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 salty sea slaps against the beach, seeming so endless as wave after wave crashes onto a sandy shore and explore a land carved into the palm trees. There is more than just the sight, the sounds of water splashing, and birds squawking, there is the way the sand feels as it presses against your feet and the cool touch of the water caressing your bare skin as fish rush past you, briefly brushing against your leg. The breeze fights off the heat on the beach and then as the sun starts to set, all that is left is the gentle sound of the waves and the fleeting light waving goodbye with beautiful colors decorating the sky and as all the creatures start to sleep on shore there is a whole other world below.
The shops’ goods pave the broken road, soothing the wavy maze of the old souk. Covered in blemishes, riddled with secret treasures, the shadows live in contrast to the midday sun. Juxtaposition of modern day life and the beauty of a Mamluk era unfold amongst its tiny alleyways. Poised in the blameless blue sky, Tripoli’s old souk actively survives with its old quarter gracing this land with its stunning architecture as the Mediterranean breeze still beats as it did centuries ago across its limbs.
As twilight softly kisses the horizon, a sturdy breeze plays mischievously in this derelict beauty only a short distance from the center of Tripoli, to the south of the city, bordering enormous, intense apartments blocs. Forgotten domes and empty seats are taken captive by the resilient flowers that grow amidst this deserted space. Like little shreds of hope they peek out just above the ground, holding firmly to the dream of what was once an almost picturesque reality that has drifted into abandonment.
His patient negligence turns material possessions to antiques. Occasionally handled but not bought; turns shrinking bodies to ash or dust that settles beneath the infinite grains and turns short-lived words to quotes, vividly and enthusiastically chattered by our fragile grandchildren.
Lebanese pastries are a pure delight. Originally, our ethnic pastries used to be very sweetened. Today, and since a decade or so, they are made with lesser sugar. Lebanese sweets are a landmark in our country’s culinary journey, and are among the best in our region and have landed a world renowned fame for some families who have been in the business for generations.
A pinch of coarse sea salt.
A dash of rosemary.
A bit of olive, almond, and coconut oil.
Blend together, put over fire, and stirred for about two hours.
Simple yet beautiful, the art of soap making
A certain calmness starts to take over our Beirut’s mornings today as the first day of Ramadan is upon us. Today many Lebanese start fasting, praying more earnestly, watching what they say, thinking twice before speaking, being kinder to their families and friends, contemplating on life, respecting, laughing, and loving. The month of Ramadan begins with the sighting of the new moon, which varies from country to country.
On the way to Tripoli, as you drive pass by Chekka, the feel of the country changes and you will directly notice that modernity has not laid its extending hands from this point forward. The road to Tripoli feels like life’s long journey, where one leaves life’s excesses and moves to a less hectic and chaotic state of being. The highway is calmer and the sky opens up to a horizon of a forgotten shoreline.
Lebanon’s second largest city is famous for its medieval Mamluk architecture, including a bustling and labyrinthine souk that is considered the best in the country. Home to the largest fortress in Lebanon, the Citadel of Raymond Saint-Gilles, it’s the second largest city (behind Cairo) in Mamluk architectural heritage. In ancient times, it was the center of a Phoenician confederation, which included Tyre, Sidon and Arados, hence the name Tripolis, meaning triple city in Greek, which the Arabs changed to Trablous.