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.
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.
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.
The call of the wind breaks through as we all fall in line. Lost among the footfalls, the mountains are our shrines. As the rocks hold the beat, while nature sings her song and the sun brings its heat as the wind pushes us along, I think to myself how picturesque is this land, how beautiful is Lebanon.
There is something quiet poetic about the Lebanese landscape and how it is integrated in every aspect of our lives. Depending on the region, food, words, dialect, and dress changes. Different religions and areas all have slightly different undertones to their dress and way of life, yet somehow they all seem to mesh together in creating this cultural heritage that is very much what makes this country not only so diverse but so rich in culture.
Driving in the city, under the scorching sun, we stop at an assuming little ice cream shop on the ground floor of a rundown building carrying bullets that echo of a past life that reverberates of times where bombs ripped the city’s skies. Echoes that no one hears anymore amongst the city’s cacophony of sounds.