Lebanese Jester

Me, my Lebanon, and I.com weblog

Wlek fri2ouna bi ri7a taybeh !

Sick and tired of half backed local election speeches vulgarly delivered by erected dicks from all sides, pretending to have my country’s best interest at heart.
Like every father, I had dreams and hopes for my son. Such dreams included a happy childhood away from struggle and strife (civil unrest, let alone civil war), and a deep rooted sense of pride in the fact that he was Lebanese. I am fully aware that the “cocodi” has long been gone, the family trips to “Spinneys” by the airport road can no longer be undertaken, “Saint Simon” and “Accapulco” have now been replaced by “Tasli7 ashikmon”, that Christmas does no longer officially begin with the lights on Hamra street, and “Toyland” is no longer there. Many memories I would have liked to relive through Tarek (my son). Granted people evolve and things change, but a great part of local history has been wiped out and no one seems to care. None of those erected dicks (running for election) seem to give a damn about keeping this “life line” going. What we are left with today in this cursed country of mine are landmarks reflecting the hatred that has been brewing for years and suddenly exploded.
Today I took my son for a haircut and for a split second I was transported back in time, back to the days when my dad took me to the local barber shop (now we have “salon de coiffure”). It made me realize (although a normal evolution) that even the simplest of experiences I would have liked to share with Tarek is no longer possible; for the times have changed. If only they have changed for the best, I wouldn’t have minded. I came to realize that many of my childhood’s cherished memories I will never relive or share with him. He will never ride the bumper cars at the “Cocodi”, swim in the “Saint Simon”, go to Toyland or 2aisar 3amer, cinema Saroulla…. Etc.
At the “salon de coiffure” today I could smell talcum powder and Old Spice, but it was only in my head.
So to my dear leaders (all, with no exception) Wlek fri2ouna bi ri7ha taybeh, but be kind enough to pick any of the following, for it reminds me of days long gone but never forgotten.

Old Spice

Tabac

Balafre

Pino Silvestre

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May 27, 2009 Posted by | Balafre, Children, Christmas, Civil war, Family, Hamra street, Old Spice, Pino Silvestre Vidal, Saint Simon, Tabac, Tarek | | 1 Comment

Running on empty

The Lebanese blogosphere I frequent has been lately stingy in its posts in comparison to a few months back when feelings were still running high. May 7th brought back to many fears of yet another civil war. Yes we were allowed to have a peaceful summer, the tents were dismantled, a new government was formed, elections are a few months away; BUT here we are (by WE I mean our politicians) licking Syrian arses again, and this time with tongues well lubricated and very far reaching. Yes some of the players might have changed, but (yes another butt) the sectarian divide is more pronounced than it ever was. During the July war which brought (on to some “so called” Lebanese) a Divine victory, the finger of criticism was pointed towards those how kept on clubbing and partying, ignoring the plight of their fellow citizens. Some did say “they brought it onto themselves so why should we all suffer the consequences”, some had to flee (like they did more than once), and some were just “riding the wave” in the hope that it was nothing but a swift reprisal strike.
The current local situation (and by that I mean the Syrian arse licking by our rotten political class) has revived within my soul memories of the civil war and the refuge I use to seek within the walls of the Key Club whilst listening to Julia singing Grace Slick, trying to digest the best way I could the crimes I had witnessed the very same day. My entire generation went out, ate, and drank when others were being shelled. No one stayed 15 years confined at home or in a shelter.
In retrospect I do feel a bit guilty for having indulged in selfish acts of debauchery while others were confined to the walls of their neighbor’s bathroom (because he lived on a lower floor) in order to survive. That very same table was turned more than once, and many times I was seeking shelter while others were out eating and drinking.
My guilt is of the type that lasts only for a few minutes, for this is the way it was, and we all lived through it. My worry now is that my son might have to go through it, just like I did.
The Key Club is no more, and Julia is no longer singing; could this somehow put my mind at ease and let me think that those days are past us?

November 15, 2008 Posted by | Civil war, Key Club, Lebanon, Music, Syria | 9 Comments

To our leaders, with NO thanks !

October 31, 2008 Posted by | Civil war, Georges Moustaki, Lebanon, Serge Reggiani | 2 Comments

Will history come back to bite ME in the ass?

‘’Le désespoir de la jeunesse ‘’ was the title of a text posted on one of the blogs I frequent daily. The previous one on the same blog was labeled 1966, and both texts had touched a sensitive nerve. Little did I know that my son on his weekly visit will unintentionally add fuel to the fire!
When the war started I had just turned 12, and was in the process of discovering the effects of what is recognized as the weaker sex (for those who are foreign to this notion, women that is). I was infatuated with a classmate called Michelle H (blonde with green eyes) I spent most of my allowance buying her candy and chewing gum from “Cubitus” (the snack opposite the Lycee), and trying to let her allow me to walk her back home (Badaro) after school. Notes were exchanged in class during lectures, some were intercepted by teachers and I had to suffer the consequences for my actions.
Yesterday, when my son came over; he brought with him (In his jeans pocket) a note he received from a girl in his class in which she is declaring her love to him.

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My son is about to turn 12; this brought back memories. Lebanon’s history has a knack of repeating itself, and this when I started to get worried. Memories came rushing in, memories of my first infatuation and what followed. 15 years of civil war, demarcation lines, unfounded prejudices, death, destruction, fanaticism, and most of all a lost childhood.

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Yesterday I could not sleep. I started remembering how it all began and how I was catapulted into this cesspool of hatred, all that I have lost, and what I had to go through (and inflict onto others) before I came to my senses.
My son will turn 12 in October, I turned 12 a month before all hell broke loose; I hope and pray that Tarek (my son) will not have to make the same mistakes that I did for all the wrong reasons.
But then again this is Lebanon, and in this land of ours, history always comes back to bite you in the ass.
I will not sit idle and let my son go through the hell I have lived; the hell I am still trying to come to terms with. But I will not teach my son to turn the other cheek. I just pray and hope that Tarek will have the worries of any typical teenager, nothing more, nothing less!

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June 14, 2008 Posted by | Civil war, Lebanon, Lycee | 3 Comments