Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Old School_part one.

"Bathroom walls, the old school chat rooms" - Cold Case, Nov. 25.2007


Monday, November 26, 2007


Novemberfest 07 / Mtl, Qc / Canon Eos Digital Rebel XTi

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"limaza la youmkinouni an a3ref, maza yajri men 7awli?" - Mamnou3, Ghassan Rahbani.
Why can I not know what is going on around me?

El Generalissimo Michel Aoun, calls for all Christian Minds to show up at his house in Rabieh for a "train wagon" of talk, negotiations, and mental masturbation.
Many decided to show up and many didn't. But amongst those who did make an appearance, were Gassan, and his father, Elias el Rahbani.

You guys aren't even mentioned on wickipedia!

They are maybe on research duty, writing for another play. They mingle with the big boys, see how they talk it out, and then go take the material onto the stage, and sing it out to us, the poor commoners.

f. morons.

Rejoice people of Lebanon, for we do not write history, we sing it!


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Monday, November 19, 2007

Dreams of Water.

Home / Dec.2006 / Beirut, Lebanon / Nikon FG
"... You know, sometimes I think these are the very things that give me comfort, Salah says, gesturing at the places and people around them. The thought that everything will continue to change no matter how hard I try to stop it from doing so. That I will grow steadily older, through different and better defines, and that because of this there will always be newness in me too. He pauses. Coming to this city has made me understand many things that I had not been aware of before. It's made me think of myself in a different way.

Aneesa nods.
That's happened to me too. But what about all the things we left behind when we left home?

They're still here. He stops and looks at her. You must feel the same way too?

I can't forget everything that's happened, she replies. Bassam, my father and what's happened to our country. I can never put those things behind me.

That's not what I meant, Salah says, shaking his head. It's not a question of forgetting.

What is it then, Salah? What do you think I am meant to do?

He runs a trembling hand over his hair and smiles.
Just be happy my dear. Do just that."

Jarrar, Nada Awar. Dreams of Water (p:44-45). HarperCollinsPublishers, London, 2007.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Faithful [In her Hair].

So I got wife this barrette (hair clip) that I found in an antique Chinese shop. There were but a handful of those clips, and they looked really nice and fancy; they were handmade. I found the one I like and as I was reaching to grab it, the old lady that keeps the shop said:

- each one have meaning... which you want?
- I like this one, I said. What does it mean?
- Oooh, this one good. This one mean good! You take!
- What does it mean?
- Faithful! she shouted... Means faithful.
Fidelité in french hahahahah. She laughed at her French tentative.

And I thought PERFECT! It will look beautiful holding baby's beautiful night colored hair, and the interpretation is every man's desire and wish of course.

I ran back home ecstatic and exited, and played with wife the "guess-what-did-I-get-you-game". After 15mns of torment and playfulness, I offered the clip to her, holding it in my two straightened arms. Stretched like that in front of my chest.
It means faithful... I whispered softly.
She smiled, habibi she said, took it, gave me a kiss, and lifted it up to her hair.

As soon as the clip touched her hair, it broke in two.

The barrette you see in the picture above, is the second one I got. I had to go back and get her another one!
Faithful means Faithful!

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Tow-Away Zone.

photo by her / march 2005 / Beirut, Lebanon

Last week, our Capital City was supposed to get its first Parking Meters, since the civil war. Did it happen? Did anybody see anything? I don’t know.

How cool is that? Our first Parking Meters since the 1975-1990 civil war! Does that mean all our troubles are now so far away?

It would only be fair to inform those who don't know, that in contemporary Beirut, you can park your car almost anywhere you can fit it, except in areas where the military decided you couldn't for security reasons. Not your security, but the security of the big shot asshole that lives nearby. Parking is usually done on streets, on sidewalks (yes ON sidewalks), and in empty lots (terrains vagues) where you would be charged a mere 1$ or 2$ for a full day. Give the guy 5$, and you may even come back to find your car washed and cleaned. But that's irrelevant now.

Beirut was a cool and clean city before the war as the world must know by now, all with adequate street furniture, and traffic control signage worthy of any rising intermediate city; we had a lot of attention to detail. When chaos reigned over the streets, signage became the least of the inhabitants’ worries; which is rather normal. In fact those who abided by rules and regulations of traffic, became a joke to others, and chaos became the rule. In times of an absurd war, speed limits were just a number, double parking was a trend, and traffic jams were resolved with an emptying of an AK47 magazine in the air.

Although Beirut rose again, as beautiful as ever, still traffic signs lagged behind. In Downtown Beirut, everything is in mint condition except that our generation (the war generation) is just not used to seeing a no parking sign (or any sign for that matter). What is a stop sign, why are those speed limits everywhere? Are you kidding me?

I was once in my car stopped still at a red light. Cars were honking behind me angrily. For once, I decided not to move and educate those bastards. A cop rode beside me on his Harley Davidson and said: “Move out you stupid ass, can’t you see the chaos behind you?” (2arrib ya 7mar, ma cheyif el 3aj2a warak?)
- But the light is red! I said stupidly.
- Move, move, move, before I give you a ticket!

The dude, threatened to give me a ticket for stopping at a red light!

As Colonel Joseph Doueihy, in charge of the traffic department at the interior ministry, mentioned to AFP, gradually more units will be installed throughout the capital as part of a major effort to regulate circulation.
Funding for this project will come from World Bank, which will make our debt even bigger. Yeah the World Bank, why did you think Iran, Syria, or Saudi Arabia were going to cater for that? Or were you counting on the West? No no, these guys will only help you go to war... mind you, the Kingdom funded many infrastructure projects during the Hariri Sr. reign. It was of course to achieve political powers, but let's spare them this discourse for the time being.

He also said, “people who fail to feed the meters or who overstay the two-hour limit risk a ticket of 20,000 pounds (about 13 dollars) or even being towed”. Correct me if I am wrong here, but I didn’t think we paid our tickets in Lebanon. I just thought they went straight to the recycle bin, or even removed off the windshield and thrown right away on the asphalt beneath our feet. Did you ever have to pay for a ticket you got? I remember once getting a ticket; I was ecstatic that I got my first ticket ever – it was yellow and all. I was proud. I asked where to pay for it, and I was told that I shouldn’t. “You just throw it away”.

A survey done with citizens and posh shop owners proved that some were happy about the new parking meters, while others thought that it was going to be just pointless and useless. "I don't think people will respect the rules because they are used to chaos," one woman said. "I think they will try and find a way to beat the system. And even if they get tickets, do you really think they will pay them?"
And this is exactly what I think will happen.

Can you explain to me, why is it that, in general, the Lebanese are the first to follow rules and regulations when abroad, but in their own country, they just don’t give a damn, and choose to be oblivious.
Weird species we are!

I was talking jokingly with my friends about those new parking meters we were getting, and they, with all seriousness, thought that it was no time for Parking Meters while we still can pick our own president. Well my friends, civility has to start at some point, and we can’t keep on waiting for others to wake up. In Lebanon, a group wants to push the country forward, and another group wants to drag it back. I say to hell with that, we have to start at some point. Those who do not pay their phone bills or electricity bills will not worry about parking tickets anyway, others… well you just have to take one for the team.

I think it is a great idea to install those parking meters, and while they are at it, they might as well install NO CAMPING signs in downtown Beirut. Actually, what they should be doing, is inventing or creating a “no-camping-in-central-districts-you-fuck-or-you-will-get-shot” sign!

I am going to invent it!

On another front, Doueihy said: "Our aim is to institute order and to ease the city's traffic chaos." No Mr. Doueihy (or should I say colonel)! You got it all wrong; this will not ease traffic chaos.
What the Lebanese Government don’t seem to understand, is that budgeting for more infrastructure, building more roads, and installing traffic signs will not ease traffic jams and traffic chaos. Only an elaborate public transportation will… and of course public awareness, but I dare you to do that.

There you go.
I have been in a terrible mood this week!

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to. [Moon Over Scorpio]

Confused / Nov.4.2007 / Montréal, Qc / Canon Eos Digital Rebel XTi

Why do we, Scorpios, always get depressed on our birthdays?
I am 30 years old today.

I had a bad dream last night. I rarely have nightmares, because I usually control my dreams. I have been told many times by my friends, that this was almost impossible to do, and that it is freaky that I can do so. But I promise you I can.
I can just imagine a scene, sleep, dream about it, and wake up the next day in full content mode. I remember every detail of the scene, and I remember that I dreamed it. I dream in color and sound also.

Last night I had a bad dream. I was running and I was hiding. I woke up, looked at wife's angelic face seeking help... she was sleeping. I closed my eyes again, and I continued running. I was all alone.
After hours of running and ducking all around the city, I ended up hiding in the attic, in my old parents' house in Beirut. My aggressors were looking for me in the house. Thank God the house was empty, and they were not able to harm my parents. I was defending the fort on my own.
I waited until my attackers went into my old room, and from the attic, I closed my eyes and threw in a grenade. Right into my old room. Right into my memories. It fucking tore me apart, but I had to do it. I had to do it you see, they were talking and threatening that they were going to kill everySOUL I loved. So instead, I preferred to destroy them along with everyTHING I loved, and I had once owned. Every memory, and everything that has ever made me smile.

The fatality of the story is that it was all for nothing. In my dream, I was being accused of something I had not done. I was innocent. The system was so corrupt and absurd, that there was no use explaining to them that I had nothing to do with what they were accusing me of. There was nowhere for me to plead my case. I was a criminal by designation, and I had to run. I was forced to fight for my life.
To save my life, I had to destroy my past. I blew it all up with a fucking grenade.

I miss my parents. I miss my old house. I miss my Beirut.
I decided that I should go back home for Christmas. Back to the old memories I blew up when I left.
I am 30 years old today.

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