Showing posts from January, 2015


I picked up the receiver after the third or fourth ring, tipping the glass of water on the night table. “Hello!” I cleared my throat, but my voice came out hoarse. The colon in the middle of the clock display blinked, while the digits stared without a flinch. “Hi daddy, it’s me. I’m sorry to wake you up at this hour.” Liz was crying. “What’s wrong sweetheart? Are you two fighting again?” “I left the house and brought the baby with me. I’m staying over with a friend.” Before she hung up, she assured me that Brandon didn’t hit her. He never did, she swore. He was a passive-aggressive bastard who transferred his neuroses to her, a control freak with a tongue capable of lashing out words soaked in bitter venom. A divorce was the obvious answer, but Liz’s life was a little complicated. She would lose custody of Michael, who was named after me, or more likely, after his paternal grandfather. Brandon wasn’t a bad guy, she claimed, but I never liked him. I told her that it wouldn’

Beauty and the Beast

At last, the Levant is under the spell of a conventional Mediterranean winter. Conventional in the sense that it's raining hard and snowing as it should, and that the temperatures are down to single digits at night in the coastal plains and below zero in the mountains and inland. The earth was parched and the subterranean water reserves were all but gone. Had this winter been as benign as the previous one, Syria would’ve gone thirsty this coming summer. We were in dire need for Ghayth , rescue from the sky, to permit the lucky ones among us to live under worsening socioeconomic conditions for one more year. But with the beautiful sight of white snow and the latent promise of a better tomorrow we shouldn’t overlook the true nature of the beast, the homeless, the orphans, the wailing mothers and grieving fathers, those who lost everything while the onslaught of war continues. We should remember our refugees, now scattered all over the world, freezing to death in the outback of

Je suis moi

I'm against the fanaticism of the Kouachi Brothers and the vileness of Charlie Hebdo. No one has the right to take the life of other human beings for a word they wrote or a cartoon they drew, or to cause them bodily harm. Similarly, free press isn’t an open license to ridicule someone else’s beliefs, culture and sanctity. This tragic event is a dirty reminder of the bigotry and atrocities being committed in the names of freedom of speech and religion. Before we identify ourselves with one wicked side or another, let us not forget the thousands of innocent people dying every day, everywhere in the world, of hunger and cold and disease and war and torture. Let us identify with them instead, or at least with our true selves.