Category Archives: Family

عام مضى

منذ عام واحد فقط، لم اكن اعلم ان اكبر الانهيارات هي تلك التي لا تحدث اصواتا.. وتترك خلفها ضجيجا من الفراغ

رحلت ابي، لم تحدث كثيرا من الجلبة وانت تذهب، رحلت بهدوء وسكينة..كعادتك دائما

لم يزل جرحي ينبض كل يوم يا ابي..مع كل فنجان شاي صباحي لم تصنعه انت ارتشف مرارة غيابك.. وعلى انغام كل أغنية كنت تفضلها يتردد صدى صوتك العذب في ذاكرتي

اشتقتك ابي.. انا ابنتك المفضلة لطالما قرأت ذلك في عينيك حتى عندما كنت تحاول اخفاء ذلك عن الجميع.. ولا تزال تلك الابتسامة المميزة، ابتسامة الفخر المطلقة، تشع في ذاكرتي نورا عندما يشتد سواد الحزن ظلاما

في هذا العام تعلمت يا ابي ان الانسان لا يموت فعلا الا عندما تمحى ذكراه بين الناس.. وانت ما زلت حيا بيننا، ما زلنا نردد اقوالك ونضحك عندما نتذكر قصصك و”نغص” عندما نأكل اكلتك المفضلة

احبك ابي، اليوم اكثر مما مضى، وبعد عام على غيابك اشد الرحال لاستقبل حفيدا لم يسعفه الحظ ليلقاك.. ساغني له اغنياتك واروي بعضا من قصصك واخبره عن جد كان يتوق لتدليله.. ورحل باكرا

كل عام وانت حبيبي.. دائما

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الى أمّي… الى نانا

من أجلك أنت.. أكتب بالعربيّة، أنت التي لطالما قرأتني دون الحاجة الى كلمات أصلاً

أحبك.. لست أدري ان كانت تلك الكلمة التي نستعملها طوال الوقت قد فقدت بريقها بالنسبة اليك أو اذا ما كانت تعبر باخلاص عما أكنه لكنني لا أملك سواها يوم ميلادك … أحبك

أحب يديك، تلك التي تحمل في كل زاوية، مع كل لمسة و في كل حركة اخلاصاً و تفانٍ

أحب عينيك، لا مهرب من تلك الساحرتين..لا مجال لتفادي فحصها الدقيق المفصّل أوسؤالها الصامت: “شو بك؟

أحب دفء حضنك القادر على مواساتي دائماً، وقلقك المتواصل علينا و ال”شو في؟” كلما سمعت صوتاً في الليل-حتى لو كنا نضحك

أحب شعور الامان الذي يغمرني كلما ودعتنا صباحاً أو انتظرتنا مساءً

أحب ابتسامتك التي تزين وجهك حتى في أحلك الظروف

أحب كيف علمت أولادك حب العائلة و الأخلاص لها و بر الوالدين ليس بالكلام الرنان بل بالفعل و القدوة الحسنة

أحب ما زرعت فينا من أخلاق واحترام.. أصبحت أعلم كم كان هذا صعباً

  أنا أعلم أنك هبة الله لي ولكل من يعرفك وأحمد الله يومياً على وجودك في حياتي

أنا أعلم كم كنت (ولا أزال) صعبة المراس عنيدة وفي هذا اليوم المبارك اقول لك : سامحيني

عن كل كلمة قلتها يوماً وأذتك

عن كل لحظة سببت لك ازعاج أو أقلقت راحتك

عن كل ما فعلت أو ما لم أفعل مما لا يرضيك

شكراً لك..شكراً لأنك أنت … لأنّك أمّي…لأنك نانا

Our Brass Brazier.. A tale as old as time

It’s winter. I don’t have to remind people about it since it is one of the coldest winters we’ve ever witnessed. I love everything about this season, but the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about winter (besides the bone-drilling cold) is our brass brazier.

I doubt I have any winter memory: an evening we spent, an episode that occurred, even food or drinks.. that happened without our faithful Brazier as a witness.

It always provided our home with warmth. I still don’t know why, but no other means of heating is as efficient! Even our neighbors, whenever they came for their daily visit, used to book their  spot near it in advance “hayda ma7alli”, and if by chance they came and we still haven’t placed it, there would be a lot of complaints.

Let me explain to you the science of a good warm brazier: its contents are divided into 3 or 4 layers depending on the need.

If it is for a short period of time, we need three layers: the “Safweh” or ashes, that is used to hold the hot material. It acts as an insulator and also serves to cover the coal to preserve it for a longer period of time. “Temmi l narat” or cover the ashes is a very common phrase we shout to whomever was closest to the brazier.

The second layer is the “De2” . Now THAT is difficult to explain in English! but here’s the best I can do: The Do2 or Dok, is made from the residual waste of olive juicers. It is mainly the solid part inside smashed into small pieces and burnt just a bit. They have a black color and offer a lot of heat when burnt without the odors of the coal. These are very useful when the brazier is used to prepare food: grilling “Kastana” (Chestnut), or a cheese sandwich.. It is even said that the coffee prepared on coal is tastier than anywhere else!To ignite the Dok, you only need a small amount of burning Coal..

Which  brings us to the third and most important layer: “el narat” or burning Coals. The coals are carefully selected in order not to get a “3rrada” (a piece of coal that produces a bad smell when burnt),  then placed in a special container “Al she3aleh” on the fire to be ignited. Once ready, they are placed on top of the “Do2” to ignite it too.

If the evening is long, and there is a need for a renewal of warmth, the forth layer is a few extra coals buried beneath the ashes. When needed, and just before the brazier loses all its heat, you dig them out, and they re-burn as hot as you need them. An extra amount of Do2 can be added as well…

I know it might be boring, but this is not the point. I think that our old brass brazier is the most important ritual of our winter. All I wanted was to document that. The feelings I can only describe, but trust me nothing can be as warm as sitting in front of it, your legs close to it, with a hot drink warming up your hand.

Care to give it a try?

Morning-Mania

You might have heard of the morning sickness, but this has nothing to do with that. In fact, this type of behavior is something quite specialized to my family. It is actually the emergency-like state that comes every morning.Even thought it’s usually my sister Mimi that does this kind of behavior, I don’t blame her completely. My father and mother practiced it so many times when we were young (and still do) that I think it became a part of her personality.
Needless to say, I always am reluctant to leave my bed every morning to go to school.. that’s normal and I think no one would feel differently.
but on top of that, there is this neurotic behavior that I have to endure from my sister each morning that gets on my nerves:
It starts with hurrying me up “yalla t2ekharna” every time she bumps into me during the morning.
Next, comes the angry attitude I get if or when I forget something I need to get, the “puff” she makes can move mountains!
Then, at the door ,which she always reaches first, I get the “look” that can freeze you to the ground (if not immunized like me).
The final stage comes after reaching school when we always, ALWAYS, arrive late no matter what the time is! “Shefti? t2ekharna”.

I must add that I DON’T have to be there that early and sometimes I even have free periods in the morning!

But that’s not the end of it I’m afraid, because if you think about it there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be on time and pushing people to do so (never mind the way). the problem is that this behavior is imprinted in her so deeply that it happens no matter the time or the place we wanted to go: afternoon walk or evening visit,even a trip to the market! I mean, who has to be “on time” for a walk!!!

What I enjoy watching every time is when my dad or mum and my sister have the same “condition” at the same time. Trust me, a million dollar scene happens where the stares, the comments and the angry gestures clash in a giant loss of temper.

When in vacation such as this one, I enjoy waking up in the morning because there is no rush to prevent an angry comment or a raging stare.
If you have witnessed this kind of behavior, you have my sympathy. If not, consider yourself lucky!

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My Irreplaceables

” No one is irreplaceable” so they say.. well “they” are wrong!

We all have our irreplaceables, just close your eyes for a moment, try to picture your life without a certain person..If  it’s impossible, you found your irreplaceable.

I cannot imagine my life without them, my irreplaceables, and I am sure it wouldn’t be much of a life in their absence. They include my parents, my sisters, my brother, some more dear family, lovely neighbors and only a couple of friends. They are my joy, my strength, my world. Every moment with them is a treasure I keep engraved in my memory: every smile, every tear, every quarrel, every accident, every tragedy, every look, every lesson… You’d be surprised of how much you can remember and how long small things stay with you, things you considered silly, a T-shirt you liked or a food you hated.It’s ok because the way I see it, memories are the fuel that keeps us going, they are the food of the soul. A single memory has the ability to empower you (or destroy for that matter)  forever! This is why Josephine, before leaving Napoleon, emptied her perfume bottle all over his room: she’d be long gone but she made sure her memory haunted him.

I try not to think of the future because I know it means some loss, not necessarily as tragic as death but still a loss in some way: someone leaving because of a job or a husband or whatever… no one can fill their spot, no one can replace them: every loss will leave a hole in my heart. without them I’m only a zombie with a leaking heart!

To all my irreplaceables,  a phrase I always repeat (I’m sure you know) and will never stop using: I love you.