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Tant qu’on aura de l’Amour


Ca – c’est un essai d’écrire une réflection en une autre langue. Je veux presenter la réalité de la langue et des sentiments. Si vous pensez que quelque mots sont beaux, ce n’est pas les mots c’est la compréhension et la signification. C’est très intuitif – je sais ca, mais cette idée n’est pas commune. Je pense qu’il n’ y a pas de langue plus belle qu’une autre. Je pense ce sont les sentiments honnêtes et les idées originales sont la raison que exposé tout conversation avec authenticité. Maintenant c’est un example pour ca, j’ai un peu de vocabulaire français mais j’ai un idée je pense que mérite d’être partagé avec vous maintenant. J’utilise un vocabulaire limité que j’ai connu pour expliquer quelque chose. Je ne connu pas la langue bien – mais je connu mon idée et ca c’est le plus important chose ici! Pas la langue, mais l’idée j’partage. Je comprehend il y a une langue célèbre pour les poésies plus que les autres, mais je pense ca c’est la culture de cette langue qu’ a beaucoup de sentiments et ca réfléchir dans la langue.

Si vous avez des sentiments authentiques vous allez trouver un moyen de les traduire en mots. La traduction de sentiments aux mots est très simple. C’est seulement un mot honnête que manifesté votre sentiment. C’est un description! Si vous n’avez pas un chose que décrire, ce n’est pas un peu de langues que vous avez – c’est un peu de sentiments dans cet moment. Si vous n’avez pas de mots, alors c’est le temp de vous demander comment vous sentez-vous? Vous pouvez être engourdi ou confus. C’est juste un rappel que si quelqu’un vous dit de bons mots, ce n’est pas qu’ils exagèrent, mais c’est que vous n’avez pas les mêmes sentiments comme eux et c’est pourquoi vous avez de la difficulté à croire qu’ils sont genuine! Mais vous avez de la chance si vous comprenez et connaissez ces gens – il ne faut pas beacoup penser mais il aime inconditionnellement. Parce que leur langue est l’amour. Et la langue de l’amour est universal.

La langue qui n’a pas besoin de vocabulaire spécifique ou de syntaxe grammaritique. Il a besoin d’un cœur seulement! �

Photo irrelevant to the reflection, but taken in 2015 after a 5-week french intensive.


Song Pairing: Tant qu’on aura de l’Amour – Les Cowboys Fringants


there is dowry due to a city that I have always endeared. one that has always been about reunion, when all other travel felt like expatriation. a city that teleports me intellectually into the pages of victorious history flipped after the present of colonized memories of they who never loved the reunion of her beloveds.

a city with mists of air that carry me all the way to her beloveds in Damascus, Cairo and Jaffa – long before they abandoned her.
“did they abandon you?” every time I ask her if they abandoned her, or if they were abandoned from her – she sighs. & whines, “what does the reason for separation do to the pain of separation? that is if there was indeed any of it. distance for lovers is only means to make meaning of the reunion’s embrace – to be as enchanting as the very first time. Or to create longing & yearning until the time is due to relive new beginnings. but, Yousr, do you not know that some beloveds never left anyways – & never stopped loving? the geographical borders are still permeable to love – & prevent no reunion. there stands no power before love, except for love itself. & each emperor is to choose who they fall in love with, & each ruler is to bow before whom they endear as their beloved.”

I realized that Damascus & Cairo chose to love other than you. I am not sure if I should call it “love”. It brought everything to their territories other than beauty. & so did all of Arabia. They were stripped from their essence: they swayed to the temporary physical & abandoned the eternal spiritual. & have they not known that the dowry of love is one’s soul? An endowment of life, and an investment of time – that which cannot be returned. but it is indeed the most beautiful of investments, and the most profitable of deals. Have any of your beloveds paid due their dowry? Have they all paid their dues: their souls? Have the rulers of Damascus remembered that love? Or those in Cairo beseeched after timeless victory? Have they all not abandoned Jaffa? & have Costantonipole not fallen before those who wake up to draw borders? & only sleep after all the minds of Arabia are conquered . . .

lands are not colonized, O Istanbul. but only the minds of those who dwell in those lands are colonized.

but that does not change anything. A diamond on a collar or on the ground is still as expensive. because that love exists, despite the borders, the rifles & the different names of your beloveds. love exists because of them and despite of them. there shall remain a dowry due to that city of Ottoman demeanour, Arabian tales carried in the breeze swaying from Damascus, and writings of Egyptian lovers who dwell in the oddments of the empire.

Like me.

for I hold the dowry due to that city which witnesses the meeting of the East & the West. A city of refuge for the refugees – of love. Not the love of the city shall it be, nor the love of an empire that once was – not for any names or any people in any space & time. But for that which was carried in the souls & hearts that manifested in the reunions of beloveds. for the love of the richness in congregations, & the love of He whom they congregated before.

for I am no territory of empire. nor am I land due a border’s extension. I am a soul seeking refuge in the pages of your history – to re-love, to redraw and to rewrite. I hold so much more to be lived and written.

& so much to reminisce: the names, the tales, & the geographical features that tell stories of other lovers who wrote words like these every time you embraced them in refuge. And after all that has passed and all that has been, you continue to embrace those who seek your refuge. For whom love does not bring back in victory, are brought back on their knees – in the perfect position to pray!

I know that these tales will change no history: no past & no present. For words do not change the geography. But words can change us, and we can change the geography. Words can move souls, and redirect them to where they are due: to you.

There is a dowry from the lands of Arabia due to this city. & in Arabic, a city is linguistically female & metaphorically beautiful & sacred by the virtue of Medina. A city is a beautiful woman that moves hearts, & sounds like music with stories she recites from the endless pages of history carried in the wrinkles of her features.

A city is light, like a woman’s glowing eyes reflecting light from the moon. & just as the writers of Arabia saw women’s beauty in the moon – this city is like the moon – in its light, in its beauty, & its distance from me.

*an excerpt from May 2017*
Picture taken in August 2013 – Nikon D40.


كفاكم هوس بالمرأة و ما ترتديه أو ما لا ترتديه .. و ما تعمله أو ما لا تعمله.

كفاكم دناءة الحكم على الأخر – و بالأخص إن كان عن طريق الأقمشة لا الأدمغة !

كفاكم عجرفة دكتاتورية شرقية لا دينية و كفاكم بدع هزلية غربية لا ليبرالية.

كفاكم حصرها في ثقافة واحدة أو في ذوق واحد أو في القالب الأنثوي الوحيد الذي يكمن في أركان دماغك.. دماغك الذي لو كان يتعرف على نفسه و يتثقف من غيره ؛ لعرف أن قالبك هو لك أنت فقط و أن عدد اختلافات قوالب هذه الدنيا بعدد كل بني آدم.

و لعرف أيضاً أنك لست على صواب دائما..
و عندما تصيب .. فأنك لست على صواب.. وحدك!
و لا أن الحكمة خُلقت لك وحدك.

الأنثى أحكم من أن تكون “رأي” .. و أزهى من أن تكون لون .. و أحيا من أن تكون جسد ..و أثرى من أن تكون مجرد رداء .. و أرقى من أن تصنف حسباً : “الحسناء.”

كفاك حصر جميع الفتيات في فتاة أحلامك التي تتحكم بها قبل أن تكون لك.

كُف عن حبها لأنها كما أنت تحب، و أحبها لأنها كما هي. كفاك هوس التحكم و كفاك تقديس دماغك. كفاك احتساب نفسك كالحق.. ان كنت على حق فأنت مع الحق و لكنك لست الحق نفسه! فالحق من أسماء الله عز و جل.. و الطريق إليه “بعدد نفوس الخلائق”.

كفاك ظناً أن كل البشر معهم نفس الامتحان في هذه الدنيا.. و إن كان المنهج واحداً، فأجوبتك النموذجية لن تحل و لا تحل إلا لاختبارك فقط!

كفاك حُب ذاتك و السعي لتطبيع كل من حولك إلى نُسخ منك. أولادك صاروا أعداد رقمية من فلذات دماغك الذكوري الذي يدور حول “الأنا.” حتى إنك تركل مقام كل من يعترض عليك.. و تشبههُ “بالمرأة”.. كأنها نكرة تستنكر بها ما تعده منكراً. فجأة تنسى أن من ربّتك هي امرأة.. و إن كان منها أي منكراً فهو إخراج أمثالك للدنيا!

كفاك التمرد على تربيتها بعد أن ربتك.. و كفاك استحقار جسدها – وطنك الأول قبل أن تخرج للحياة. و وطنك الأنيس في مسكنك و خلوتك و وطنك الرحّال حينما تنفيك الأرض لأركانها.. و لربما هو وطنك الأخير الذي تتكئ عليه لحظات سكراتك.

و لو أن هناك منتهى أبلغ من ضلوع امرأة لسافرت منه روح سيد الرجال صلى الله عليه و سلم وقت فراقه للدنيا . . .
هي الوطن الأول و الوطن الأخير.. و وطن كل ما بين ذلك.

كفاكم تغطيتها أو تعريتها.. كفاكم أخذ القرار بالنيابة عنها. كفاكم تنوير الاحتشام و تهميش غض البصر. و كفاكم تقديس المظاهر و اعتراء الظاهر.

تستنكرون وأد الإناث تحت التراب و تستحلون وأدهن فوقه!

أخطاؤكم طيش .. مراهقة .. و أخطاؤهن جريمة و عار؟

تمنعون النساء من العلم و العمل ثم تبحثون عن طبيبة (أنثى) لتفحص بناتكم!  ما لكم كيف تحكمون؟

كفاكم نصب فقه المرأة للرجال.. كفاكم تحويل كل حديث عن مشاكل المجتمع و الأسرة و الأخلاق إلى المرأة وحدها.

تحرروا.. تحرروا من “الأنا” و تحرروا من سجون آرائكم الدكتاتورية.

كفاكم السكوت عن الحاكم الدكتاتوري الظالم الذين تُشبهونه في المنزل و تنقدوه على مقاهي ذكورية تبحثون فيها عن أشباهكم لكي تطمئنوا أنفسكم أنكم على ما يرام.

كفاكم إخفاء كل نقاط ضعفكم فيها!

كفاكم الهوس بها اذ أنتم ترجمونها بعُقد زمانكم الذي سلب ‘رجولة’ الكثير منكم..

هذا النوع من الرجال لم و لن يعرف وطناً كالنساء. حتى أنهم لم يفتشوا إلا فيهن عمَّا يثبتون به للدنيا أنهم ما زالوا رجال. فتشوا عن أي شيء يكسرونه كالأطفال. يُكَسرون ليلبثوا يصيحون أنهم الأقوى .. و لتسمعهم الدنيا و تقر أنهم مازالوا ذو رجولة. أو كذلك يعتقدون بين كل كسرة و كسرة.
و لأن الدنيا أنثى هي الأُخرى – كأم تفعل ما بوسعها لنوم صغارها – أخذتهم بهفافة عقولهم و أقنعتم و يا ليتها ما أقنعتهم – أنهم على صواب!

أقنعتهم لإسكاتهم بهذه اللعبة لكي تلهيهم فتعمل نساء الأرض في صمت.. بدون انتظار رأي هؤلاء الظالمون من الرجال.

و لبثت تعمل النساء و معهن من رحم ربي من الرجال.. و بات الآخرون بثرثرة في المقاهي عن كيف هن النساء أهل الثرثرة!

كفاكم تهميشنا و افسحوا لنا محلاً في المساجد و مقاعد في القيادة و منابراً في الفقه و بضع صفحات في الجريدة و بعض من هذا و ذاك الذي لم تقع عليه قط نون النسوة.

كفاكم الهوس بالمرأة يا عرب و يا عجم.. كفاكم الهوس السلطوي و كفاكم ظناً أن كلمات كتلك تكره الرجال. كفاكم ظناً أننا مثلكم نسعى للتحكم و التسلط.

الحريم هن حُرمات الله. هن حُرمات كبيت الله الحرام.

كفاكم انتهاك حُرمات الله . و كل ما جعل الله لكم أرضاً حَرماً من مسجد ٍ أو مسكن ٍ.

كفاكم جاهلية..

و كفاكم ظن أن الله لم يهدِ سواكم!

كفاكم ظن..

و كفى.

coffee trees


A picture of me taken in a citadel in Syria. قلعة الحصن

In spirit of the place & the silhouette, I share the words below.

You can consider them dedicated to a land, to a person or to yourself.

A silhouette it is.

This is how we see each other now. Far. Very far standing at the top of a citadel, armed with egoistic prejudices. & afraid to let go – to fall down – in love.

You are very far now. & the distance between us is a traveler’s journey that I read about in poetry books. Travelling all the way to you is worth it, but I am afraid. I currently dwell in my comfort zone. & reaching you could be so uncomfortable.

Deep down, I know you are worth it. I just cannot see that. & how can you believe that which you cannot see? & how can you see in the dark? & How can you see that which is far: very far away!

Between you and I are refugees of love. Diaspora out of a war about ego scattered around the rocks of the citadel & reaching far to the corners of the city. Our awkward silence is only reinforcing their suffering.

Between you and I is war, love & strangers from ancients travels who want to colonize our hearts. But also there exists the resistance of our family – in
the writers of Cairo, the readers of Iraq, the publishers of Lebanon, & the roads of Jerusalem.

Between you and I, is a huge difference. Despite the proximity of geographical locations, the greatest distance to travel will be the one from my heart to your’s.

Everyone wants to travel the globe to explore the world, but no one wants to travel to their beloved to explore their heart.

Between you and I, are the different countries inside of us. & the different sects that are fighting for our hearts. We are torn between different cultures, languages and traditions. Even though they seem like one, we speak a different language now. & I don’t mean the vocabulary of the mother tongue – I mean the language of mental capacity, spiritual chemistry, & mutual understanding. “The click” – if you will. It is the sound of the reunion of souls that indicates that putting them together is a good fit. The perfect key for the perfect lock. The sound of opening the doors of every chamber in our hearts. That language is more powerful than our different vocabulary & grammatical syntaxes. A language, despite the different terminologies, has the same translations of love, growth, unity, harmony & family.

I can tell you are trying to see me in the crowd of seekers. So, I invite you to divorce their proposals & seek refuge in me. If they change your geography, my heart can be your home & you can always live in my heart. & that, my dear, they cannot change. ever!

I will remind you of the smell of mint leaves in your sidewalks.
& the fresh aroma of basil trees in the gardens of your family.
The sprinkled thyme on the oven-cooked bread.. infused with the smell of white Jasmine flowers from my grandma’s balcony.

& bed time stories will be about war and love – from stories that refugees brought to my expatiation. Stories that keeps us aware of the sufferings of this world, but also ones that I will turn into songs to put you into a warm goodnight sleep in my arms.

I will show you old photos of you, when you were not even aware of your beauty. & to every picture, we’ll chant an old Fayrouz song as we imagine her voice echoing in the mountains of your territories. The exact same songs that were on our road trip playlist as we drove towards your churches up the hill. & as we stopped by your mosques in Damascus, the norias of Hama, the markets of Hims, & the people of Aleppo.

Between you and I, was an old man who worked in a store near my aunt’s house. He sold me candy as a little girl & prayed to God that He may increase my money, every time I gave away Syrian Liras in exchange for candy. 🙂 He listened to Marcel Khalifa as he sang the words of Mahmoud Darwish. He does not know that he taught me the etiquette of buying and selling, a taste in music and poetry, & genuine smiles to strangers. He entrenched in my memory a desire of connection to every grand parent who stores history in their wrinkles.

& then my grandmother was one time in her balcony watering her basil trees – she looked at me and she shared memories of her childhood in your heart. She told me that she loves you. So, I did.

Just like I love anything else that she loves.

Because my beloved’s beloved, is my beloved too. 🙂

She always spoke of you with a glow in her deep brown eyes. Her wrinkle lines changed in length with every story she recited. It was too much for me to take all at once, because my little world was just her small vintage apartment. Since then, I knew that expanding my mental map would be a challenge. Her words implied that loving you is not easy, and shall never be. As if you are like a rare apple that hangs at the highest point on a tree. One has to climb & endure the fear in order to be rewarded by the most beautiful taste of pleasure.

I could tell that you are like one of those beautiful people who are worth a lot of investment. An expensive price to pay for nearness. And the currency is not Lira. The currency is emotional, intellectual & spiritual presence. & The only prerequisite to obtain it is bravery. Only the brave from us can come closer to you. & the rest can decide that you are not for nearness, & just watch you from very far away in admiration.

& all that remains to them shall be that which is between you and them. The smell of basil trees, my stories, & the radio looping the melodies of Marcel Khalifa.

Song Pairing: Marcel Khalifa – Sajar Al-Ban.

كلمات محمود درويش :

“بيني وبينك سجر البن
وحبّ الهال
وزهر النوم
بيني وبينك تسع جبال
وعرب وصحرا
وغيبة يوم
بيني وبينك ضربة رمح
وفرس وسيف
وهجم الصبح
بيني وبينك طيرة طير
ونادوا كلُّن ع الفراق
وقطفني متل الصبيّر
صوت الغنّو بالعراق
رايح إسرقلك غابة،
واسرقلك جان
وعلق ع سجر البحر
عقود المرجان.
لو نقدك كان مدينة
وبالشام العرس
لاركب ع الفرس وجبلك
مفتاح القدس.”

it’s complicated.

do you go for he who loves you?  or for who you fell for ? incline towards? or merely admire? what if they are not the same person? what does love mean in each case? what does love mean in general rather? is one way better than the other? do you love with your mind? or do you love with heart as conventionally known? can you love with both? is love an emotion? or is it a thought? a belief? an idea? a social construct? or is it ‘real’?

what does that mean for love?  what would the implications be in terms of emotional well-being? what does that mean for growth?  what would the implications be in terms of mental well-being? what does that mean for feeling a  sense of comfort, tranquility, safety, intimacy, and even home? what does that mean to ‘home’? can a person be your home? a person’s heart, rather?

is that which is far from the eyes, far from the heart? is it true that true love only gets stronger with distance? and if it fades then it never was?

what if you like the idea of someone liking you, but not inherently liking the person? how do you know if you like someone for ‘them’ & who they are, or for the ‘idea’ of them? & how do you know if they like you – inherently for you? or merely the ‘idea’ of the ‘package’ you come with? isn’t it tricky to get out of that paradox?

do you still call that love or attachment? how to know the difference between infatuation, attachment and love? can we even call that clinging feeling love before we have sacrificed anything as big as ‘signing our life away’ i.e marriage?

is it OK to ask some vulnerable questions? are people going to judge? can some of them think that they are immune to these contestations? can any of them think that they are immune to falling in love?

the reality is – that there is no right or wrong answer for all these questions. perhaps because there are no answers at all. or merely the answer could be: its complicated.


I wonder how people stand before a mirror – & in an instance – see themselves as they have always known it. An imitation of their physical presence, including all the details that they like and the details they are insecure about. They even see their beautiful attributes that they know no one else has seen in them – except for those courageous ones who came closer at an intimate proximity to kiss their forehead or wander in the galaxies inside their eyes.

Hazel brown skies & olive green orbits glow from an intimate distance to my mirror. Hazel as Adam & Moses.  & green as deep as my grandmother’s olive oil tin pouring onto thyme. As if those eyes hold on to the geographies of your bloodlines. & they may be in my capillaries too.

Actually, they are.

Because my mirror is different. It knows me more than myself, and loves me more than I do. My mirror never unleashes my defaults and scars. My mirror is a ‘she’ – & she never reflects my insecurities. Because she does not see me with my eyes – she sees me with eyes of her own. & I reflect in her’s so beautifully – that I sometimes wonder if I do really look like her, or are her eyes so beautiful, & hence my reflection? They are eyes that kind of look like mine, but they see all that I don’t.

She is a mirror of spiritual presence, & not only the physical.

My mirror is my soul mate. Myself in a different body, and myself in a different scenario of a lifetime. She is a unique mirror – very untypical – because it never reflects me. It reflects everything that I am not, and everything that I aspire to be.

She is beautiful. & Sara, I call her, is my better half.