Lebanon War

I cry when I watch the news these days
But what use has anyone got for these stupid tears anyway?
I watch while I’m afraid of becoming numb
When victims start turning into meaningless sums
They’re no longer a father, a mother, a husband, a wife, a brother, a sister, a daughter or a son
Fifty-nine people have died today
Oh no, make it sixty one
What’s the difference?
It’s not like anyone bothers to notice
Except for the families of those “extra” two
Well, there’s nothing that they can do
They’ll just have to learn how to make it through
Sitting in the safety and comfort of my home
I feel like a coward.
I feel like a traitor.
I feel angry to see the way Lebanon is left to suffer alone
People turn their heads away pretending they don’t see
They block their ears so they don’t hear the screams
Skip the channels that show nothing but how sad it’s gotten to be
Maybe it’ll just go away and end
So we can go back to smiling like nothing ever happened
Maybe we could feel better about ourselves then
I donate money and I feel guilty for the amount I choose to keep
I fool my conscious saying I’ve done all I could so I can sleep
I wake up in the middle of the night and say a prayer
God, please stop the war that’s going on there
Please spare the lives of those who are still alive
Have mercy on those who have died
Install some comfort into their families and loved ones
Just say so and it’s done

Chapter 1.

“There is a woman in your life, my son
Her eyes are so beautiful
Glory to God
Her mouth and her laughter
Are full of roses and melodies
The woman you love
May be your whole world
But your sky will be rain-filled” ~ The Fortuneteller – Nizar Qabbani


We sat in silence next to each other on my bed, not a word spoken. Nothing heard but the faint sound of music coming from the stereo and the rhythmic sounds of our breaths. Shoulder to shoulder I could feel the warmth of her body. Her skin was glowing. Her sweet scent was lingering in the air. It was filling the room, the sheets, the bed cover, the pillows and even me. I reached for her left hand and took it in between both of mine. I caressed it gently with my right thumb trying to install some comfort into her shaken soul at the moment. Her right hand held the white bed sheet up against her chest. Her silky brown hair fell on her back and I wanted to move my fingers through it and stroke it but I did not know if I should.                 


We sat in silence. We were afraid of looking into each other’s eyes. We kept looking around the room inspecting the objects surrounding us. The wooden door locked while the purple bear that served as a key chain, which she had gotten me as a gift a couple of months ago, was dangling below the door handle. The closet, the TV stand, which also bore the stereo that will not stop playing, the book shelves, the desk on top of which lied the bouquet of white lilies I had bought for her that morning before I picked her up from her house. The big window with the curtains slightly opened letting small rays of sunlight into the room and the nightstand with her bra hanging helplessly on its far edge. On the floor, my discarded jeans, my yellow t-shirt, her sky blue blouse and short black skirt were staring at me. I could not see where her bottom underwear was so I guessed it was somewhere within the crumpled bed cover that has been thrown to the floor while we were making love.    


Words would have failed me had I tried to describe what happened between us. It was awkward but it was beautiful. It was pleasure mixed with pain. It was a journey that I didn’t have a map for. There were tears and laughter. There were fears and hopes. We ascended into another world beyond the limited margins of our earthly space. We lost tack of time. Entwined in each other’s bodies I had shown her I loved her. For a few moments then, we were one. Body and soul, we were one.


What we did not anticipate was the enormous amount of guilt that engulfed us not too long after we finished while we were still lying in each other’s arms. It came over like a hurricane that took us by surprise. We broke free. I put on my boxers and she lifted the bed sheet to cover herself.       


We sat in silence. I felt an urge to apologize, to tell her that I was sorry. I yearned to hold her again. I longed to kiss her forehead, her cheeks, her eyelids, the tip of her nose, her ears, her chin, her lips and her entire body all over again. I wanted to put her head on my chest so that she can listen to my heartbeats and hear them pronounce her name. I needed to whisper I Love You into her ears over and over again until it reaches the deepest corner of her being. She must have no doubt about the way I feel about her, about us and about what had happened. It was magical. It was beautiful. It was the most divine experience of my life.

I lifted my head, turned around and held her gaze for a while that seemed like eternity. She was reading my soul through my eyes. She knew every word I wanted to say without me saying it. She understood. I finally said, “Layla…” She put her right index finger on my lips hushing me and letting the bed sheet slide down to her waist. She put her arms around me, brought me closer to her and rested her head on my shoulder. I held her tight as she whispered into my ears, “I know.” I felt her tears falling down on my back and shoulder.

صناديق بنية

وحيداً هنا في هذه الليلة من فبراير

أوضب ذكرياتي بصمت في صناديق بنية

أضع فيها جميع الصور التي تظهرنا مبتسمين

أضع فيها جميع ضحكاتنا ومحادثاتنا الليلية

جميع القصائد التي لا تعني شيئاً اليوم

جميع الأحلام البريئة والخطط المستقبلية

بقايا الوعود المكسورة وملح الدموع التي جفت

جميع هدايا أعياد ميلادي وذكرى لقائنا السنوية

التقويم الذي سجلت عليه تاريخ ميلادك

مبلغ المال الذي أردت أن أشتري به لك أحلى هدية

جميع الساعات التي قضيتها أفكر فيك أنت

قارورة عطرك الصغيرة التي لم يعد بها بقية

وسادتي التي حوت رأسينا معاً ذات نهار

سريري ذا الغطاء الأحمر الذي كنا نتشاركه سوية

أوراقنا التني كنا نستذكر منها أيام الدراسة

حياتنا بعد الجامعة معاً في شقة ذات جدران زهرية

أطفالنا الأربعة الذين لن يولدوا الآن

حفل زفافنا على شاطئ البحر في مراسم سحرية

تهاني الأهل والأصدقاء واحتفائهم بنا بسعادة

وشهر العسل الذي كنا سنقضيه قي إيطاليا في البندقية

أبتسم ابتسامة حزينة وأنا أقارب على الانتهاء

هذه حياتي السابقة ودعتها فقد كنا مجرد صبي وصبية

أحببتك وربما أحببتني لكن المستقبل أمامي الآن

لقد وضبت جميع ذكرياتي في صناديق بنية

A Little Prayer For Protection

God please protect my beloved Lebanon.
God please protect my dear Beirut.
God please protect 3ammo Carlos, 3amma Carla, 3ammo 6lal, 3ammo 3imad, 3amma Soso, Lara, Anthony, Noor and Taitah Shereen.
God please protect every human soul there.
God please be with them.
God please spare them the pain, hurt and suffering.
It is only you who can.