Apr 29, 2012

Tell me who your friends are...

I grew up believing that the more good people I have around me, the better image I will reflect of myself.

And a while ago, someone I know (and love) did something socially unacceptable (that I even did not accept). But I refused to remove this person from my friend zone. And here is why...

I am a girl who believes that everyone is nice until proven opposite.
I am someone who turns her back to her enemies instead of hurting them back; that's God's job after all, not mine.
I do not "use" people; not emotionally, socially and definitely not financially.
But above all those, I am a person who does not believe in social tags and who learned that hanging-up with "socially accepted" people is just another social tag.

Looking at my friends, I have them all. I have those who are nerds and accumulate degree after another, I have the party freaks who know every PR person in town (they can get us anywhere at anytime!), I have the family lovers, the eternal single ones, the ones who are faithful no matter what, the ones who are not (...no matter what). I have those who are ambitious, those who are not. I have the christians and the muslims. The religious and the not so religious. Those who want to marry a millionaire, those who want a guy they control not a man they support. I have those who, at 28, still believe in fairy tales and those who, at 25, know that love is a matter of conviction in the other person. I have those still cry at Disney movies (oh no! That would actually be me) and those who never even watched Mickey Mouse.

I have a little bit of everything. A little bit of everyone. The good. The bad.

If I was to listen to the society I come from? I would be all of the above.

And if I am (all of the above), then I would seriously be suffering of some kind of schizophrenia... the serious kind!

I am just myself. Me.A definition of my own actually.

And my friends?
They are different from me but I love each and everyone of them. For who they are.

It's just them.
Tell me who your friends are, I tell you NOT who you are.

I tell you simply you're a good friend who embraces all people... because everyone hides something good deep inside...

Apr 23, 2012

Wlak hiyyé aslan isma Beirut!

Hamra? Anno el Gemayzé battalit mniha ye3né?
Hinné wein w nehna wein… ana wlédé ma baddé yerbo ma3oun!
Lah ya binté, chou n2ata3o el chabeib el masihiyyé bil balad?
Baddik todharé ma3 wahad minnoun, stoflé. Bass sorry ana 3a bayté ma bifout… On dine dans un restaurant.
Tu as vu la fille de Christian jarna? khatabit wa7ad Indien ! Un indien… ma 3irfit tlé’é un Libanais ni un Français!
Ana bass baddé ifham chou byitla3o bya3imlo bi Harrissa w Saint Charbel!
Ma na2ayti gheir muslim ?! ma kein fiké tle’ilik chi wahad orthodox masalan ? 3milte adrab min binta la Jeanette!

Eh walla ya Jeanette !

I walk down the streets of Beirut often to hear the above statements and feel my heart burning inside. As if we did not have enough already. As if civil war did not burn our childhood, our parent lives, their childhood, our grand-parents youth. As if civil war did not burn the whole country.

There was war. True. But it’s over now. Also true. So I wonder… Why do we still live raising our children on racism? Why do we still differenciate people according to their religion, skin color, nationality, etc?

Blondes are shallow. Philippinas make good house helpers (but we call them maids… mitil bil 3aser el hajaré!). Indians are ruling the Gulf region, they eat curry and nod their heads. Russians are prostitutes. French live in dirt. Italians are mafia mobs. Germans are scrooge. Bahrainis are bad and uneducated people. Saudis are worst (Their Harvard degrees prove it!). Egyptians are funny and stupid.

Lebanese rock!

Well, they rock to a certain extend! They rock as long as they belong to our religion. Better, they rock as long that they belong to the same religious sect that we belong to. 

Gharbiyyé, shar’iyyé. 
Sunnite, Shiite, Maronite, Orthodoxe…
Byerka3 aw bisallib.
Bisallib bil khamsé aw bil tleté!

Ibné ma bifout 3a hal jemi3.
Binté ma bkhalliya t2addis 3inid el Orthodoxe !

Khallina bil Gemayzé lyom… baléha nazlit el Hamra… el Hamra bil gharbiyyé !

Wlik akh ya Jeanette… and we want to call this, a country ?
Mich 3ayb?

Gharbiyyé. Shar2iyyé. Haydé Beirut ya jame3a!

Wlak mich 3a aseis el “libneiné” msa2af w m3allam w byet3eyash ma3 el kill?

Isma Beirut! Tout court!

Apr 13, 2012

Will I survive Friday the 13th?

Between myth and superstition it’s Friday the 13th again!  And if everything in Lebanon acts crazy when it rains (phone lines, internet connections, drivers, people, etc…), then you can’t come to imagine how a superstitious Lebanese can spend every 13th of the month… now how about Friday the 13th?

It’s needless to say that the Lebanese can get superstitious about anything and everything so below is a guideline for spending a day away from your friggatriskaidekaphobia!

  1. Get out from the left side of the bed in the morning, the right side brings bad luck.
  2. Before you move out of the room, don’t forget to wear that little blue broche (kharzé zar’a) your grandmother got you when you were born. It will keep the “bad eye” away for the day…3ayn el hasoud tibla bil 3ama!
  3. While washing your face, recite and bad dream out loud. The water will take it away with it and any probability of it coming true will fade!
  4. Leave the house with your right foot (obviously, the left one brings bad luck today!).
  5. Black is your official enemy for today. Seeing black will make your days black (and sad) for a long time. Now if your car is black, use a cab!
  6. Fall in-love with blue today! Unlike black, blue can keep away bad eye and bring good luck… You know they even advise brides to wear something blue on their wedding day no? Where did you think that comes from?!
  7. During lunch time, order eggplants with your colleagues and try to have the last bite.  They say if you share eggplants, the last bite brings good luck (OMG! I don’t eat eggplants, will I die today?).
  8. Keep salt with you during the day. For every bad news you hear (lasamah allah akid), pour a little in your left hand and throw them over your right shoulder (or was it right, hand left shoulder… mmmm I don’t remember so be safe and try both!).
  9. If your day seem to be going bad, you can prepare yourself a Turkish coffee pot, fill a cup (shaffé works better) and let it spill.  Spilling coffee brings good luck and luck is much needed on such a day!PS: ONLY Turkish coffee works!
  10. During this day, do not walk by any black cat, break any glass, pass under any ladder, do not clean after sunset, so not count the stars, do not leave your shoes bottom facing up after you remove them, do not cut your nails at night…
  11. And before you go to bed at night, do not look in the mirror… because you’ll look too stupid for believing in the superstition of Friday the 13th!

Apr 2, 2012

"All that is gold, does not glitter"...

Looking around me every morning, I see no great excuse to get out of bed; the weather is by far the ugliest at this time of year, as if "winter" and "spring" were in a continuous fight. While knowing that "spring" will end up winning, I still can not kick away the monotone thoughts of the winter season; it was long and heavy... so heavy my shoulders began to hurt.

Yet I move. Every morning as the sun is rising, I move out and spend a long day at work, followed by a newly established exercising routine, some outing with friends or quality time with those I care about.

I begin to forget about the heaviness that I felt on my shoulder that same morning. By 9 am actually, I start smiling again... The closer I look to what I have, the more blessings I feel. Everything around me is colorful and bright. Spring is just around the corner and the birds are just getting ready to start singing.

I sit back and think deeply into my feelings and latest reactions. Outside the window, the sky is full of grayish clouds. It's not as sunny and warm as I'm feeling and the birds are still hiding from the cold wind.

My feeling? It's just a matter of attitude. Of acknowledgment and appreciation.

After all, "All that is gold, does not glitter" and the pleasures of life do not always shine under our nose... We just need to sit back, relax and accept them in order to feel and enjoy them.