Friday, March 31, 2006

Yara... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What left behind...

Where are they?
Where are their noise in a break between 2 classes,
or before a Saturday exam?
Where are their dreams to fly away,
looking for a better future?
Where are the laughs....the tears...echoing in the small place?
Where are their small things, and big hopes,
and their disappointments?

(Infront of Diana Tamari Sabbagh bldg, AUB, summer 2005)

A portrait

It didn't take more than seconds.
And when she passed by me, I had the flashback...
I couldn't breath.
I thought I saw you...a ghost from the past,
and the delusion felt so real.
And it came to me that I had no picture for you..
Not even a sketch.
I thought I'll paint you a portrait..
But, what shall I paint you with?
While Fouad used india ink
I wasn't sure what to use.
What will get a glimpse of your eyes the best?
Shall I paint you with the roses you love..
with the early morning sun light..?
or shall I paint you with beirut's first rain in september?
a thread from the black dress I last saw you in?
Meanwhile, you'll stay a ghost....a memory,
and a poem.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

To you... Posted by Picasa
Dissolving in a vast and blue Meditteranean...
Good morning...!

I'll be an oncologist...

"So, what kind of a doctor are you?" The waitress at the coffee shop next to my place asked noticing my blue scrub.
"well, in a week I'll be training in oncology....cancer medicine." I answered.
And a wave of uneasiness filled the air.
"oh....that's tough...I hope I'll never need you ever!" She said.
Walking away breathing my coffee aroma, I couldn't but think how rediculous this thing about cancer is becoming lately.

Cancer. The big "C" word. "haydak elmarad".
Associated with death, pain, and doom...that is cancer.
For those of you not in the medical field, one way to think about cancer, is a cell that doesn't die or stop growing. An immortal cell if you want.
I always thought how sarcastic it is that our biggest killer, is that the cell does not die!
How would Gilgamesh, the babylonian king of Uruk, react to the fact that his search of immortality, was a search for malignancy?
I couldn't help but laugh when this idea hit me in my way to my car, that a guy parking next to me probably thought I'm psycho.

In the way driving to the hospital, I was thinking:
Do I really want to be an oncologist? A person whose name, because of the tiltle, would scare everyone!
Am I sure I can handle it?
And my thoughts went back in second year in medical school.
In 1998.
His name was "Amjad Mufarrij". A pathologist who was giving us the lectures about cancer pathophysiology and tumorigenesis.
He himself had cancer...a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that took his life afew years later.
Was it his style, his personality, or the subject itself....but I just knew myself. I wanna deal with this stuff.
For the record, I'm not a malignant person. I hope I'm not.
But, here I early second year, saying I wanna deal with cancer.

In my third year, and after talking to patients having cancer, I was more convinced. Talking to them, getting to know them, how they feel, how they reflect on their disease....offering them a friend's hand....That's what I wanted from medicine.

I was always convinced. That's why this whole issue of questioning my decision now looks so surreal.
In a week, I'll be an oncologist-in-training. A cancer doctor.
I'll be dealing with people's deepest deepest fears. Or, is it?
A patient of mine once told me afew days before he passed away, that death by itself is not a big matter. It's how we die. Bravely, quietly, and in a way that our beloved will reflect upon later on in a good way, that what matters.

I was parking my car in the hospital's garage, when I saw a nurse I haven't seen in a while.
"How are you? I haven't seen you for a while? where have you been?" I asked.
"I had to go home down south for my grandmom's funeral." She answered.
"oh, I'm sorry to hear." I said.
Walking towards the elevator, she looked at me and said, "yeah, that was sad. But she had breast cancer, you know."
I sure know.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Ya malaki...

To the face with the most beautiful smile...
To the eyes I saw first on this earth...
To the heart I heard first...
To happiness...when there is no happiness,
To warmth...when there is no warmth,
To the security and calm I seek in my life.
To you, my mom.
It's spring's mother's day...
Let me think about you today,
when you're thinking about me....everyday!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Like a bird...

"Rahalfak belghouson ya asfour" Posted by Picasa

Here it is....on the branch...trying to balance itself,
waiting for its next move,
hoping it will be on a solid ground.

And here I am...on a bridge to a new phase in my life....trying to balance myself
waiting, impatiently, my next move,
and hoping it will be on a solid ground.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Me Posted by Picasa
So, you can put a face to the name!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Finding myself

Beirut Posted by Picasa

Well, another overnight call in the hospital....with the pager, surprisingly, behaving and not going off every minute.
Tomorrow night, is my last call night in my whole residency!
And in 2 weeks, I'll move on to a new phase in my life. A fellow dealing with a the big "C" word disease...cancer. I'll be an oncologist.
Maybe that was not the best way to introduce myself to you here.
A girl once asked me: "so, who exactly are you?"
I'm Hashem. I'm 31. And I'm a person with alot alot of uncertainties now, and looking to find everything around me....from the simple stuff as what food I like, to the deeper, more complicated questions of who am I, and why I am here.
Don't be scared! I won't make you go through this here, as I am sure you are going through enough of this yourself.
I'm here to share a glimpse of who I am, and what goes inside my mind...
In wakefulness, and in sleep.
In my walk on the streets, and in my most deep meditation moments...
In my happiness, and when I'm tearing.
I wanna share with you, some of..."me".
by sharing this, I wish I'll find myself..
what do I want? Where I am going?
I've been forever divided between memories and ghosty pictures of my past, and hopes and dreams for my future,
In a wheel of happiness, and sadness
Feeling temporary, and a stranger wherever I go...
There in Lebanon, where I was born, and raised
And here in Pittsburgh, where my whole life is..but can never call it home!
She asked innocently: "Where is home?"
Home? it's somewhere over the atlantic...
"what do you dream?" she asked again.
Well, lebanese ofcourse. In arabic I mean. And still in color.
I think, and feel in Arabic, but speak in English!
After that girl, I keep asking myself same questions.
It's interesting, yet scary, to see how the answers progressed.
Yes, I felt a stranger while in you my Lebanon....I felt temporary, and ready to leave at any moment.
And day by day, I'm losing my belonging there.
Will I, some day, get it back?
A trip after a trip, the places look more and more different, and I need to stare more to recognize them...
And recognize they aren't the same any more...
although my friends say it's me who is not the same.
I'm not sure what's the difference.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

A scribble..."kharbashat"

Here I am...
A 31 y.o. humanbeing, full of feelings, ideas, and emptiness,
and more important, full of dreams....
And here are my scribbles attempting to visualize them...
Anybody cares to read?