think the template that I chose to publish, speaks the most to me. Since I can’t build my own, I can't be too picky; although I am. I would change many things still, but since I am an idiot in HTML, I cannot tailor it to my taste more than it is in its current state.

Then Content is another important issue. The blog went through different metamorphoses. It was predestined to be notepad for my thoughts on architecture and urban design issues. Soon enough, it took a very personal and sentimental aspect, only to become a war zone during the HA/IDF showdown. Now it is going back to its "normal" state.
I don’t know. It is hard for me to talk about the substance. I guess I am doing ok.

2) Does your family know about your blog?
My immediate family knows, but they are not too interested. They read every once in a while, but we never talk about it. I tried to initiate my sister. She writes amazing poetry. I wasn’t successful.

3) Do you feel embarrassed to let your friends know about your blog or you just consider it as a private thing?
I wouldn’t call it embarrassment, but I don’t just tell all my friends. If they land here by chance then fine, otherwise, I am very selective in choosing whom to send the link to, or whom to tell about my blog.

Sometimes I prefer to keep things for myself instead of having to go through annoying and pointless debates.

4) Did blogs cause positive changes in your thoughts?
I would have stopped long ago, if I thought otherwise. I tend to lose interest in things very fast. Many bloggers really add something to my daily life.

5) Do you only open the blogs of those who comment on your blog or you love to go and discover more by yourself?
Serious blogging can turn into a full-time job. Depending on time, I have my close circle of blogs I visit daily; some more than once a day. Then there is an extended circle, which I visit when I have more time. I used to venture into the unknown. I don’t do that so often anymore.
But when someone leaves a comment, I go visit them back.

7) Did you try to imagine your fellow bloggers and give them real pictures?
All the time.

8) Admit. Do you think there is a real benefit for blogging?
Yes, I just told you.

9) Do you think that bloggers society is isolated from real world or interacts with events?
Quite the opposite! They “interact with events”, as you say.

10) Does criticism annoy you or do you feel it's a normal thing?
Not at all. Actually, I can’t say. I haven’t had insulting, or a bad criticism on my blog yet, so I can’t really judge. In real life, criticism may annoy me. It all depends on the way it is delivered.

11) Do you fear of some political blogs and avoid them?
I get a lot of the news from political blogs. In fact I link to many serious political blogs; Lebanese and International. But I seldom leave comments, and I just stick to being a passive reader.
I don’t consider myself to be knowledgeable in politics.
But they don’t frighten me at all.

12) Did you get shocked by the arrest of some bloggers?
Is this the first time people are jailed for speaking their minds?

13) Did you think about what will happen to your blog after you die?
Not really, but now that you got me thinking about it, I just wish it would be a good MEMORY of me.

14) What do you like to hear? What's the song you like to put its link in your blog?
It all depends on the mood I am in. I’ve already put many links to songs on my blog. I listen to Jazz, blues, hip-hop, R&B, electronic (Tiesto), Fairuz, Tarab…

15- Which blogger had the greatest impression on you?
I can’t say who had the greatest impression on me. Every one of my blogger friends affected me in a way. But I can tell you that the person who got me into blogging was Anton Efendi; from Across the Bay. He pushed me to do it, and helped me set up my page and all.
(and I always was amazed by arch.memory’s talent).

16- Which blogger you think is the most similar to you?
Lately I have been identifying much with what Mirvat and Eve are writing.

17- Name a song you want to listen to?
Ouff Many!
Fairouz's "Ahwaka Bila Amali".

16- Ask five bloggers to answer these question on their blogs?
Most bloggers I know have already been tagged. Let’s see:
1. Laila; from Me, Myself and my Lebanon.
2. Mar; from Compulsive Yearnings.
3. Rouba; from Reflections from far mland.
4. no noise.
5. zee; from Sunburst.
I hope you guys have time for this, w sorry salaf!

Friday, September 15, 2006

I'm Bringing Sexy Back!

I woke up (as usual), got ready (as usual), I put on my clothes, my shoes (as usual), picked up my bag and prepared to leave the apartment (as usual)…

It is only when I was half-way in the hallway that I realized that something was not right.
I was not wearing my pants; I was still in my boxers…

This is how focused I am these days.

Hell yeah!

I'’m Bringing Sexy Back!!!

powered by ODEO

Photo Source:


Saturday, September 09, 2006

Drinking with Friends.

Go to a Bar, start drinking with a group of good friends, put a piece of paper on the table, start drawing something, then pass it on to the next person at the table to continue the drawing. Each person draws for a few seconds, and it is up to the next in line to add on to the "chef d'oeuvre".

What results is a chaotic collage of thoughts, images, and ideas.

Here's ours!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Increasing the Population of Ferme-Neuve.

Being the first Lebanese ever to set foot in Ferme-Neuve was not as exciting for the Ferme-Neuviens, as it was the case with my friends from China. Actually people did look at me kind of funny, but that was only because I had Emily with me all the time. They, on the other hand, were particularly interested in shaking hands with my far-eastern friends, who made the talk of the town. It was kind of amusing actually.

But do tell my Phoenician ancestors that I did carry on the task of discovering new territories.

Ferme-Neuve is a beautiful, and peaceful village, located in the last mountain range of the high Laurentides, at about 300km north of Montreal, and deep in the heart of the Quebec Northlands. The Ferme-Neuviens are very simple, and nice people; a western reminder of every “Teta Zihreh (Zahara)” and “Jeddo Abdo” of our villages (nice and kind old village folk with typical names).

Our Camping site was located on Lac St. Paul, about 30mns away from the village, where we would come back for groceries every other day. The peace and quiet of the place is incomparable. We relaxed, slept, ate, played, and hiked while enjoying the magical, colorful, diverse, and sublime landscape of Quebec. We encountered, and tended to numerous animals (domestic and wild), and learned about and enjoyed the many sorts and types of trees and vegetation. We even managed to make “land-art”, which Emily was an intrinsic part of.

And for our memories, we took amazing pictures.

The trip was Beautiful!

It is also great to be back in Metropolis, behaving like the urbanite that I am, exploiting the privileges and comforts of modern urban life.

I did miss all of you my friends, and yes… I did think of you...

Thank you for the comments you left, they brought a smile onto my face when I came back. Starting tomorrow, I’ll go back to my blogging tour of duty.