Sunday, July 16, 2006

To Meriam wherever she may be.

Back in the 80's my sister and I were introduced to Meriam. Her brothers Jameel and Muhammed worked as electrician and plumber for my father. Seeing that we were almost the same age, they suggested bringing her over to play. Sis and I were more than willing. We loved that girl. I think it is around that time that I started loving the Lebanese. Took me a while to actually love the country since it's been in turmoil throughout my childhood so never got the change to be taken there with Mom & Dad. Thanks to my other sister's apparent magnetism towards that country, she was invited to take part in a show in 2001 and she chose me as a companion and that's when I met the country and fell in love with it instantly.

I think I knew Remi Bandali through Meriam. I'd leave it to N to correct me. She'd remember better. Listen here.

update: my bro bugs me about my spelling mistakes in these posts. so i had to edit. corrections, as per my fashion with student papers, are made in red.
ما عندي سالفة


Fuzzy said...

Bandali hmmm that name rings a bell,

oh yeah, the famous bandali singing group :) 3indna jaar, lail nhaar .... was a cool song
may god protect Lebanon and its People

Leo's Rule :)

White Wings said...

One of my favorite songs ever…brings back so many childhood memories
We all fell in love Hanan, what do we do with all this passion now? Hurts so much, doesn’t it?
It is not only love though, there is anger, sadness and most torturous, there is shame, what to do, I ask myself every day..
May God protect Meriam and all

Mini Я. said...

Allah ya7meeha inshallah..the strength of your love will keep her safe. :)

Alia said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alia said...

الواحد ما يقدر غير إنه يحبها
كالمخدر يسري في الدم فيدمنه الإنسان

بحبك يا لبنان
كنت ولا أزال أبكي عند غناءها
وبعض الناس كانوا يضحكون علي

Chai-7aleeb said...

عنَا جار


ليل نهار


NuNu™ said...

It breaks my heart..
I love Lebanon

kila ma6goog said...

never got the change to be taken


تعبت من الاخبار, ضيقة خلق و غلقة و تدري ان ما بيدك شي تسويه

انا حزين جدا

و يائس جدا

و عاجز جدا

Pepsi-guy said...

Speaking of which, I remember having so much fun playing with their younger son Ali, who was older than I am, it was such a joy playing with him.

When they decided to leave Kuwait Ali gave some LEGO like toy which I cherished, made me feel really happy. Back then toys were a real big thing not like today where a toy's is fun for 3-4 hours only.

Ali, Mahmoud, Jameel and Mariam... I hope you are well wherever you are.

Soud said...

We all love lebanon

عندى ذكريات طفولة جميلة فى هذا البلد الجميل وبالاخص فى مدينة طرابلس عاصمة الشمال

ان شاء الله تعدى الأزمة على خير
وعلى قولة الأخت عالية
بحبك يا لبنان

Soud said...

Pepsi-guy قلبة على الناس اللى قاعدين يتعلمون منك انجلش ويبيهم يتعلمون صح

فلازم تكتبين جمل سليمة

By the way i learn english from reading your blog :)

thanks Pepsi-guy for supporting us !

ولاّدة said...

أنا من مواليد بيروت
ومنذ تلك اللحظة وأنا أحمل
كل تناقضات تلك المدينة الساحرة في داخلي
أحب الجمال والعشق والحياة
بتطرف يجعلني عنيفة تجاه القبح
وغير متسامحة حيال البشاعة

الله يعين لبنان
ويعين أهلها ومحبيها

ولاّدة said...

اسمحي لي حنان أن أشاركك رسالة تلقتها أختي الصغيرة من صديقتها التي تقطن وتعمل حالياً في نيويورك

Today I went to protest against the recent US support of Israeli aggression in Gaza and Lebanon. For the past couple days, I've been working to make posters, flyers, and a huge banner, in my attempts to contribute to a cause I have strong feelings about; quickly i realized that it was also therapeutic, helping me deal with my emotions at this time. I snuck out of work early and rushed over to the protest as quickly as I could, eager to contribute to making our voices heard.

The turn-out was incredible and it was comforting to be in close proximity with people who have been feeling the same way I have. I became emotionally overwhelmed when I noticed how diverse the group was. Arabs, Americans, Europeans, Christians, Muslims, Jews were all standing side by side carrying the Lebanese and Palestinian flags, standing up for our humanity and against our destruction.

I quickly found my banner and got ready to join the protest against the destruction of Lebanon and Gaza, their people, their souls. Unfortunately I didn't hear that protest. I genuinely joined with chants of "Free Palestine", "Free Lebanon", "no more innocent civilian deaths", "no more war", but when it came to "Down, Down, Down with Israel" and "Up Up with Hizbollah and Hamas" I felt like I suddenly lost my voice.

I started to think, as I was being told to direct my cheers to the people looking down at us from the windows in the Israeli Embassy about the message we were sending. Is this really going to help; is it productive to chant at the Israeli Embassy in New York City: Down, Down with Israel? Does that not only instill in their embassy, their government, that they have a right to their actions? Is it not counter-productive to make our support of Hizbollah and Hamas, if indeed we each personally support them, a point in our plea to the UN and Israel to end the destruction of our homes and our families? Especially when it is exactly their argument against these resistance groups that is used to justify such destruction? Do we not alienate the non-Muslims who have come to support the cause by chanting: "la Ilaha Il Allah" despite our desire, if we so desire, for God to interfere? What about the Christian Lebanese and Christian Palestinians? What about the American and Israeli people who are standing with us fighting for our cause? What is our cause? Is it religious? Is it not to defend our countries and our people? Is it not a cause of humanity?

Israel is 58 years old this year, so to demand the destruction of Israel as a country is irrational if not even a bit ridiculous, especially here in New York. Chants with this prerogative, and I know I’ve made this point already, but let me repeat, only reaffirms, as they put it, their "need to DEFEND themselves"; not only to themselves, but also the passer-byers on the street. In fact I know a lot of Palestinians, especially those who are suffering day by day in Gaza and the West Bank, believe that we have to deal with reality and figure out the best way for the Palestinians to have a prosperous nation side by side with Israel. We need to strive to achieve this goal and fight for our right to it. I dream of the stories I hear from older generations about growing up and living with Muslims, Christians and Jews in the Middle East. And this acknowledgement does not mean I necessarily agree with Israel's government policies or its military campaigns, but I just cannot bring myself to chant "Down, Down, with Israel" regardless of how painful recent events have been to bear. WHAT WILL COME OUT OF SUCH UNCONSTRUCTIVE EFFORTS?

At this point, a good friend of mine would tell me: "Ma you don't know, you haven't lived the war, the pain, the corruption, the destruction. You have lived a fortunate life that allows you to think that way". True, I have lived abroad most of my life, including countries in the middle east that don't suffer like Palestine and Lebanon, and my five years in Lebanon were also peaceful. Maybe that does allow me to have some objective perspective. But what's wrong with that? I would call us all fortunate if we are able to be here in New York City, protesting. Can't we gear our fortune to try and do something constructive? Can't we at least try to find constructive _expression from our thoughts and feelings, and protest what we are all commonly against…productively? Are we not even worse than our "enemy", if in fact we consider them an "enemy", by resorting to such volatile useless methods?

I walked through the crowd to see what people were fighting for. I started to notice people withdrawn on the side, Hesitant to join, probably questioning the same things I am. They came here to save their countries and thus felt compelled to join, but encountered something that they were obviously questioning. Eventually they left.

I am afraid of the future of Lebanon, the potential of Palestine, and for the people who have to bear the grunt of it all. I am even more afraid by the recent events and the protest today that we are only feeding our hate and not addressing the issues that will resolve it. I am afraid that hatred will erupt again in Lebanon between the different religions and their sects and spread further throughout the region. I am afraid that my Christian friends will be driven with anger at Muslims, and I will not be able to blame them. I am afraid that my Muslim friends will demean my Christian friends in return and I will not be able to question them. I am afraid that religion is interfering with our lives, regardless of our individual beliefs, rather than guiding it. I am afraid our passion for our cause is backfiring against us and we forget that what it is we protest. Are we not here to protest bombs, are we not here to protest innocent death, are we not here to protest the legitimacy of destruction?

As the protest ended, and people began to disperse, I noticed this random guy, withdrawn and quiet following the crowd as it started to walk towards Times Square. Despite his withdrawn demeanor, he walked confidently holding a sign very high above his head. His sign was actually a piece of cardboard scribbled on with marker: "War will not end until all extremism and fundamentalism on all sides stop." Despite all the screaming and yelling around me, despite the simple nature of his sign, his sign stood out. His statement, as utopian as it was,in the context of it all stood out.

I rolled up my banner and went home and called a Lebanese friend to discuss my experience with her, but before I even started to say anything she burst out crying and asked, "When is this going to end?” The day of bottled up frustration and on the surface strength to get through a "normal" day while her family, friends and country is under siege, exploded. Maybe if we went and cried in front of the embassy it would be more constructive. I have other friends who just want to go back and be there while it’s happening. Maybe they feel the pain will go away if they are back home? Or at least maybe there is comfort that the pain will be replaced with immediate fear?

There is no question that our people, and our humanity are the victim. I can only believe that if people start to see that side of the issue, they will start to care. Politics is dirty on all sides, some more than others, so it is a waste of breathe to argue our opinions. We need to state the facts. Today we should have been protesting against recent Israeli Aggression; nothing more specific, but nothing less. We should be protesting for the destruction to stop immediately. We should argue that destruction cannot be considered defense and that destruction is politically destructive. We should highlight how destroying our countries, our land, our people will only creates more hatred on all sides.We should explain to world that destruction will not solve the conflict, it will only make it worse.

I just hope that the protest today did not make more people walk out on our cause, like many people already have.I am always hopeful that people who have resisted to participate because of these issues will find a reason to reassess. I share this with you so that I can remain committed despite my partial disappointment. And despite this all, I still admire those who continue with their efforts and will continue to contribute as much as I can in every way that I can.

PS: If you disagree with certain points I have made, I understand that we are all entitled to our different perspectives. Let us continue to work towards our common goals rather than dwell on our differences. I just feel compelled to share how I feel, maybe just to deal, but in the hope to do a little more.

Luma Shihab Eldin

sani and zoro said...

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Hanan said...

fFuzzy. I believe this is the youngest member in the family; Remi.
And go Leo's :)

white wings. I don't know what to do with that passion other than blog about it.

mini r. Inshallah.

alia. All songs about Lebanon currently bring tears to my eyes. But I'm not you. Crying is not my game :P

chai-7aleeb. :)

nunu. salamat your heart babe.

kila ma6goog.
سلامتك من الحزن واليأس والعجز

pepsi. Yes I almost forgot about Ali :(

بشمالك بجنوبك بسهلك بحبك

soud. Me know English me this?

walladah. Thank you for sharing. I similarly refuse to join the protests here in Kuwait as I know they would be burning flags and cheering Hizballah. I too think a peaceful solution is our only solution, even if it meant giving up a few things. But I find myself a total outsider whose opinion remains an opinion of a person who sympathizes only but not shares the misfortune of ou Lebanese and Palestinian friends.

AyyA said...

Sorry to have saddened you sweetie, I really feel bad that I had decided to stop listening to the news at least for a while. :*

whoami123 said...


We work like a horse.
We eat like a pig.
We like to play chicken.
You can get someone's goat.
We can be as slippery as a snake.
We get dog tired.
We can be as quiet as a mouse.
We can be as quick as a cat.
Some of us are as strong as an ox.
People try to buffalo others.
Some are as ugly as a toad.
We can be as gentle as a lamb.
Sometimes we are as happy as a lark.
Some of us drink like a fish.
We can be as proud as a peacock.
A few of us are as hairy as a gorilla.
You can get a frog in your throat.
We can be a lone wolf.
But I'm having a whale of a time!

You have a riveting web log
and undoubtedly must have
atypical & quiescent potential
for your intended readership.
May I suggest that you do
everything in your power to
honor your encyclopedic/omniscient
Designer/Architect as well
as your revering audience.
As soon as we acknowledge
this Supreme Designer/Architect,
Who has erected the beauteous
fabric of the universe, our minds
must necessarily be ravished with
wonder at this infinate goodness,
wisdom and power.

Please remember to never
restrict anyone's opportunities
for ascertaining uninterrupted
existence for their quintessence.

There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity
under heaven. A time to be
born and a time to die. A
time to plant and a time to
harvest. A time to kill and
a time to heal. A time to
tear down and a time to
rebuild. A time to cry and
a time to laugh. A time to
grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones
and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a
time to turn away. A time to
search and a time to lose.
A time to keep and a time to
throw away. A time to tear
and a time to mend. A time
to be quiet and a time to
speak up. A time to love
and a time to hate. A time
for war and a time for peace.

Best wishes for continued ascendancy,
Dr. Whoami

P.S. One thing of which I am sure is
that the common culture of my youth
is gone for good. It was hollowed out
by the rise of ethnic "identity politics,"
then splintered beyond hope of repair
by the emergence of the web-based
technologies that so maximized and
facilitated cultural choice as to make
the broad-based offerings of the old
mass media look bland and unchallenging
by comparison."

ScarlO said...

I really don't know what to think of this war. I hear politician's speeches and read political analysts' articles, and I start getting all sorts of odd ideas.
I just hope that it ends very soon, and that your friends and their families are in a safe place.

ValenciaLover said...

Hanan, sorry i just read this post
my heart goes to Meriam, Jameel, Muhammed & Ali... and all our loved ones in Lebanon... all the innocent souls who are suffering now.
As for counting on me to remind you of the source from which we got to know Remi Bandali, sorry again, i can't remember but the 2 events came simultaneously, Meriam and the song, so it might be true...

My lebanese friend arrived last night from Tripoli, Lebanon... I couldn't wait till i sit and listen to her telling me about it all in details, but she had family here in Kuwait surrounding her with 1000 questions so i decided to retreat and let this conversation for some other time

I'm glad she and her kids came safely

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