Sneak peek into an estranged world. Cheers!

Archive for November, 2013

Deaf ≠stupid

I got to meet a friend’s sister for the first time, unfortunately never hearing about her before made it embarrassing for me 2 minutes in; she is deaf; which I figured out after a long awkward monologue; but it’s ok, she just laughed at me, then picked up a pen and paper so we could chat.

L.S is, I think, the most interesting person I ever met as of late, she’s cheerful, full of life, full of jokes, and happy.

She met her husband during her studies in France where it was easier for her to learn through sign classes. They shared a couple of classes, many meals, and a love for children, so getting married was an obvious next step for both of them.

L.S and M.S have 3 children now; a beautiful girl and two boys, ages 10, 6, and 5; the three of them with no hearing problems, full of life, helping and caring.

So why share with you this story? Because of the jokes and the good times they went through a couple of times. Not being able to hear or speak made it hard for the deaf couple to book with travel agencies, so their daughter, being the eldest at the time (7 years old), would take care of the conversation, which went like this:

– Hello, this is X travel agency how may I help you?
– Hello, I would like to book two tickets to Y, with a room in Z hotel for the 27th of XX.
– Excuse me but how old are you?
– 7 years old
– I’m so sorry, I cannot help you, can I speak to your mother?
– I am my mother!
– May I speak to your mother please? Is she around?
– I am speaking for my mother, I’m lending her my voice.
– Is your father around?
– Yes he is right in front of me with my mother.
– You are speaking to them, I’m just answering in their place.
– Why won’t they answer me instead?
– They’re deaf
– Oooooooooohhhh
– So now can you help me with the booking?
– Of course…

Most of the conversation was just the 7 year old with the travel agent, without any hints from the parents; she just knew what had to be said.
Unfortunately when you look at different people, you notice they tend to differentiate between deaf and non-deaf people as if they were retarded or need help.
I found this article that’s quite an eye opener. And this video that I can’t stop watching, which show that they are just the same, should be loved and respected just the same, and treated like any other human being.

L.S you are an inspiration, but I doubt I’ll sleep over again, the bed shaking when the alarm rings and all the lights going on and off all around the house when the doorbell rings is too scary for my poor sleep pattern.


Male Nudity in Public: Time to Put Some Pants On

Nicely put. Invasion of space can have many ways of expressing itself.
It all depends on how you look at it

I am a cop

So I’ve been asking around this questions to many “darake” aka lebanese cops, you can’t always trust, since most of them never went to school due to the war.
How did you end up here.

Most of them said it was a personal choice, they wanted to keep the law going, keep the people safe.

Now on a side note I want to add something; personally I don’t trust these cops, at all, I respect and follow the army men and women in my life, but they are the ones with an education in respect; cops are mostly the kind of guys that couldn’t make it anywhere else.

Living inside the secured perimeter of a politician, I have to deal with a 30 min search party around and inside my car to be able to go home (imagine me forgetting something at home, it’s hell! !!). So I’ve been meeting a lot of these cops over the years; I’ve been whistled at, called names etc for so long that I forgot how to bother and take up any defences against them. This story reminds me a lot of a previous post I wrote, but what can I do, this is my home.

So I decided to ask these cops the same question, most of them just answered and continued the search party while others wanted to go into details.

How did you end up here?

The most recurrent answer was: “I get respect”. The second being: “I’ve been here for ages, it’s my job”.

Very few of them tried to explain it: “I couldn’t find a job, I have a family to care for, so I’m here”.

But one of them (the most fun guy I must add, always joking around and making me smile) said: “I have no idea, I graduated with 2 degrees, but my father decided I should protect this politician because I owe him my life”.

Needless to say this guy graduated with a bachelor degree in economics and another in pre-med.

So why work in cleaning the bloody hands of a politician instead of living a full life of promises? “My dad ordered me to do it”.

How many lost occasions, how long will this country be subjected to the reasoning of past generations? How long will the new generation with new ideals be brainwashed by a generation full of hatred?

I’m not sure of either of these answers, but I keep hoping that one day all lebanese people will eventually get bored, and decide to lead a life full of promises.

Cheers from the middle of Beirut.


Peugeot village -ضيعة البيجو

Growing up in the road from beirut to the cedars (Bcharre), we would always pass by a small village called Aabdine.

Each family that passes through this village got a nickname over the years, and none of us would remember its actual name sometimes.
Am example of that is known by a friend (M.H) and his mum as kangaroo village; why? Simply because he one found a kangaroo crossing sign there, which he later decided to take home with him.

As for me and my family? It’s the Peugeot village. Until recently this village only had one type of car in it, all kinds of Peugeot. My mum used to make it a game for me and my siblings to count them as we would drive through it.

Unfortunately the age of Mercedes took over the village nearly 8 years ago, and now most inhabitants drive new cars.

But if you keep your eyes open and look through the gates of one house, or the small roads in between, you’ll always be able to spot the Peugeot, hiding all over the village.

Other than that is quite a beautiful village. Cheers to Aabdine!


To ski or to snowboard

That is the most important question sometimes, when you’re newly introduced to the snow world and get bit by the monster of gliding on the slopes.

A friend of mine N.A recently learnt how to snowboard, (let’s just say he managed to get to the bottom of the slope unharmed), but is naturally more stable on skis; so his big question a couple of weeks ago was: which should I buy for the coming season? A ski or a snowboard?
Then he presented his choices in a different way saying skiers are the classics, they’re the squares, while snowboarders are the greasers of the slopes.

Honestly? I never even thought of it that way, I’ve been skiing most of my life until my accident, when I had to learn snowboarding to keep both knees stable, so I spent quite a few years shifting between the two, sometimes on a daily basis, which ended in me not being able to snowboard anymore due to the pressure exerted on my knees while snowboarding; so now I’m back to skiing only.
After the 2010 ski competition, Cedars, Lebanon.

For both sports there are rules, one flows a bit more than the other, but they both have a system to go through to get to the end of the slope, whether it be a slalom, jumps, hors-piste, or inside the boundaries, we all need to have stability, be able to turn and stop, and of course the most important being, to enjoy it to the maximum.
M.BC  back-flipping winter 2009, Cedars, Lebanon

Each morning I pick my snowboard or ski up depending on the snow, on the mood, on the activities that will take place, and of course on the weather.
Now I know snowboarders wear those baggy outfits, while skiers go for tighter clothing; which might explain my N.A’s links between the board with greasers, and the skis with squares. So I guess I’m in between, having a half baggy, half tight outfit.

But thinking about it a bit more, I was taught how to ski at the young age of 3 (like most Lebanese living in Bcharre), it was never a choice for me which sport I should choose to define me; I don’t mind doing either, and I enjoy doing both as well.

But if I were asked today, having never learnt how to ski or snowboard, which I would want to learn; I’m not sure what my answer might be.

Being so intimately linked to both sports, I wouldn’t want to know one without the other.

So I guess all I can tell you dear N.A is: don’t buy either, but learn both for now, and next season you will be able to make your own choice. T.

Third hand

My best friend is currently studying Med1, and has started dissecting corpses for his lab exercises, I have to mention is quite an interesting process for me to learn from the images, and understand how my body literally works. He just started digging into shoulder and arm arrangements.

So being drunk on a Saturday evening we decided to try and imagine us having the choice to add a third arm and hand on our body.


After a lot of thinking (involving beers and shots) we decided that the best place to add an arm is on our right side, right under the shoulder.

So if you had the choice where would you add it?


Profession? Bullying

We always hear of people bullying in different kind of ways, in school or at work; where you might have even been the victim sometimes.


Extract taken from Wikipedia.

Bullying nowadays is a harsh thing that pushes people to the edges of depression sometimes and suicidal thoughts, and you even hear of kids shootings in schools.


Picture taken from Google

In other words it always ends in disaster.

But how can we fully define bullying?


Picture taken from Google

So I’ve met this person nearly a year ago, she’s really sweet, but she bullies unconsciously; either or I’m not sure; but I would hope it is unconsciously.

All of us being 80’s kids, we enjoy joking around, especially in lebanon; I mean it’s all we got; but we enjoy it, we can take a joke without getting hurt and we can joke without purposefully hurting the other.

But she is different, getting to spend more time with her I noticed that she couldn’t take a joke at all, not even a simple one without getting angry and slashing back awful replies, then expecting you to apologise while she sits in a corner and sulks.

There are many scenarios possible to explain her behaviour, but if the reason is she was bullied in the past then she is definitely doing it unconsciously, as a way of putting her guard up.

But if it were because of some other reason then I take that as a form of emotional bullying where hurt is intended. These are the dangerous kind of bullies, they keeps hurling awful things to a person until they push them over the edge, slowly.

So how would you define a bully?


Kick a ginger day

So as some of you might remember, my best friend is a ginger N.G. and a couple of weeks ago it was kick a ginger day on November 20th.

Personally I found it fun over the years, but then I got to thinking why not make it a hug a ginger day instead?


Click here to see what Google results show

First they will feel so loved (Yes N.G I am describing you); growing up I used to always hear these jokes about Gingers, they have no soul, emotions etc; but if we hug them they will know that they are still loved.

Secondly, they do deserve the hugs sometimes, we all do, but if it became official it would be so much better, and we wouldn’t be prone to violence growing up.


So dear readers, what do you think? Should we make history and change for the sake of our Gingers?

(Official hug a ginger day, march 29)
For the official Facebook page click here


What is horror?

Roaming through my Facebook newsfeed a couple of days ago, I came across this article that has been going around in Lebanon.
The article was written by a fellow Lebanese, expressing his disgust and the inhumanity of what has been going on in Tripoli.

The article named: “Tripoli: Horror after Horror” click here to readdoes not, however, talk about the issue going on; when I saw this title I thought someone is finally pointing out the micro war taking place in our country. To my surprise it wasn’t; it is simply about the issues of slaying stray dogs all over Tripoli.

Don’t get me wrong I fully agree that it is a crime indeed to slay stray dogs randomly just for fun, but at the same time I think the writer missed the point by quite a margin when talking about horror.

Horror is seeing neighbors shoot at and kill each other for pathetic excuses, horror is suicide bombings in civilian neighborhoods, horror is seeing children slain on the sides of the road from an explosive car, horror is human beings killing other human beings.

This is true horror.

Horror is what we Lebanese see and live with on a daily basis, and for the past two years Syria has been going though the same horror.  

Here is the status of a friend on Facebook that describes part of this horror we have survived through: (S.L)





Some of the bombings and killings weren’t mentioned or the list would have taken up at least 10 pages; and in each assassination, bombing, and attack hundreds of civilians were killed (not mentioned either).
The catchphrase at the end of the list says: “Vote for the same idiots (donkeys) you idiots then blame the country”; quite an interesting perspective on things, don’t you agree?
A bit off subject, as you all know the Lebanese people are famous for making jokes out of each situation, so here’s an image that’s being sent through Whatsapp groups as well as Facebook; this picture made me laugh at first, agree next, and finally tore me up:


I’m honestly worrying about the people’s views when it comes to horror, disasters, wars, bombings, killings, and natural tragedies.

Take for example what happened in the Philippines, a natural tragedy, killing hundreds of people, destroying their homes and belongings; people run to help them (including me), we run to their rescue, send money, food, and medical supplies. We pity them = it’s horror.

But put that story in perspective with what’s happening in Syria; it’s a war, there are bombings, killings, thousands of people dying everyday, survivors loosing their homes, having to hunt stray dogs for food, drinking water off the streets in order to survive: so how do we react? We judge, we don’t pity; we say it’s on them, it’s their own fault; we don’t help cause we don’t want them to think that we are okay with what is happening = it’s not horror, it’s shameful.

I see them in a different way, first to be clear on a few things I would help both countries, I would pity both, one for having been subjected to a natural disaster (at least that’s what we call it when nature overrides and destroys humans, but after all it is a simple hurt reaction for what we humans have been subjecting it to – that would be another post by itself), the other for having been subjected to forceful harming ways, inflicted to them by other human beings: this is the true horror (in my point of view).

Imagine yourself walking down a street with your friend when a sniper blasts your friend’s brain on you, or driving down a street, you notice a guy speeding, hear a loud explosion, then notice that if that poor soul hadn’t been in a hurry he would have survived the bomb explosion like you have.

This is inhumane.

It was veteran’s day a couple of weeks ago, when all Americans praised their soldiers; I’m not saying they should be criminalized for killing other humans, after all they enlisted freely and decided to fight; but what about these poor children in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, these kids that should be in school standing on the roads, getting killed with no hope of fighting back, with no hope of protection, no ammunition or shelter; I doubt they chose war, and doubt they ever would.

It’s a sad note for Lebanon once again, but I’m keeping my hopes up, because if we give up, how can we wish our children a bright future when we let darkness settle on our grounds.

Open your eyes, this is horror.


How low can you go?

Grocery shopping:

Now I’m not sure if this happens only in Lebanon or all over the world, but we are definitely the lucky ones that don’t only get clothes and furniture sales ads by messages, but also get food sales from supermarkets!

I fully understand Sleep Comfort, Moustache, AiZone, and other markets sending messages to their clients or potential clients to inform them when a sale is taking place; it’s the only way some of us (lesser shopaholics) to find out.


But I’m not sure, even being someone that has his own household and does the grocery shopping once a week, need to get these daily/weekly messages about grocery sales in the market.


Now it does help if you’re too broke, but then again we only have a couple of big supermarkets, all you need to do it roam the aisles of each and figure out which you prefer to buy your groceries from.


The Lebanese market owners though see it as a competition, they keep sending us messages, informing us of market price lows, trying to sell for cheaper than the others.

Honestly when I see cheap clothes with good fabric I normally choose to buy it instead of going to a over-priced shop with a famous brand to get the same shirt and same fabric for 10 times more. But when I shop for my groceries I don’t usually look at the price, but at the product itself: does it look clean; healthy; then I check to see if the price fits the quantity and quality.

Lately between furniture, clothes, and electronic shops sale messages I also receive these weird messages about vegetables, fruits, meat, and sometimes even boxed goods like Nido (powder milk) and Fairy (cleaning product).

So which would you go to; TSC or MONOPRIX? I still prefer the little shop next to my house, he doesn’t have a brand name as big as theirs, but his products never lie once you open the bag, his prices don’t change depending on competition, and his products are 100% Lebanese grown (good enough for me!)

So how low can you go to sell your goods?


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