enchanting cities

“every evening the balconies of urban lebanon are full of people, sitting out under the night’s stars perhaps smoking an Argeeley or water pipe, drinking coffee, and maybe even playing cards. You’re never alone here. Your landscape is made up people. Your family on the balcony, your neighbours on theirs, the vendor selling roasted peanuts for 500 liras downstairs, and the church bells and muezzine calling the faithful together across the street.

there is no highway in all of lebanon from which you cant see the sea as you drive. The roads and buildings are built looking out on the water; you’ll never have to turn your back to it…
there is so much more of lebanon to show you so that you will know why people are staying here to fight and even to die. how do i describe to you the lebanon of my memory?

the pebble beach at Baarbara where sweet and salty water mixes together, the result of freshwater springs hidden under the rocky terrain of the sea.
the hustle and bustle of downtown beirut, the corniche where you can buy hot thimbles of Arabic coffee, the surprise when you discover there is valet parking at Mc donalds ( I swear its true).
the falafel sandwiches at Abu Andre’s in tripoli. the baklava at the Hallab Patisserie, in business since 1881.

the winding roads of Byblos.
the caves of Jeita.
the smell of the Cedar Forests.

the lebanese drivers, who when they are not trying to kill you with their stunt-like driving, are stopping to help you with directions.
the palm readers at the beach in Tyre…

and there is more, there is so much more.
why would a people who have everything to lose, risk it all?
for me it is because the lebanon of my memory is definitely worth fighting for.”

lebanon diary-fatima bhutto 26th july 2006, the news

enchanting cities


do you think you can reach a point where everything blurs into one- each definiton gets undefined, and it becomes impossible to distinguish your own feelings? there seems to be a phase of some sort where the old becomes redundant but the new doesnt apply yet-where you seem to be stuck in a confusion of your own making. you swing between absolute certainty and vague unsure-ness. the moments in between surprise you with their brilliance, but do you give them their due importance?

sometimes the easiest thing to do is to say i want to do this-
sometimes the most difficult thing to do is to say i want to do this.


observations no. 3425


a woman at aylanto with the mobile stuck to her ear, talking loudly to her driver-daughter-friend with the mobile on loudspeaker-so everyone at aylanto hears her side as well as the person on the other side. she however doesnt seem to notice that there is a voice blaring out of the speaker-her hand remains firmly pressed against the mobile holding it to her ear.


how pointless wedding functions are, and how utterly useless they seem to everyone present


myself in ways i had forgotten for a while

observations no. 3425