United for the Love of Food

post 165/365


Every waking thought fueled by juicy strawberries not from distant lands, stalked by native asparagus, pine nuts, oak honey, dried apricots rolled thin into sheets, zaatar, ‘the sheikh’s’ raspberries, eating a Man’oushe from Rima’s saj, and buying my boys kale chips from Biolicious, pushes me out of bed on Saturday morning heading to Souk el Tayeb.

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The Precious One

post 163/365


Fresh from the tree, the Akedene is juicy, sweet, and bursting with juice and flavor. But it’s so delicate and decays so quickly that it’s rarely shipped to commercial markets, making it one of the precious spring fruits of Lebanon, its season starting in April. Sometimes it is hanging in many loquat trees around the capital in old buildings front yards.

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The Village Poet

post 162/365


Why did Mirsal leave her letters here, between my hands?  Uprooting her from her existence just like the poplar trees shed their yellow leaves to end a precarious phase of time’s chapter. And time passes, and it keeps going, and I see its footprints on top of these yellow worn-out pages…

(Translated from Tyour Ayloul, I did not do justice to the text but that’s the best I could do)

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A War Generation’s Hero

post 161/365


“Sometime in the middle of the 1970s, a glistening, barrel-chested, tri-colored robot of Japanese provenance entered the lives of Lebanese youth. Wing-like protrusions emerged from his incongruously teeny head like a set of bull’s horns. His arms were Herculean, substantial enough to hurl any enemy into a distant abyss, while his robot hands seemed always to be clenched into little balls of fury. On occasion, he would commune with a flying saucer, which allowed him to soar over the sky at light speed as he battled a malicious empire run by a galactic dictator named Lord Vega the Great and his equally malicious associates. This robot, this savior of humanity, was called Grendizer.”

I am very proud to be the first to translate this song into English, so here it goes:

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The Language of Shapes and Colors

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Finding great beauty in the natural world and drawing from hawk-eyed interpretations of it, rather than skimming glances, bold and calculated simplicity, are all set in colorful glory. His subjects ranging from animals to humans take center stage in his paintings where they flow in a realm of defined space and exuberant colors.

“When I look at nature, I see it in my own way. Colors and shapes are a language,” he tells.

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Boho Beirut



Electricité du Liban building, built around 1970, welcomes you into the heart of Mar Mikael, where the rhythm of life slows down and life somehow seems to be a bit calmer then the rest of the city, during the day at least. Most of its shops have old men or women operating them, giving a certain caché to the area, highlighting the feel of longevity that is very much present in Mar Mikhael.

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The Voice of Belonging

post 157/365


I long for my mother’s bread

And my mother’s coffee

And my mother’s touch…

My childhood grows within me

Day after day

I love my life because

If I died,

I would be embarrassed by my mother’s tears

Take me, if I return one day

As a scarf for your lashes

And cover my bones with grass

Baptized by the purity of your heel

Tie me up

With a lock of hair

With a thread that points to the tail of your dress

Perhaps I will become a god

A god I would become

If I felt the bottom of your heart

Put me, if I return

As fuel to light your fire

And a wash-line on your house’s roof

Because I’ve lost my strength to stand

Without the prayer of your day

I’ve grown old… return the stars of childhood

So I can share with the sparrow chicks

The way back

To the nest of your waiting

(translation of the song Oummi)

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