Saturday, 5 April 2008

Farah- The rediscovery

Summer 2007, four Lebanese friends in their late twenties/ early thirties - a married couple, a boy and a girl (I) - went for a four-day trip as the first step to discover their own country. This trip focused on Northern Lebanese villages, but through it, we sensed the beauty and worth of the country as a whole.
We had a car for long distances but discovery was done through hiking. Each day, the four of us would visit a new destination and discover it by walking and chatting in its streets, contemplating nature and village-style architecture, meeting with inhabitants, and taking artistic pictures. We would then sleep over in a humble and basic but clean hotel (girls in a room, boys in another) then move to another destination the next day, sometimes even bumping into an unexpected but wonderful cedar forest by accident (Tannoureen's)!
I understood, through this trip, why amidst all instabilities and wars in Lebanon, its local communities living abroad never leave the idea of coming back "home". I felt the beauty of this "home", "my home": Friendly and simple village inhabitants who welcome you for a cup of Turkish coffee in their house when they only know you for ten minutes and a wonderful undamaged nature of olive trees, cedar trees, pine trees, many sorts of wild flowers... contrasting with a bright blue sky and a wonderful refreshing sunlight. In harmony with the natural beauty are the Lebanese-style stone houses with their red pointed roofs forming, next to one another, a living painting. Not to forget the extraordinary taste of food, where fruits and vegetables taste as if they have just been picked up from the garden, and they probably would be so! The night was also special, with a dark sky, clear moon and stars, and a nice fresh breeze besides our chats and laughs.

All of what I have experienced and described gives me hope and further attachment to a country that is currently threatened with a new civil war. Is this beauty a small dream in a a sea of disturbing reality, or does it constitute the seeds of revival for a country that lost its consciousness? I pray for bright peaceful future...

Moe- The Father & The Son

"1984 New York City Every Sunday my father would make this huge Italian seafood dinner for us.He cooked, my Mother cleaned,my brother and I ate. At the time I was six years old and spent most if time drawing on any kind of paper I could find. One random Sunday my father asked me go to the supermarket with him to shop for our ritual dinner. It was definitely a sight to see. A burly green-eyed Italian man with sandy brown hair, pork chop sideburns and a cigarette attached to his hand like a 6th finger; holding the tiny brown hand of his chubby little son walking down the main street. He always wore Italian cut suits. Blue, grey or black. He would have a cigarette in his right hand and an Imported edition of the IL Tirreno Newspaper under his left arm. Every article of clothing perfectly pressed as my Mom was vigilant in her laundry duties. He stopped in front of the Supermarket took a long drag of his cigarette and said” Maurizio, I see you like to make drawings all the time. Let me tell you something ... Artists are a bunch of faggots! That’s not a real man’s job, Now let’s get some food for Mommy.” 2 years later my father died of Cancer. I had not drawn anything since our talk. As I was rummaging through boxes of his stuff I came across a stash of his loose paintings and sketches. He had chosen Michelangelo’s David as the subject. That day defined the path my life would eventually follow. It was a good memory for me that I don’t often talk about. Out of darkness comes light."

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Results for the coffee survey