Long break from blogging
It has been over three months since I last posted, and while I was aware of the time lapsed, that did not mean I was happy about it.
Obviously I have been super busy with my job duties, jumping around the region making my employer even more money (and helping spend it sometimes).
The other reason for my silence is a bit more complicated. Like a majority of the Arab population, I have been extremely
depressed by the events taking place in the region, in my homeland, in Lebanon, in Iraq, the war trumpets sounding about Iran. I have so much frustration and rage, and for once, I decided not to share it with what remains of my readership.
Now, I have taken a decision to post at least weekly, even if it cuts into my sleep time, as the bottled rage is not good for my blood pressure!
I will try to post my review of the film "Last King of Scotland" soon.
Almost one year
Almost one year ago, I started blogging, and even my posting has been scarce of late, I am still very committed to this project of extreme exposure, it gives me an outlet and a megaphone to scream through.
I am hoping that I will recover to my earlier posting schedule and have interesting things to say!
My November 2005 postsMy second post is still my favorite
Playing the villain!
People who know me usually refer to me as a somehow nice sort of a guy, reserved, a bit aggressive, but not really nasty or obnoxious.
In the last 2 weeks I have deeply hurt a person I truly care about, and this has cast me in a very negative light to this person and to myself, and needless to say, I did not enjoy my newfound notoriety.
There are benefits to being a scoundrel, utmost of those are decreased expectations, which I could use at my current state, nevertheless, that is not enough to justify the sense of disappointment surrounding my "halo".
So right now I am trying to shake the new found persona, and revert to my usual defects and shortcomings, which I learned to embrace by now.
The Ramadan of delirium
Ramadan 2006. Days go fast, you work less hours yet you feel more tired even when you are religiously not fasting. Things don’t get done, document drag without a new redline version for the eternity of 72 hours, sacrilegious state of affairs!
What is it with this month that makes you so angry and you chafe easily when people rub you the wrong way. You are trigger happy with expletives; tolerance level in down to micron level, smoking gun is in your first drawer. You go up to 220km/hour at Iftar
time trying to reach the meal in time, even when you snacked an hour ago, the mindset is one of little patience and even less decorum.
You lose track of your priorities in the haze of the shisha smoke, you relate to current event only on subliminal level, you are dehydrated of energy, soul, and intelligent thinking. You blame the TV series, the occasional indulgence of Katayef
, the constant Sahar
to wee hours, and the bipolar extremes of feigned piety and indulgence, ever in their weird tango.
The region’s multiple sores of conflicts becomes the daily routine and the news reel sounds recycled from yesterday or 25 years ago, the Lebanonization of Iraq, the Iraqization of Palestine, the polarization in Lebanon, and a silent shameful murder in Sudan. You lose track of who requested a national unity government whether it was Abbas or Michel Aon, who is the puppet and who is the puppet master in Iraq. You are bombarded by the defiant words of Nasarallah,Sadr, Hanieh, and Ahmadi Najad. The distinction between a historic victory and an unmitigated disaster depends on your political affiliation.
You look abroad and see millions of Europeans genuinely afraid of the Islamic war of conquest, the tyranny of the sword as the voice of the religion and the hordes of immigrant on their doors, of the Hijab as the face of the difference, and of potential enemies in their midst. In your region, the feeling of siege is also omnipresent, the religion is attacked as fascist, the prophet is ridiculed, and the image of the ordinary citizen is equated with the suicide bomber. And both are right.
In the midst of this weird concoction, you travel around the region and see booming cities, rising middle class (despite all the argument to the contrary), and an advance of many aspects of modernity. Nothing is pure of distortion and substance is often lacking, but the progress is real. Same time, political, social, and often psychological progress is retarded. Is it bread before democracy? Or bread sans democracy? Right now in Palestine democracy has brought hunger and anarchy, and in Lebanon it brought stalemate. In Doha, Riyadh and Kuwait city, the boom is a new Arab renaissance, as demonstrated by glass and steel towers designed by westerners and built by Indians.
You process all of the above, and the anger is explained, but if the region has succeeded in producing (and exporting) a product, it is angry young (and graying) men and women. Can anger be channeled in a positive way, does it always has to be directed against a real or an imagined enemy? Can hope be extracted from the jaw of inertia?
No use, more questions than answers. In an environment where you usually go straight on a T-junction, that is typical currency of discourse.
Will the Eid bring hope, truces and some national and regional consensus? Will we break the soul’s fast with a feast of mediocrity, as always? Is status quo ante better than what tomorrow will bring us on the screens of Al-Jazeerah?
Eid’s new clothes will be regular ones in a week, that is all the answer that I know.
A great view from Montefalco, Umbria
A big lake in Umbria
A wall in Chianti
Yours truly in a Chianti winery
View in Siena
Siena main piazza
An old printing machine in Foligno
My beloved Dorothy, note the flowers by the steering wheel, a Beetle trademark.
Dorothy is leaving home!
After much introspection, I have decided to sell my beloved blue VW Beetle affectionately known as Dorothy.
She has been a very faithful mate, demanding at times, expensive to please, occasionally high maintenance, but she always delivered in grace and in speed, and she always suffered in my absence as a true devotee would.
Today I am placing a classified listing her, and I have prepared a poster to be placed at supermarket bulletin boards that goes like this:
"A beauty like no other, with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair.
Her mate (owner) has grown promiscuous, but she has stayed true
She is looking for loving commitment
Obviously I am having issues with letting go, for many reasons, but it is time to set her free, may she find greater love beyond my shores.
Leaving for holy Land!
Later tonight I will be leaving Dubai to go to Ramallah with brief stop in Jordan, it has been 13 months since I've last visited Palestine, and while I do not miss conflict or the daily grind, I miss the land and the people, they just have that effect on you.
Hopefully I will be able to post from Amman and Ramallah, the trick is to say something interesting.