Every night at eight sharp, as the sky turns black and the cold breeze sweeps through Beirut’s exhausted balconies, the sound of the drumming of the revolution with defiant determination echoes in the alleys of the city. Bang, bang, bang goes the beating of pots and pans. Amidst the chaos of this cacophony, I stand on my balcony and let that rush of emotion take hold of me and I shed a tear… a tear or joy, a tear of fear, a tear of excitement, a tear of apprehension, but mostly a tear of hope. And hope can not wither away with time. So here is to hope, every day, every night, every hour, every minute, every second. Hope for life, for change, for dignity, for resilience in the face of evil, hope for a better future.
Long live Lebanon 🇱🇧
The day is over. The night has come. Today is gone. What is done is done. Embrace your dreams, through the night; tomorrow comes with a whole new light. Tissbah a3la kheir, another beautiful Arabic/Lebanese words of parting, encapsulates the beauty of the language on a social level.
Extract from the Dionysiaca by NONNUS OF PANOPOLIS (a Greek poet who flourished in Egypt in the 5th century A.D.)
“[The city of Beruit is founded at the dawn of creation:] Here dwelt a people age mates with the dawn, whom Phusis (Nature) by her own breeding, in some unwedded way, begat without bridal, without wedding, fatherless, motherless, unborn: when the atoms were mingled in fourfold combination, and the seedless ooze shaped a clever offspring by comingling water with fiery heat and air [i.e. the four elements–Air, Earth, Fire and Water], and quickened the teeming mud with the breath of life. To these Phusis (Nature) gave perfect shape . . . And these dwelt in the city of Beroe, that primordial seat which Kronos (Cronus) himself built . . .
This city, this country never tires. A land of many contradictions which seems so obvious to the naked eye yet is part of the fabric of its normality.
The chattering of women flows in the room as the soothing sounds of shells being thrown on a piece of velvet fabric drowns the noises. Children play as women gather around a small piece of hand-embroidered cloth. Barjis although a dying game, yet somehow it has managed to survive so far.
High up in the mountains they stand, elegant, poised, and indifferent to the moving time that seems to ignore them. Above the air is crisp clear with blue skies that seem to frame these ruins somehow freezing them in time and engulfing them with the magical air of antiquity.
In the biblical old city souk of Sidon, inhabited since about 5,000 years, stands the old souk from the Mamluk era. Beyond the saffron colored walls of the city souk and its labyrinth aisles, a bit secluded from the hustle and bustle of daily life at the souk, stands a discreet yet elegant white building with green shutters. Guided by the unmistakable scent of sweet soap wafting out well into the alleys, one is led towards the beautiful building of the soap museum situated on El Shakrieh Street. The scent of olive soap embraces the air and perfumes it with the fragrant smell of olives and bay leaves, purifying the air from the harsh sea salt wind that blows from the sea only a few kilometers away.