Showing posts from November, 2008


This past week dragged on and on until it finally killed itself out of despair. I’m glad it’s over and I really needed some form of distraction to snap out of my misery. All the way from Canada my ultrasonic ears picked a distress signal from a dame in anguish. The mother of a cyber friend needed my immediate attention and help. While shopping, she found a bag of Freekeh on a supermarket shelf. Rumor has it that she was flooded by memories of the good old times from her native Lebanon and of the days she had spent at her mother’s in Aleppo. The miles and years of her Ghorbeh (estrangement away from home) made her forget how to prepare a most delicious dish of Freekeh. So I donned my superhero outfit ( does that remind you of something? ) and to her rescue I bolted. “ Freekeh you desire and Freekeh is what you should have Madame" , I sang in my baritone voice. Freekeh is sold in supermarkets or delicatessen stores all over the world. It's a highly nutritious grain made from

After the Storm

We walked hand in hand on the desolate beach. The wind bluffed with erratic flurries and toyed with our unbuttoned blazers. The dying waves, frowzy with the aftermath of earlier rage, collapsed at our feet. The hoary sky shepherded dark hollow clouds in intimidation. The veteran eyes of this seafarer knew only too well that the storm had come to pass. My son's little hand stirred in mine as he looked up at me. " It's not gonna rain tonight ", he ventured with newly acquired confidence. " It's not ", I echoed his words and ruffled his shortly trimmed hair with gentle fingers. It had rained incessantly for days and nights. In our little town that is no longer little there is very little to do when it rains even a little. We wait behind window panes, flinching with the ensuing violent wallops of lightening, captivated by the brutal slamming of open shutters and the drumming of destined thunder. When the autumn uproar is over at last we file along the s

Images from Tartous

My dear Canadian friend Isobel , a "very married" beautiful woman of Godly Greek ancestry requested that I post some photos from my daily walk on the Corniche of Tartous . I have already expressed my affinity to the sea on several occasions and I have undoubtedly stirred her memory and curiosity. Being Greek (and a Pisces like me for those who believe in astrology) makes her a natural aquatic creature. Like a fish out of water stranded in the tundra of North America she gasped for a splash of salt water and found a probable refuge in my blog. Mainly to her, Om Anastasio, to the Tartoussis across the four corners of the planet and to the others who only know about my beloved home by word of mouth or from what they've read on this blog I present these unassuming moments of time captured by an amateur photographer with his puny Canon PowerShot SD450. Looking north from the highest building in town (the Shahine Tower Hotel): the Tartous I grew up in and call home. W

Lions' Milk

Twenty four hours after I shot this short clip I was on my way to Beirut . Following dinner and a few drinks I flew to Rome then to Amsterdam where I spent the rest of the week and came back to write about it . Yet despite the fascinating piazzas, the broad avenues, the grandiose monuments and buildings, despite the enchanting canals, the intertwining back streets and the stunningly beautiful and virtuous prostitutes, I missed the little pleasures and treasures of Tartous my eternal home. I took off my tie, my pressed jacket and trousers and the shiny black shoes. I showered my tired body with a cold stream and washed away the remnants of a foreign luxury. I put on a faded pair of jeans and a patterned flannel shirt and sat by the little table at my corner in the kitchen to enjoy a simple breakfast. I reminisced over the exotic beers, the succulent steaks, the delectable pastas and the velvety wines I hedonistic consumed. I remembered the frantic pace, the purposeful crowds, the m