Funeral rites were one of the major types of religious cultic activity among the Phoenicians. It appears that burial of an intact body was the preferred method for dealing with the dead, though some examples of cremation have also been found. The wealthiest Phoenicians and members of royal families received elaborately decorated stone sarcophagi, which were placed in tombs cut directly out of rock. The bodies were typically given objects from their lives to accompany them: coins, food, cosmetics, toiletries, figurines, and so forth. The inclusion of both ritual and practical objects is often cited as evidence of belief in some sort of afterlife, possibly one in which the deceased could make use of these objects. This may be a case where the funeral rites of Egypt influenced the religious beliefs of the Phoenicians as for a long time.
The sweetest aspects of the Middle East would have to be its world-famous desserts, often characterized by their rich syrupy taste, nuts, and lack of cream. Knefeh bil jibin, one of my favorite desserts, is a cheese pastry soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup, typical of the regions. It is a specialty of the Levant.
Crisp sounds displayed, tweaked, collaged, and delectably consumed, stretch our ears to a vast hungering palette. Vibrations lead to the tingling mind’s inevitable response, guiding the body through its purity of sound. Hums and hisses are overshadowed by the DJ’s track. Lasers lights dance over the vast sweating fans. The floor is a rhythmic sea of flesh. Dance steps balanced by the DJ’s meticulous craft, as a wave of bodies succumbs to her vibrant enchanting mix, blending together as fans dance the night away.
Beirut Madinati candidacy is not solely for the Beirut municipality elections. Beirut Madinati is a movement. While imagination flowed through every vein of every dreamer, of every person who is seeking change on Sunday the 8th of May, there was a mass awakening of a generation that felt that the oligarchs were drowning their voices out. Oligarchs who have been sworn enemies for years and yet created alliances against a group with no political power whatsoever, because they feared not only their power but ours too.
Beirut is a city of baffling contradictions whose character blends the sophisticated and cosmopolitan with the provincial and parochial. Our city sits atop two hills, Al-Ashrafīyeh (East Beirut) and Al-Muṣayṭibeh (West Beirut), which protrude into the sea as a roughly triangular peninsula. In the immediate hinterland lies a narrow coastal plain (Al-Sāḥil) that extends from the mouth of the Nahr Al-Kalb (Dog River) in the north to that of the Nahr Al-Dāmūr (Damur River) in the south.
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)
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.
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?
In between its winding streets where the sounds of the city runs amongst its trees scattered here and there, Ashrafieh is definitely a love affair. Its luxurious apartment buildings combined with its renovated traditional houses and the dilapidated ones, its 50s, 60, 70s, and 80s buildings all seem like a charming movie set of a loved Beirut.
In a country full of juxtapositions, the Lebanese function beautifully as a community. The thing that I love the most about Lebanon, and I have to emphasize that it is a big part of its benefits, is the fact that we are a child loving nation and as a neighborhood we live together as one big affectionate family.