Sunday, May 28, 2006

A poem dream...

It was cold,
but he was sweating.
He felt old,
and started running...
far away,
"what a day"!
He needs a space...alone
and it was almost dawn
when he saw the bridge
up the river
standing on the edge
starting to shiver
and there was rain
a whistle...a far train
an old music tone..
a song...and a moan..
"Standing in the rain.
You're on the verge of going crazy and your heart's in pain..."*
should he let it go?
should he withdraw?
"I can't take it anymore"
a lost ship...away from the shore
Closing his eyes...he sees her face
"I need a space"
and here comes the scream
the expectations...the dream..
the day he came
the disappointment...the shame
"No one can hear though you're screaming so loud
You feel all alone in a faceless crowd
Sitting on the side
waiting for a sign, hoping that my luck will change.
Reaching for a hand
that can understand,
someone who feels the same"*
A sudden move, and a sigh
he opens his eyes
"4:30 am"...a clock nearby
and he smiles
"what a dream"...he sits in bed
inspired by a poem...he just read!!

*"Weird"...a song by Hanson
(picture: a bridge in Pittsburgh, PA)
(a special thanx to Eve for the song/poem that inspired the dream, and the post!)

Thursday, May 25, 2006


A box of chocolate
dark, and Swiss-made,
your favourite
A candle...a yellow rose
the one I chose.
A dance late.
A maroon scarf,
a beautiful laugh.
A perfect date.
Now...comes the wait.

(thanx for Vivian for the delicious delicious Lindt chocolate...!)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

إلى الشهداء

وما أن خارت قواه، وأحسّ بأنه سيسقط...همَ بغريزته ان يمسك بسواعد رفاقه...غير أنه ما أن رأى الأرض تحته، والتراب قد استحال أحمراً من دمه...هوى ليعانق الأرض التي أحبَ
* * * *
باكراً رحلتم
تاركين وراءكم
أشياءكم الصغيرة
وأحلاماً كبيرة
وأشباح ذكرياتكم
ووطناً...نراه جميلا ًفي ملامحكم
جميلاً ...كما الأزهار
حرَا...كما الأطيار
عظيماً رغم خلافاتنا
وحروبنا التافهة
رغم خطايانا
وألاعيب السياسة
فهل تغفرون أيها الشهداء لنا؟

و كل عام وأنتو بخير....أشتقنالكم

(picture: Martyr's statue, downtown Beirut, summer 2005)

Monday, May 22, 2006

About me...

Ok...since everybody seems to be doing this, here is my self description.

My name is Hashem and I hate my name.
I hate hearing my voice on a recorder. I hate mostly my "r" having a french tone "ghhhh"!
I hate my hair, as it gets messy easily.
My left leg is weaker than my right and it gets tired earlier.
I write with my right hand, but do alot of stuff with the left.
I don't snore.
I eat fast, and I eat small amounts.
Breakfast is something sacred to me.
If I don't have a coffee by 11 am, I get a bad bad headache.
I'm considered a morning person.
If I sleep after 9 am, I wake up with a bad headache.
I hate most types of cheese.
I don't eat "kishik كشك ".
I don't eat "sawda سودة".
I hate milkshakes.
I eat a banana with my coffee every morning.
I'm very slow in typing.
I make alot of typoes in my chats.
I like to talk. In fact, you can stop me from eating or drinking, but never talking.
I move between subjects without proper stops. Sometimes, this drive my listeners crazy.
I hate slow driving, and hate stop signs. I'm a slow braker, and early accelerator. I tailgate on the highway. I don't use the right mirror in my car, and never undertood why it's there!
And no...I didn't get a speeding ticket, yet!
I drive a Corolla, that I think was originally a BMW!
I was told alot that I'm hyper....hypomanic!
I barely watch TV, but I got one last year and it's on as long as I'm at home.
I forgot to turn my bedroom's lights off before leaving to Beirut last time.
I lost more than 10 umbrellas.
I misplace things alot.
I was told I have a good sense of humor.
I don't know when to say "no"!
I many times replay in my mind conversations I had earlier, and wish I said something bad.
I'm very social.
I have more than 300 contacts in my cell phone. 80% of them are for girls!
I barely make deadlines.
I have 2 palms, that I barely use.
I'm so unorganized in my life, and I hate that.
I don't smoke, and hate smoking.
I barely sleep the night before an exam. I studied overnights in all exams in Med II.
I don't do well in a multiple choice exam.
I do very well on oral presentations.
I had one F grade in one exam in medical school. I didn't sleep that night.
I do believe in god , but I have alot of aethiest friends.
I like greek mythology.
In movies, I like romantic comedies, and some of science fiction.
I love to listen to Fairouz, Julia, Marcel, Abdel-Halim, Majida and Nancy Ajram. I listen alot to Sarah Mclachlan.
I love "Amal Hayatiأمل حياتي " for Imm Kalthoum.
My favourite actress is Jodie Foster. Actor is Al Pacino.
I wish I played music, Piano in particular.
I love babies, and I like to play with kids.
I have great parents, and a supporting family. I can't live without them.
I was told alot that I'm so passionate.
I was told I'm over romantic, and over over nostalgic!
I like women with curly hair.
I like women with black hair.
I like blue color. 90% of my clothes have some blue in them.
I like women in black dresses.
I like minimal, if any, makeup or jewelery.
I hate piercings other than in the ears.
I have alot of friends who are girls. No, I'm not gay!
I like strong and confident women.
I like to wear jeans, even to the hospital. This put me in trouble once.
I don't wear a watch.
I like yellow roses, but tulips are my favourite.
what else...? favourite city is Beirut. In the US, it's Chicago.
I hate Pittsburgh, but I hide that.
I still wish I did Pediatrics.
My best month of the year is September.
My favourite season is fall.
I like windy days.
I still love snow, despite how much I curse it.
I don't go to sleep before 1 am, no matter how early I need to wake up next day.
يللا...أستروا ما سمعتوا منا :-)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

My south

Here I belong...
Here I exist.
Here are the memories...the laughs, and the song.
sad, and long.
Here I belong.
ﺍﻟﯿﻚ ﯿﺍﺠﻨﻮﺐ
ﺴﺄﻜﺘﺐ ﺃﺠﻤﻞ ﺃﺸﻌﺎﺮﻱ...
ﻮﺃﺠﻤﻞ ﺍﻠﻜﻠﻤﺎﺖ
ﯿﺍ ﺃﺤﻠﻰ ﺼﻮﺮﺓ...ﻔﻲ ﺤﻘﻴﺒﺔ ﺃﺴﻔﺎﺮﻱ
ﺴﺄﻜﺘﺐ ﻠﻠﺬﻜﺮﻴﺎﺖ
ﻤﻼﻋﺐ ﻂﻔﻭﻠﺘﻲ... ﻭﺍﻠﺨﻁﻭﺍﺖ
ﻠﺪﻜﺎﻦﺃﺒﻭﻋﻠﻲ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻠﺴﺎﺤﺔ
ﻠﺘﻌﺐ ﺍﻠﻔﻼﺤﻴﻦ...ﻠﻠﻤﺤﺮﺍﺚ...ﻮﻠﻠﻔﺠﺮ
ﻠﺼﻮﺖ ﺍﻠﻤﺆﺬﻦ ﻴﺪﻋﻮ ﻠﺼﻼﺓ ﺍﻠﻈﻬﺮ
ﻮﺴﺄﻜﺘﺐ ﻠﻬﺎ
ﻠﻠﻌﺼﺎﻓﻴﺮ ﻓﻲ ﻋﻴﻨﻴﻬﺎ ﺤﻴﻦ ﺃﺮﺍﻫﺎ
ﺫﺍﻚ ﺍﻠﺧﺠﻞ...ﻓﻲ ﻤﺤﻴﺎﻫﺎ.
ﺴﺄﻜﺘﺐ ﻠﻠﻐﺼﺔ...
ﻮﻨﻬﺎﻴﺔ ﻗﺼﺔ
I'll be back....o my south
will you wait?
I'll be's a date.
Tell the the sky
I'll be back.
Tell the roads....the passing by
I'll be back.
Tell the trees....old and tall
Tell them all...
I'll be back.
Tell the morning...
I'll be a noon
I'll be back...very soon.

*this post is dedicated to Eve
** picture: south Lebanon, summer 2005

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


How did you end up...a portrait on a canvas?
a dry my vase?
and a poem....never written,
or forgotten.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Black and white

Just when he thought the night folded the page of the day,
and he was heading away,
She came.
A black dress, a smile, and he's not the same.
And it was dark.
It was time to ask.
And they walked.
Confusion....and scattered words they talked.
He liked black and white.
A phone ringing, and time was tight.
He followed the flow.
He let it go.
She didn't act stupid.
There was no cupid.
There will be more time to come.
They went numb.
And they walked in opposite directions.

(picture: Walnut street)

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Walking up the hill...
it was cold and cloudy...
and when the wind blew...
my heart woke up,
and...a flashback:
a windy day in 1993,
my first day at AUB....
registration day.
Biology 201...MWF....conflict....drop and add....
English placement test...
Nicely 500...
"daraj el chemistry"....el-kharoubeh....
Chem 101...lecture in chemistry 001...Kasparian
the green table infront of agriculture...
the science library....the glass room in the back....
The picture widens....I saw AUB...
my home....

why did they suddenly bombarded me from everywhere?
I stopped in the middle of fifth avenue....
who am I?
what am I doing here?
how did I end up here?
Why do people suddenly look faceless?
Walking in one direction?
carrying a starbucks coffee...and marching like machines....
And I notice I was carrying one myself....
marching like a machine myslef!
I threw it away....
and I walked quicker....
up....up the hill....
away....away from the memories....
"I'll not be part of the system"
"I can do better....I can do better"

"Good morning", a smiling face greets as I enter the hospital.
"Good morning!", I return the greeting, and the smile, still shivering.
Slwoly, I calm down.
And slowly, I forget.
Slowly, I feel I belong here again.
at least for the moment.

(pictures: top: one of my favourite places at AUB, in the way to the lower campus, Beirut, Lebanon, taken summer 2005.
Bottom: Fifth avenue at the turn up the hill to Presbyterian hospital, Pittsburgh, PA, taken today.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My pager

I have a pager,
and I hate it!
but very annoying!
It's unpredictable,
and goes off usually when it shouldn't!
or flirting....
it still goes off!
or feeling fed up,
it still goes off!
When on call,
or on my day off,
it still goes off.
If I try to ignore it, it beeps every 30 seconds,
protesting my behavior.
And I feel bad,
and checks the number, and picks up the phone.
Only then, it stops beeping!
My pager,
I hate you!
When you ring,
or vibrate,
or even silent..
I hate you!
or evening,
I hate you!
or asleep,
or dead,
I hate you!
( are ringing again....let me check who's paging!!)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Happy birthday, dad...

O ya “Ali”
You were a child, in a small village.
You wanted to attend school.
But you couldn’t.
You had to help your father in the “jal”.
But you had big dreams,
beyond the jal,
and the village.
You taught yourself how to read and write,
not caring about age.
And now, you calculate quicker than anyone.

As teenager, you started to sing poetry,
“Zajal” we call it.
You’ve been known since as “Ali the poet”
You sang for the land,
for life,
and for love.

You left to Beirut,
A child, who quickly turned a man.
In a plastic factory in “Sinn Elfil” you worked.
You got married,
And with her,
you built a family,
and thought you’ll raise it in peace.

Soon, war devils started their game,
Bullets...shelling....killing by the name,
you were told you live in the wrong side of a long line.
A line called “green line”.
And in a black day,
you took your family.
and left to another country.
There, you built a home,
away from home.

Four boys, and two girls, are your children.
You gave them love with no limits,
a life...full of smiles,
and the school,you always wanted.

Days passed...and they are no longer kids.
3 doctors,
a pharmacist
a hospital administrator,
and a lawyer.
And I saw your smiles,
and the tear in your eyes,
in each graduation,
in a big green field.

And now, ya “Abu Hussein”…
you’re still there,
with your hair turning grey,
your kids...flying away,
with “Hatem” and “Yara” you play!

The day I left,
“Allah ywafa’ak”, you said.
Forgive me ya “Abu Hussein”…
For not being in your birthday today.
Your laugh warmed my heart.
Your words made my day.
And knowing you are there,
For me….keep me alive,

For those wondering who is “Ali"..."Abu Hussein"
When I was a kid, he was my “daddy”
When I grew older, he became my friend.
And he’s always, my teacher.
And my role model.
Happy birthday, dad!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A pause

-"What's wrong with you?"
-"So, did you identify yourself with the woman in the picture? in what way?"
-"You really have a side we don't know about!"
Those are some extra comments I got after my last post, some from people who knew me for a while, and some I'm just knowing now.
This makes me think about this whole blog thing.
How much can people reflect the posts on us?
And would you care?
Are there people you don't want them to read it?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The morning after...

And in the morning,
at the sound of his snoring,
she put on her silky red dress,
but she still felt so naked.
She was exhausted...
and a sense of guilt overwhelming her.
"I wasn't born for this..." she thought.
Next to her bag, she noticed his money,
the price that monster paid her,
to enjoy her body,
but never her soul.
And she remembered her need,
her poor place,
her years of suffering.
"but it's not worth it..." she thought again.
And she remembered her father,
his plans for her,
the future he promised her,
and his hugs,
and when she let a black teardrop,
burning its way down her cheecks,
she remembered his kisses on those cheecks,
and she felt so betrayed.
And she remembered her village,
her house,
and her brother.
the great dreams,
the disappointments,
one after the other.
The tragedies,
the losses, and the pity
her trip to the city,
the dark rooms,
the music,
the light shine.
The men's blank faces,
the sweats,
and the cheap wine.
The loud laughs,
and the stairs down.

Walking outside the dirty door,
she didn't know her way,
she took the nearest cab,
and asked the tired driver to drive her away...
far far away.

(picture: "the night after" oil on canvas by Antoine Tamburro, taken from an art gallery front show in New Orleans,La)

Monday, May 01, 2006


Here comes the innocence,
the spontaneous,
and the small dreams...
here comes...Yara!

Here comes the real freedom,
no rules....
no boredom!
here comes...Yara

Here comes the quick cry...
the easy smile...
and the real laughs
here comes...Yara

(pictures: my niece, Yara....playing in our village in the south)