The silver of swamp lilies lip the land in wild haze as the stream takes possession of the land made wetlands. High up in the sky the clouds frolic in the sky, their dark shadows dissolve in water. This wetland is a secret, fertile, and full of life parcel, where birth and death are free and rife.
A few spices and herbs can turn your mundane dishes into a culinary masterpiece. The beauty of Lebanese food is its wonderful, somehow randomly, measured use of spices and herbs into almost all of its dishes. Almost all dishes are abundant in wonderful flavors of aromatic, spicy, lemony, sweet herbs and spices.
Only the bells tear through the silence of the wide-open valleys, reminding the heavens and its people of this serene land. Breathtakingly beautiful with trees that stretch as far as the eyes can see, still up to this day, it is hard to reach, adding to its charm. Nothing disturbs its silence other then the birds and the breeze that tiptoe along humbly giving respect to the stillness of Wadi Kadisha.
Somehow we are all connected together, no matter our nationalities, our beliefs, our place of birth, this earth brings us together in a simple humane way.
Flowers and petals, leaves and stems, geometric shapes and lines, they carve their trade with a chisel bright and keen. Emphasizing on the beauty of wood in their design and architecture, over five generations they have managed to keep this intricate art form alive.
“Often you shall think your road impassable, sombre and companionless. Have will and plod along; and around each curve you shall find a new companion.”
The Book of Mirdad
Cedar roots buried under mounds of aged earth stone, gripping tight like family, faith, and friends, remain the one force that holds the cedar up. These cedars look up at the sky, day and night, watching the clouds and stars. Impressive in their might, they stand forcefully, claiming this little piece of land as their own.
After life is exploded, changed, dehumanized, there are shattered pieces that do not heal for years, if at all. “What is left are scars and something else – shame, I suppose, shame for letting it all continue. Glances at the past where solace in tradition and myth prevailed only brings more shame over what the present is. We have lost the splendors of what our ancestors have created and go elsewhere.” (Anthony Shadid _ House of Stone)
Halfway through the summer season, as the sun rays bakes the earth beneath and the sweltering heat spreads,what seems like its long lasting hands, on Lebanon’s coastal towns, a wondrous spiny yellow and orange little cacti fruit makes its entrance to the market, sold on carts.
The Mediterranean Sea hides amongst its waves stories told and retold, waters so rich in history that would quench any thirsty storyteller on its salty shores. Such is the story of a small coastal town 23 km south from Beirut with a 7km sandy beach named Jiyeh. When the monk Godard visited the village during the 1900s, he described Jiyeh as a town fenced and surrounded by palm trees, and cactus plants.