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Showing posts from October, 2007

Syrian Road Warrior

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The droning hum of the engine untied the knotted tension in my temple. The undulating sway put me at ease. The froth, combed back from the brow of the wooden boat, sprayed my face with vigor and delight. I was in my natural habitat making way to the island of Arwad . I rather work with them for the rest of my life, the fishermen who live for their day, basking in the mercy of God in the dead of night to put bread upon a table. Nothing makes me happier than closing a deal worth a few grains of sands in dollars and cents, worth priceless gems in personal gratification and human fulfillment. I sped along the highway northbound to Lattakia . I was dealing again. A hundred minutes of driving back and forth for a five-minute meeting. I had to shake hands, twice. I counted my fingers each time afterward. As the sun dipped in the sea, I rolled the windows down and a westerly breeze condoled my senses. I headed home for an urgent shower. I don't get on the road just for the sake

Loubieh B- Zeit

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I rarely dream, but when I do, they are of the Woody Allen movies genre, a little less boring perhaps and slightly more consequential. Invariably though, after the unwelcome apparition getting back to sleep is no easy chore. No matter how ghastly or blissful the dream was I forget all about it within minutes and feel void of any sense. More significantly, I feel hungry. Now years ago I learned that the midnight snack is bad for me and I have almost entirely given up on this spiteful nocturnal habit. Not this time! My stomach was pleading: “ Oh, master, feed me please ”. “ How come ”, I wondered, “ where in the hell did the Labneh sandwich I gobbled before hitting the sack go? ” Well what’s the point; here I am at 2:00AM, sleepless in Tartous, with vague memories of a stupid dream persisting in my head. I have no other option to kill the night off except…Feed. Lazily, I crossed the unlit corridor toward the kitchen, opened the fridge and blinked in the annoyingly abrupt light. There

Defying the Blogspot Block with Grub

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Blogspot is now completely blocked in Syria . I mean I was able until yesterday to access it directly through one remaining service provider. Not anymore, as I have to join my heroic blogging comrades in sneaking our way around proxies and firewalls. However, once you and the blockers read this post and dozens of harmless posts on other Syrian blogs you and they ( the wiseass blockers ) will discover the wisdom behind their draconian action. This is dangerous stuff I’m talking about here. George W. Bush and company might consider recipes (especially if they originate from the Middle East) to be inherently terroristic in nature. Dough and yogurt , if mixed in a certain manner, might inadvertently lead to nuclear energy thus might pose a danger to the free world and undermine the cultural integrity of White Anglo Saxons. On the other hand, from the point of view of the Syrian Blocker, Fatteh and Kishek could and should be classified as national heritage and their secrets kept withi

To Yazan with Love

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The waning moon of Ramadan casts feeble shadows of gray over my weary mind. Dreadfully sinister clouds carried summons of bereavement from the south. A dear friend to us all by the name of Yazan is orphaned in a millisecond, a painfully slow stretch of time long enough to orchestrate a fatal car crash. Such a thin line between life and death, such a sobering truth. So humbling, so immense, so total, so final. Yet life goes on without mercy on the surface, perhaps by divine intervention underneath. Although we never forget, we plod along, looking back over our shoulder, every few steps at first and then less frequently until we pass beyond a ridge where we can’t see behind even if wanted to. We hasten our pace, roll up the collar around the neck and move forward in the gathering cold of an approaching night. The same evening that witnessed a young man’s confrontation with death brought happier tidings to another young soul, a woman waiting for her fiancĂ© to return so that they can ge