Dead numb

You know how sometimes, your day is going all right, all “routinish”, just like any other day? You wake up in the morning, grab your cup of Turkish coffee, brush your teeth, get dressed, go to class, come back home, make some plans. You know, same old. But then the most disturbing news hits you. A man your age, brother of 3, son of thousands in his village, was found in a car crash near his house. To our relief, he was very much alive. To our disturbance 20 minutes later, he died of internal bleeding. Pretty cool huh? Yeah that’s not the point. I knew the man ever since I was a kid, knew his family, knew his father in specific. His father? Let me brief you on his father. He’s what you would imagine an Arab man to be. Tall, big boned, mustached, with that natural frown on his face which he cannot control, in other words, he smiles -rarely- as he frowns. The kind of man who would do a dozen things altogether to provide for his family. The kind of man who would work sunrise til sunrise without sighing once. The kind of man who would always find a minute or two to praise the Lord and thank him for all his blessings. The kind of man that has never fallen to the ground, never given up, no matter how hard life struck him. He is a man I would feel smaller than a minim whilst shaking his hand, my 6ft tall body looks microscopic in front of his. He is all that a man would be. Last time I saw him was a year ago, before, that is, seeing him in church yesterday. Putting his son into the ground and kissing him one last time. That was what broke who was once a rock, down. 6 decades worth of tears flowed out of his furious eyes. 2 decades of love, care, went into the dirt and probably a hundred pounds of muscle in his body failed to keep him up. For the first time, he’d hit the ground. The masses stood in silence not out of respect for the little man’s body. They were in shock that Youssef had fallen to the ground. For the hours to follow, Youssef’s legs were unable to serve him well. He needed three men by his side to walk him. There he stood among his family members accepting people’s condolences. But what could words do to the loss of his son? How could people’s handshakes and sorry’s, make him feel even slightly better? I refused to walk up to him with my own mother and give him a word of relief. I had no idea what to say I had no guts to walk up to him as a mother and her SON, to tell him it’s going to be okay. It’s not, going to be okay. Having sent my mother all by herself, holding off her tears she quickly shook his hand and ran away before she would mix her tears with his. I pray to God to give me the strength, and as usual he never failed me. I walk up to him with my head held high in my all-black suit, grab his hand as strongly as I could and I swear I could feel it getting weaker than a baby’s, by the moment. Grab his shoulder with the other and pull him towards me. “You’re not alone,” I say, “God is by your side. God made sure you’d become a lion. Your son might have died, but he sure as hell doesn’t want the lion in you to die. You’ve got 2 men and a girl, not to mention their mother, who need your support and strength right now. Don’t bail on them. You can do this. You can do anything in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”. That frown was back on his face the look of fury that had left him for minutes was now even more furious and so help me God that man of a lion was back on track for the sole reason that he didn’t want to fail his son and the rest of his family.

Why am I telling you this? Because I have not yet hung out with anyone who does not like the taste of adrenaline. Their heart pounding and blood pumping strong just because they want to prove their balls of steel. Let me tell you something, that’s not how you prove your manhood. You prove your manhood when your own father raises his head whenever somebody mentions your name. You prove your manhood whenever your mother tells you she is happy with you you prove your goddamn manhood when you bust your ass off day and night to keep your parents comfortable. But trust me when I tell you, your balls of steel will do you no good when you’re laying in a white coffin with a Zaffé crew waiting to dance in your pre-mature wedding into heaven laying to your father’s right and your mother’s left. Your manhood won’t serve anyone when your father hits the ground and your mother collapses on top of you. Your manhood will not do you any good when you’re sitting helpless in the dirt. And trust me the sweet taste of adrenaline is no match to the bitterness coming out of your father’s aching heart. You wanna be a man? You gotta stay alive first.

May God rest your soul.


A Journey, between here and there…



Photo credit:

Above, you see a checkpoint at the borders between Lebanon and Syria. What’s with this post? We’ll get there in a minute.

In my previous article, Model United Nations? It did change my lifeI told you about how I completed several goals concerning my life, inspired by past events and actions. Among those goals is something I undermined, and didn’t fully talk about. Which was meeting a few amazing people who did eventually turn my life around. People who gave me a new perspective about life and a new way of thinking, showing me that there’s more to life than just education, a degree, a job and a few hundred bucks in your pocket by the start of a month.

While training these people, a certain student was about to give a prep speech. She couldn’t. She was too nervous at the time, the atmosphere was overwhelming and she broke down into tears. Two months later she wowed me and her directors at the MUN final conference, and nowadays she tells me about how people actually want to listen to her speak, which makes me as a friend rather than a trainer and an instructor, more proud and happy than I ever was. The more I talked to her the more I got to know what an amazing person she really is.

Oh, did I mention that she’s Syrian who is now a high-school student in Lebanon and she misses her country like hell?

Yeah so I asked her to share something with me about Syria, this was her reply

Say something about Syria
Is there anything left to say?
I mean.. They’ve already said it all
All I know is. No one will do it with my heart. My passion. My poetry. My background and thoughts. No one will do it like me.
It’s a wound in the apple of my heart
It aches me everyday till it stops at a certain point where all I can feel is numbness.
I always reach that ‘what can I fucking do about it‘ point. 
One thing i can never stop doing is love it. Love it with all I have and all I ever will. Teach my kids to value and cherish every single inch of it. 
I will tell tales..I will bleed on and on..
I will cry over this wound everyday because I know that when my time comes and all that blood stops circulating in my body I will not be buried next to my loved ones
I keep thinking of my future grave i don’t know why is that
It’s just humiliating for a person to be forced to live and die where fate drops him. I’m sick of having this life that depends on time and what it holds for me.. I just believe my case is different than everyone else’s for some reason.. Probably due to the lack of knowledge and settlement
I’m going off at a tangent here
Please excuse me
I can go on days and nights talking about my love for Syria and all types of memories I have. I just choose not to. I stick to the wound metaphor because it’s all I can come up with without crying for hours. It’s a page I decided to rip for the sake of moving on.. I feel so guilty but i know that i’ll be dedicating my life to change this tragic reality.
I will bleed.. But I will heal..”


Can you relate to this person? Do you have a story you’d like to share? Send us an e-mail at, and we will make sure you stay anonymous unless you wish otherwise.

Amal Alamuddin – Clooney’s Fiancée or Lebanon’s Marvel?


Over the past few days, the local social media has been circulating news about the famous George Clooney, getting engaged to a fellow Lebanese lawyer, Amal Alamuddin.

“Yeah this is one of many blog posts about this engagement, why continue reading yours?” you may ask?
Well usually I’d say no one is forcing you to read it. But this time, I want you to read it because as usual, I’m going to link this whole thing to the Lebanese mentality.

Now the reason why I said Local Media, is because only the local media cares about that. Only the local media sheds light upon her Lebanese nationality, and I’m sure that that very same local media had no idea who Alamuddin was before getting the news. Now the difference between local media and the rest of the world is the following:
Local media stresses on the fact that “George Clooney is now engaged to Lebanese Lawyer Alamuddin”, then states a few things about the engagement and that’s that.
But let me give you an example about some of the global media.

According to, for instance, Alamuddin is a 36 year-old Lebanese lawyer, who studied at St Hugh’s College at Oxford, began law school at New York University School of Law, where she worked as a student law clerk for current Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who back then was a judge at the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Then the website talks about her personal life, and what’s worth mentioning is that she joined the litigation department of New York law firm Sullivan & Cromwell and practiced US and international law there for three years. During her time there, she represented clients in criminal investigations, including the criminal probe of Enron. Amal currently works for the Doughty Street firm in England and specializes in international law, human rights, extradition, and criminal law. Amal is the legal adviser to the King of Bahrain and also represents WikiLeaks head Julian Assange

And some of her published work, which has been published in multiple books, including The Law and Practice of the Special Tribunal For Lebanon, which she coedited with Nidal Nabil Jurdi and David Tolbert.

Last but not least, let us not forget about some of the awards she’s gotten over the years:

During her time at NYU, Amal was honored with the Jack J. Katz Memorial Award, which is given to the student who has demonstrated the highest excellence in the field of entertainment law. She was also named one of the 21 hottest barristers in London in 2013 by the Tumblr blog Your Barrister Boyfriend.

Which pretty much wraps her biography in a few neat lines.
But let me ask you something. Did you have any idea about Amal Alamuddin before you heard about her engagement to George Clooney? Nope. Did I? Definitely not. That’s not a crime.The crime is referring to her as George Clooney’s fiancée, rather than “Just one of the most epic Lebanese lawyers who so happened to have gotten engaged to George Clooney”. We need people like her in our country. And if you’re wondering why she went abroad to get her education, odds are her parents were scared shitless from the situation that was taking place in Lebanon, odds are she wasn’t quite satisfied with the education offered here; every Lebanese citizen knows how ‘beautiful, amazing, civilized, modernized and respectful’ our Lebanese University is. Every Lebanese citizen could somehow relate to her leaving the country, but why not bring her back and make her feel Lebanon again? Why not make her be concerned about this country, her own native mother country? Maybe then, people will start hearing about Lebanon as the country of strong beautiful independent women who so happened to have gotten a law degree and gotten engaged to one hell of an actor and represented the King of Bahrain and Head of Wikileaks. Why don’t we have that? Because we’re not stressing on that. Why are we not stressing on that? That’s up to you to answer. Feel free to fill in the comment box.

Thank you.

To the Depressed and Suicidal: I Know How It Feels

This guy deserves a medal

Seth Adam Smith

I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to write this open letter. If someone you know is struggling with depression, or suicidal thoughts, please share this letter with them. I hope it helps.

To all that are struggling with depression,

I don’t know you. I don’t know who you are or where you’re from. I don’t know your background, nor do I know your unique circumstances. I don’t know if your depression is the result of your genetic disposition, or if it is caused by something terrible that happened to you in your past. I don’t know if you’re going through a major change in your life or if you’re struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one.

There are a lot of things about your fight with depression that I simply don’t know.

But let me tell you a few things that I do know.


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