Category Archives: Family

Forever 21

cakeThere is nothing cool about being in your twenties. Whoever said it was is a big fat liar. When you are twenty-something, you worry about university. About exams. About last minute revisions. About whether you did well or if you could have answered question 5 differently.

In your twenties, you suffer your first major heartbreak, the one that changes you as a person. The one that makes you insecure, lonely, bitter. The one that makes you write poems, listen to Radiohead and eat pizza in bed. You make new friends. You go out a lot. Only to come back to a very lonely place.

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Filed under disappointment, Dream, Family, freedom, Friends, Goodbyes, growing up, Lebanon, Life, London, loneliness, Love, Memories, people, Relationships, soul, struggle, Work

Lebanon Must Reinvent Itself

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The Lebanese passport is not the best one to have. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of my country. Yes, I am proud. Proud of being able to ‘ski and swim on the same day’, proud of our hummus, proud of our multi-lingual upbringing, proud of the Lebanese success stories on the international scene keeping in mind Lebanon is a tiny-teeny country, proud of our family values, of our strong educational institutions, of our sophisticated banking system, of our ability to (kind of) cohabitate when we are 18 officially recognized religious groups, proud of our ability to survive (and somehow forget) a painful – and recurrent – history, of our persistence to make it happen on our land despite all odds, of the fun in our clubs… Being Lebanese has however a lot of downsides. Holding the Lebanese passport is one of many.

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Filed under Ambition, Dream, Family, freedom, Goodbyes, growing up, Lebanon, Life, London, struggle, Work

What is it ?

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I’ve always tried to point out that one particularity that attracts me to people. I’ve tried putting down lists of the things I liked most in my preferred members of the family, closest friends, boyfriends, colleagues. But the task proved impossible. Nothing seemed to link them. Their age varies between 20 and 95. The colour of their hair ranges from charcoal to white. The sound of their voice from weak to powerful. Some of them I met in my hometown, Beirut. Others during my voyages, in Paris, in London, in Sri Lanka, in New York. Some I met while sun bathing on a Lebanese beach. Others while studying Law in the city. Some have achieved a high level of education. Others only speak their mother tongue. Some are rich and (kind of) famous. Others enjoy a modest life and an intimate circle of friends. Some are men. Some are women. Some have married, had children, grand children. Some chose to live a free, careless, adventurous life. Some I loved from the first contact. Others grew on me with time. Some have helped me find my way. Others I tried to help in my own way. With some I discussed serious, deep, heavy matters. With others I have enjoyed that odd beer on a rainy terrace. Some I lost touch with. Some others I speak to  every once in a while. Some I only saw once. I always think of those people. Those who are very special to my heart. Those who make life worth living. Those who manage to delete all its sorrow and pain. I’ve always tried to understand what it is about them that is so special. What is it about them that makes them so beautiful, regardless of age, height, weight?

I guess it is soul.

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Filed under bonds, Dream, Family, Friends, fun, growing up, Lebanon, Life, links, London, Love, Memories, people, Relationships, soul

Noël à London

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Il y a des pays qu’on quitte à Noel. D’autres qu’on retrouve. J’ai passé tous les Noëls de ma vie à Beyrouth dans la maison de mes parents. Les invités étaient toujours les mêmes. Le décor, inchangé : la cheminée, la nappe rouge brodée de sapins verts, le sapin rouge et doré, la crèche préparée par ma sœur et ma mère et à laquelle je n’avais pas le droit de toucher de peur que je ne fasse tout tomber, les plantes de Noël, les ronds de serviettes en fer forgé, les perles de pluie en cristal éparpillées sur la table… Le menu aussi était le même, chaque année. Il consistait essentiellement de trésors gustatifs rassemblés par mon père lors de ses voyages et de plats traditionnels succulents préparés par ma mère. J’aurais pu être à Paris ou Londres ou dans un pays tiers quelconque, cela n’avait aucune importance. Il fallait être à la maison le  24 Décembre. Date sacrée. Pourtant, il y eut des obstacles. Souvent. Une tempête de neige retardant mon vol. Un collègue plus senior qui voulait lui aussi prendre des vacances à Noel et me refusait le congé. Un rhume atroce. Aucune importance. J’ai toujours, toujours, réussi à être au rendez-vous.

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Filed under Christmas, Family, Fathers, Food, Friends, Lebanon, Life, London, Love, Memories, Relationships

Les signes

Plume

Il y a des phases d’infertilité littéraire. Ce sont les phases d’infertilité tout court. Ces jours où l’on perd l’envie de faire toutes les choses autrefois aimées. On perd l’intérêt. De manger une tarte aux framboises acides saupoudrée de sucre glace. De se regarder dans la glace. De boire un verre en terrasse. De parler à ses anciens copains de classe. De conduire dans la nuit, d’écouter Patricia Kaas. De sentir le vent nous caresser la face.

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Filed under Family, Fathers, Food, Friends, Lebanon, Love, Memories, Relationships

Letter to Papy

papyHi Papy,

I spent my life saying goodbye to you. And looking forward to have you back. Because I knew… Oh how I knew… That from Africa you’d bring me back mango and coconut. From Germany the nicest Frankfurters. From Paris, make-up and books. From London, Topshop dresses. And from Sri Lanka funky bracelets I’d show off in school. I spent my life writing endless greedy lists of things I wanted you to bring back and you always did. Opening your suitcase was like going to Disneyland.

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Filed under Family, Fathers, Friends, Lebanon, Love, Memories, Relationships

Vieillir

Il y a les expériences que l’on provoque. Deux mois de bénévolat au Kenya. Par envie de donner, d’enseigner, de partager son savoir, de vivre sans Rimmel, sans fer à lisser, sans Special K, sans sa soeur, sans son mec et les lundis soirs ridicules sur son roof qui snobent la ville qui s’endort, le bruit qui s’éteint, le travail du lendemain. Partir loin par besoin de trouver le vrai, le simple, le sauvage, le sens des choses ou son absence.

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Filed under disappointment, Family, growing up, Life, Relationships, struggle