Saturday, January 26, 2008

A clever and creative design
Folding pedestrian bridge. London, UK.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Contrary to most of you who like to blame the politicians for what is happening whether 8,14,or even 25.87. I Officially hold the "Lebanese People" highly responsible for what Lebanon has lately become. I congratulate you for turning Lebanon from what used to be called "Pearl of the East" to "the New Arab Yugoslavia". Your blind political affiliations and your double loaded talk are nauseating. All of you, with no exceptions,have continuously put your political preference over true nationalism ("the sacrifice of the self for the greater national interest"). Even when your own leaders daily betray their own words, you still stand by them, defend them, even if it leads to your own demise and ridicule. Thats not commitment, thats blindness. Words like Democracy , Accountability and governance are just words you like throw trying to trick others and yourself into thinking that you really know the what/who/where/and when , at a time when most of you , have no idea of what is really going on in your own backyard. You've never practiced what you preach. The blood of today's martyrs is on the hands of all of you. And the most important martyr of Today's Bombing used to be known under the nickname "Lebanon". Lebanon is soon on the verge of collapse and most of you are still in an transcendental comma. NEITHER hariri, nor Aoun or Nasrallah or Sanioura or Geagea are the solution to this country's dilemna. You , singly as individuals and collectivey as "the people" hold the key. So if you really care as much as you like to claim, take control of what is your right, and exercise your democratic rights as citizens(including accountability) over all politicians including your own. Until then, you can go back to your pathetic finger pointing and blame game while the country burns to ashes.
You've given a whole new mearning to the Lebanese proverb: " Whoever digs a pit for his brother will fall into it himself."
Until then.
over and out

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pearl of the East or the new Arab Yugoslavia?

Beirut, once described as Pearl of the East is starting to look more and more like another Yugoslavia in the making.
Was Thomas Friedman right?
Although the article this op-ed contributor to the NY times wrote in September 2002 was really about Iraq but the main idea seems to greatly apply to modern day lebanon. And I Quote:
" As I think about President Bush's plans to take out Saddam Hussein and rebuild Iraq into a democracy, one question gnaws at me: Is Iraq the way it is today because Saddam Hussein is the way he is? Or is Saddam Hussein the way he is because Iraq is the way it is?

I mean, is Iraq a totalitarian dictatorship under a cruel, iron-fisted man because the country is actually an Arab Yugoslavia -- a highly tribalized, artificial state, drawn up by the British, consisting of Shiites in the south, Kurds in the north and Sunnis in the center -- whose historical ethnic rivalries can be managed only by a Saddam-like figure?

Or, has Iraq, by now, congealed into a real nation? And once the cruel fist of Saddam is replaced by a more enlightened leadership, Iraq's talented, educated people will slowly produce a federal democracy."

Today I ask the same question about the Lebanon I got to rediscover because I think I am one of the few who really think that Politicians in Lebanon are the way they are because the Lebanese Population is the way it is.
Most people round here like to blame politicians for everything. I personally disagree, and lean toward blaming the population itself.
How do you expect politicians not to rob you , when you rob one another,in a society full of trickery, hate and where most people you meet try to rob you one way or the other:The bakery, the gas station,the cab driver,your diesel supplier, your car dealer and finally even your own neighbour. If you're looking for a sample of lebanese manners , simply look at the way people drive and you'll get a sufficient dose of reality.
Democracy is not for the weak minded.
Feel free to leave your comments and goodnight.

Things I miss the most

Writing the "Things I miss the most" list was never easy. For one, I don't know where to start then there is my mind which automatically starts prioritizing, classifying and doing braintype housework.Just a glimpse of things and people I used to look forward to everyday. in no particular order:

- Life in NYC. The people, the dynamism, the bad trash smell in Manhattan in the mornings, the late nights/afterwork cigar smoking with the next door business owners, the greek neighbourhood in Queens, the financial district, the weird people in front of the NY public library and certainly Broadway and 42nd Street.
- Paulo my bro, Ulla, Tobias, James, Gilbert, Rita, Haz, Maria and Silvia.
- Darmstadt, Kaufhof and Luisenplatz,Karlshof and its parties,Oettinger and Darmstadtaer beer. The French, the spanish & the italians, the germans, the brasilians and certainly the scandinavian ability to drink so much alcohol.Playing poker with Alex, Robert, the buggies & Daniel. 10B 24 and the endless police tickets we got. Lunch at mensa and the daily coffee at 603qm. Tuesday's Kneipenabend and Thursdays' Schlosskeller nights. The Jam Sessions on Wednesdays in the An Sibin. The song writing sessions with Thomas and Tiago. Alcindo, Mary, Alice, Eduardo, Esther, Eva, Johanna,Julia , Obi......
Cigarette time

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Afterhours music making

A grey morning

Waking up late this morning as I usually do, a luxury I can afford being my own boss added to the fact that I like working at night, I was confronted with the daily political agony that my parents insist on watching day after day.
It's been 6 months now since I first came back to Beirut, after 10 years abroad, and my self-defense mechanism still kicks in everytime the TV set is tuned to the News or any one of the 100 Political Talk Shows, offered by local TV stations. Sometimes I just drift away, other times I just exile myself to my own room preferring to envision, plan and work toward my dreams. This type of behaviour which some like to refer to as childish, is my way of refusing to fall into the trap of this negative collective, depressive behaviour which most people in Lebanon seem to suffer of. This self preservation state in which I usually slip , allows me to keep my hard learnt self-confidence, and keep going forward. Do not be fooled into thinking that I'm indifferent, I wasn't, I've always dwelt over political and social issues, but at this moment, I prefer not to fight a losing battle. After all, the only reason I came back and why I haven't already fled this madness is my family. I've come to find a middle point between my future plans and my desire to take care of those who have supported me all those years. The paradox of not failing, in a failing state.