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.
Shankleesh is the only mold ripened cheese native to the Middle East. It is believed to have originated among the Kurdhish al Zankieen tribes. It is essentially yogurt whey that is shaped into smooth balls by hand, then either ripened for a few days and consumed (green shankleesh) or aged for up to 16 weeks, traditionally in clay jars called baresh.
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)
As they perform, a sudden understanding grips me; they will never be gone from this place. These performers of excellent caliber pour their hearts out to those who listen and gets swept away in their idea. Their plays are drenched in moralistic stories, conveying messages that count with their full of life gestures. As we sit watching them, they look through us, as if asking us to engage, as if seeing through our façade. Their ideas move like fluid through the minds of the spectators, speaking to us of this world we live in. if you hear them, really hear them, you will be moved.
The Phoenicians regularly sailed across and up the Atlantic to harvest tin from Europe at Cornwall but, to the Greeks, Europe was a dark continent (in the same way that 19th and early 20th century CE Europeans would later view Africa).
Seeing the first green tiny apple like Janerek in shops is like hearing the first cuckoo of the year. It is nature’s confirmation that spring is here.
The word ‘war’ is feared by all
Everything that one can think of
Environment, Economics, Politics
All joins in the fray
Man against man
Sending dancers of death into the battlefield
Changing the landscape, death to all
Leaving behind a stage, full of agony
What can we say,
When wars are waged?