Away From Politics

Saad Hariri is Back

This time it’s for real heh! Hariri’s been out of the country since 2011.

My Two New Favorite Desserts From Cannelle

Succes aux fraises
For those who like brownies as well, you have to try them out at Cannelle.
Macaron Cheese Cake

Aishti goes all Carmen Miranda

Composite image - Aishti ad and Carmen Miranda

Good news for Aishti, their site is now up, bad n

I’m still not ready to leave

I’m still not ready to leave, but dare not say it to anyone. There are words behind my eyes still maturing, still not ripe for utterance. I have made a habit of keeping things to myself, but every now and again they weigh on me. Sadness is like that, it begs to be shared, to be spread like a cold. But I am resisting the decadent temptation, this once.

My throat is ready to leave; it is charred with exhaust. But something in me lingers, not wanting to pack just yet. More things to fold within: these congested streets, my backache, unwrapped endings, and the hesitation of what’s to come—I’ll have to pack them all. But I’ll have to unpack them first: lay them on the bed, fold them one by one—I don’t have much room.

Mahmoud Darwish, "Memory for Forgetfulness" 3 - محمود درويش، "ذاكرة للنسيان"

أريد رائحة القهوة،لا أريد غير رائحة القهوة.ولاأريد من الأيام كلها غير رائحة القهوة، رائحة القهوة لأتماسك،لأقف على قدميَ،لأتحول من زاحف إلى كائن،لأوقف حصتي من هذا الفجر على قدميها،لنمضي معاً أنا وهذا النهار إلى الشارع .بحثا عن مكان آخر كيف أذيع رائحة القهوة من خلاياي،وقذائف البحرتنقض على واجة المطبخ المطل على البحر لتنشر رائحة البارود ومذاق العدم؟صرت أقيس المسافة الزمنية بين قذيفتين.. ثانية واحدة... ثانية واحدة أقصر من المسافة بين الشهيق والزفير،أقصر من المسافة بين دقتي قلب ... ثانية واحدة لا تكفي لأن أقف أمام البوتغاز الملاصق لواجهة الزجاج المطلة على على البحر...

Destroyed MEA planes as art inspiration

Soon there will an auction in Doha which which include interesting Middle Eastern art, Ayman Baalbaki will feature among the lot with a work entitled Al Sharq Al Awsat (which means "Middle East" - but also refers to our national carrier Middle East Airlines).
Here is the work in question courtesy of Sotheby's:

Exclusive: ISIS internal memos from Lebanon

The following documents where retrieved from a building that was occupied by jihadis from the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) in Lebanon following the group's recent entry into the country. They paint a revealing picture of the group's operations there and the type of problems they faced with local recruits. Click on the images to zoom.


It’s time for us to exit
The stage and leave
The animals to shred
Their shadows

It’s time for us to exit
Without looking back
Turn off the light
Set the set on fire
And leave

It’s time for them
To cry our tears
To taste the salt
And the soles of our feet
And lick our spit
Off the floor

We shall burn in their retinas
Like the afterimage of a nightmare
We shall linger
Like the caustic aftertaste
Of regret

It shall burn
And we shall smile
They shall writhe
And we shall smirk
Through their moans

Spill me
Onto their gaping flesh
Like lemon juice
Bitter and bright
Scrape me
Off of their green skins

Thoughts About The Aarsal Operation

I’ve been following the news minute by minute over the past week. The general sentiment was already an unpleasant one with the heart-wrenching crimes against humanity being committed in Gaza and Mosul, by equally extremist ideological entities, and it became worse when it hit so close to home, as we’ve all been predicting.

30 Thoughts Every Arab Couple Has Before Getting Married

1) We need to look like royalty.
2) Do we really have to invite the company driver to our wedding party too?
3) Our wedding is going to be one of the most different and coolest weddings EVER!
4) Wait, does a single rose really cost $9?
5) Dried flowers are the new trend, everyone’s doing it.
6) So we just like go home together after the wedding party, no eyebrows raised?

In support of Glen Le Lievre

It's sad that the caricature above which was printed in the Sydney Morning Harald (and drawn by Glen Le Lievre) was withdrawn and with s an apology to boot.

Ummati: I am the (real) Muslim.

Breaking news: Beirut/NTSC is abandoning cynism for a very short while. First I must say I have no idea who is behind Ummati (my nation). Their mission statement on their website is positive and uplifting but vague and generic. Oh, and the backlash started already on social media questioning how much of Muslims they are and what not (people did not take kindly to the caricatures republished there, many references were ridiculing the photo of men and women praying together, etc....) in addition to many negative political references - anything from the Saudi Royal family, to the US passing through Israel and the people behind the website and the campaign.

Byblos Bank slices life perfectly.

Testimonials and slices of life have been the bread and butter of bank advertising since forever, and were brought to Lebanon in the mid-90s by advertisers who graduated from universities outside of Lebanon (and TV screens were filled with people giving their names and buying stuff, or alternatively receiving car keys upon graduation et je passe).

Ruptures with guest Hello Psychaleppo (28 July 2014)

Syrian electronic musician  and producer Samer Saem Eldahr, aka Hello Psychaleppo, was the guest of Ruptures, for an interview covering various aspects of his production work, as well as the release of his third album, Ha!. He was accompanied by the album’s producer, Raed el-Khazen. Listen to Part 1: ruptures psychaleppo 28 july (part 1) [Hello Psychaleppo […]

Are we finally going to have a proper lebanese e-bookshop?

So far Antoine Online have their heart in the proper place. They are renewing their online shopping site and have signed multiple agreements with international retailers like Amazon to ensure you are really able to get ANY book you want.

See you all at #GeekFestBeirut tonight

"No" means... Perhaps?

This year, the March 14th celebrations will take place on the 13th - conveniently, a Sunday - Moustapha from Beirut Spring, has a rule of thumb for knowing if there will be a turn out or not (his mother and her sisters are showing up, first time since 2005).

Movie Review: The Social Network

I wrote it last week, just as I came back from a special press screening of The Social Network Movie, which will be released on October 28th, courteously provided by the lovely and amazing guys at Cineklik (with no strings attached as usual).

I’m now a Common Folk

My Thursday Evening Without Water #BAD2010

Yesterday evening I had a call from my husband listing my 3 options for a dinner meal:
1- I buy something ready made
2- He makes me a quick sandwich
3- I do not eat a thing
This was prelude to him announcing that I can not cook anything at home since there was no water (apparently something is wrong with our water tank) and we have only a couple of water bottles…