Open mindedness & disrespect; women draw that line.

Disclaimer: In no way this post is intended to a specific person. So if you feel targeted, take a chill pill sweetheart and ask yourself, why you do feel I’m addressing you? Thank you! 

In Lebanon, every woman considers herself from the highly esteemed ‘haute société’ however forgets to behave as such in society. We have said it many times, ‘l’habit ne fait pas le moine’ (the cloths do not make the man) but alas such expression reaches the deaf ears of Miss Louboutin, Mrs GuccixRandomLebaneseFashionDesigner and the lot of them.

However I am not here to judge your cloths, they are gorgeous, but your attitude? Nay Nay/ Abort. Who am I to judge? Well I am a very concerned citizen (and yes I come from a highly respected family-the real deal B), a woman who is alarmed by the high rise of disrespectful, vulgar and ugly women inside and out elevating in social circles and being given credit and respected for doing nothing at all. Well technically, not nothing at all, #BlessedForSugarDaddy’s helping wallet in accessing the right circles…

On the other hand, let’s forget the aesthetic and focus on personality.

I personally believe that any form of (well brought up/good family *hint hint) personality overshadows materialistic cloth. I will give you credit. Ok. Fine. However, surprise surprise. I wish I left you at Prada and never let you open your mouth. Looks like being liberal and open minded has led you to another complete stratosphere.

I have come to notice that, as of late, women are being tacky and petty in the name of ‘being liberals and open minded’. I have nothing against these two features, however etiquette should be brought into the equation. A well brought up woman (so she says whenever she wants to address her family roots in public) should not turn into a loud mouth babbler whenever she wants to make a public statement. Ranting is good. Being moderate is even better. However ranting on anything and everything is just not making a point. It is being a vulgar psycho socially. Take a chill pill babe.

For crying out loud, what happened to women being poise in society? What happened to brilliant minds? All I see is them being overshadowed by loud mouths? What happened to tackling a problem or making a point in a polite way? Diplomacy anyone?

What happened to Lebanese women raising the standard high? Yes there are very successful women out there. And yes many of them come from neat background, however shouldn’t we start giving credit and elevating these successful minds up the bar instead of those trolls parading on and offline?

Again I am not against the concept of being liberal and open minded, however I am for tact and a woman behaving like one.

Draw that line. Please.

xo

 

“I’m engaged, I can’t talk to you”

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I am never going to understand Arab mentality and the dos and donts of the society I come from. Over the many years I have spent in Beirut, Lebanon and the many men I dated and had long term relationships with, I have never quite understood the few silent agreements between couples, especially those engaged to be married within the year.

Apparently there is a hidden rule that states that once you are engaged, you, automatically, will have to stop interacting with humans from the opposite sex. Yes! Shocker!!

Yesterday I was catching up with a very close friend of mine. From the moment we took seats, I felt she wasn’t herself. Born in Canada, but raised in Lebanon, Saria inherited the Western values vs the Middle Eastern ones.

Here is her story.

Her very close friend who immigrated to the USA a few years back was in Beirut for the holidays. Both friends have kept in touch(whatsapp/fb messenger/instagram all that jazz) throughout the 9 years of his leaving and it was his first time back to visit friends and family. One itch however, he got engaged to his long time on-off girlfriend in the states and was here to officialize the union.

Don’t get me wrong, we are, oh-so-happy for the chap.

What we are appalled by is the fact that, although a few days before his arrival and anticipated reunion with his close friend (Saria) through a whatsapp message, Mister X shifts 180 degrees on Lebanese soil. We give him a few days, even a week (we are generous) to catch up with his family, close, far, in between. On the second week, we decide to get in touch and set a date for the meet up. Busy one day, sudden appointment the next day, and many “I will let you know, we will play it by the ear” (Lebanese style) came the day of his departure!

No wait, let me be specific, I rephrase that, ….came the morning of his departure.

Saria is no naive girl. Trust me. She knew something was wrong the moment she heard his voice on the phone. She knew that the person by the end of the receiver is no longer her friend. She knew all of that but for the sake of the 10+ years of friendship, gave X the benefit of doubt. All came tumbling down when he decided to give her 20min of his precious on his way to the airport (btw her house is a dot on that highway leading there, so two birds in one stone, you know the shizzle…). It all took for her such suggestion of a pop-up meeting to explode on the phone. He did what any lame boy would do and twisted everything to look innocently guilty. You know that “you are right, I was a jerk” blabla.. and they resumed their phone call on that.

As you know a story is not quite one without the cherry on the top moment. And her cherry came in the form of a block on Facebook and Instagram jointly in the same hour that it took him to get to the airport, on his plane and off to Washington DC. Pathetic. Loser.

Am I Right or Right??

Well when it comes to anything Lebanese related (friendship, relationship and social) I am not the least surprised at most of the experiences endured by my friends. From what I witnessed, my friend was more shocked than angry. This was a guy who left his family, friends and country for a better life abroad. In his lonely times, he connected through social media with his friends back home (among them Saria). I know Saria and I know the kind of person she is when she puts all her energy into her friends & family. And I know for a fact that this guy went through a depression, away from everyone (it’s normal) and that Saria was there, amidst the hour gap, conversing, cheering. Well being the definition of a very good friend.

Moreover, I very well know how of a coward Lebanese men are when they get engaged. I mean you got engaged, that does not mean that you have turned gay (my respect to the gay community) or are a cheater if you are hanging out with friends from the opposite sex. I mean if you have had feelings for that specific friend then ok you move away when in a serious relationship. Fine I’ll give you that, ok (although..well…). But just cutting and throwing away friendships like that, no no!!

How do you define these men?

Cowards?

Immature?

Full of low self esteem?

Not Trustworthy?

Have relationship issues?

Have life issues?

Well I would tick all the above and more.

If you have a friend who has cut you off because of the change of his relationship status, then know this, its not you, its definitely him/her and the above mentioned traits (and more).

You are better off with that sort of drama because if one thing is for sure, these people are going to be facing many issues when interacting with society as a whole.

Last but not least, congrats on your union!!

xo

 

 

What they omit telling you about Lebanon.

They love to brag about everything that is cliche about the country; the beach, the snow, the different sects living within, the rooftop parties, and blablabla…. but most importantly they omit to describe to you the truth.

The truth that every Lebanese knows about his 10452m2 heaven on earth but dare not say and sometimes shuns away from.

Bullet pointed below are few of these points based on reality fact checks:

  • First of all, and most importantly for anyone coming from abroad, the country stinks. Yes it stinks. If you do not believe me, please do travel for a few months, come back and tell me what hits you first thing you set foot outside the airport. A lousy stench. That’s what slaps your nostrils in the face.
  • Second of all, we all agree that Lebanon is no longer the Switzerland of the Middle East. Neither, can we be all high and mighty by thinking that we are better than the UAE. We are not. We are by far, worse than any of the Arab countries we so love to look down on. Take a mere example of how they abide by their rules (ex:transportation/road system/labor) and societal norms, while we live like pigs by disrespecting the law every chance we get or bending the rules to suit our livelihood and further trashing our already (literally) trashed country by throwing tissue out of our car.
  • The social rules and regulation set aside, this country is not only polluted, its citizen lacks hygiene. By the latter, I mean you cannot walk down the street without stumbling on dog poop. You just cannot have an enjoyable walk because you are too busy staring at the ground. To all dog owners out there who do not clean up behind their four legged furs I have one thing to say: I hope you slide and fall on dog poop next time you are out with ‘Vanilla’ / ‘Vodka’ (yes, because c’est pas cool de donner un nom commun a son chien-chien ).
  • Men are pig? Yeah maybe.. but Arab men are far worse. There is an alarming frustration /sexual tension among men from this part of the world. I think all women living in Lebanon will agree with me that one cannot go out in public wearing as she pleases without being harassed. Before you jump down my throat, I am not talking to the fashionistas who wear their mini shorts and parade from one place to another in their cars hence cannot be subjected to such degrading behavior. I am talking about women who prefer to walk their way around like me and although wearing your basic jeans and t-shirt or knee length shorts are subjected to ogling eyes and orgasmic interjections from men (young/old alike). Do not tell me you haven’t witnessed slow moving cars and the generosity of drivers letting you cross the street while their eyes focusing on your Bs (boobs & butts ladies!).
  • I think one thing that I have not, till this day, understood, is the popularity of the New Range. Range Rover, New Range, whatever the name and model, I think you visualized the car. Lebanese love this car. No wait. They worship this car. This mean of transportation equals status, class and wealth. Oh how I would love to slap some sense into this visual cliche. This car might be worth 150,000$ when bought the latest year of production, full option and brought from the nest (Europe), however I have seen so many buying them second (if not third) hand from car dealerships and on installment (end price say 25,000$) just so they can parade on the ill-made roads of the city. Still acting like a snob because of your vehicle? Well think again, my mechanic (with all due respect) has just bought his NR and I am pretty sure he is not as wealthy as he wants to show / be. Your car is so overrated!
  • Open minded? Free? No we are not open minded. Nor are we free. We like to show that we are. Thank God we are not oppressed like the citizens of the KSA. But we are not open minded nor are we free to act as we please. If its not the stone age laws that sets us back, it is the social norm/ mentality that does.

I don’t know about you but a caricatural image of a sort has formed in my mind when re-reading this post. I am not trying to mock the country. I am simply stating facts and the truth of every day real life in Middle Eastern Lebanon.

Tell me you haven’t felt, witnessed and thought about the above mentioned points.

Be honest.

xo

 

At the airport: The typical Lebanese Travelers.

We all travel. We all cross path with different types of people at the airport. Its a nice thing to witness diversity at its best especially in a small closed space such as the airport, specifically the waiting area of the gate.

My last travel, outbound as well as inbound, waiting for the boarding time surrounded with fellow Lebanese citizens, made me cringe to the point that I was grateful to be leaving all 10452km2 behind and dread the comeback by glimpsing what is awaiting me.

Leaving behind civilization, I stumble with a heavy heart to the waiting area of the MEA flight bound to Beirut. Always one of the first to get to the gate, I find a seat and mind my business reading a book while waiting time to pass by. For those who travel often or have lived abroad, reading a book while waiting the bus, the train or anything really, is a very common behavior. However, as always I cannot not be tempted in looking around, and as always the typical characters pop, further emphasizing the traits of the Lebanese fellowman (that are so dear to my heart!).

Here are few of the typical Lebanese traveler:

  • The chatter: He is always on the phone talking loudly to, I’m assuming, a bored listener waiting for his arrival at the other end of the line. The conversation always starts with “Hey man, ana bel mattar natter el tiyara. Eh bi London, elet be7kik shway. Chu bro…..” . I am not exaggerating many times I have faced this PoloXTodsXHermesBelt wearing ‘jagal’ at the gate. I have no clue what he is trying to prove as he is departing towards a city where clone-like men await him.
  • The casual nonchalant: She takes the casual airport outfit too seriously. Instead of throwing a sweatpants and some nikes, she strolls into the waiting area wearing her VS leggings with matching top, sunglasses headband(ed) on her head, a LV carry-on, naturally made up and a pout of boredom that goes with it.
  • The rebellious teen: she has been living abroad all her life and is traveling for summer vacations. One look and you know that she is thrilled to be heading back home to meet those annoying and loud relatives. To further stress her stand against the travel arrangements and create shock effect, she has dyed her hair a pinkish/violet shade and has electric blue nail polish on her bitten nails. A must accessory that goes with her ; the iPod!
  • The family returning home from vacay: first glimpse and u know that their vacation was a success. The father is still wearing his shorts, fanny pack and sandals (that in my opinion should have been banned a long time ago). The mother is chatting with her friend (another couple is always tagged along these outings) still in shock of yesterday’s cheap dinner at a high end restaurant. The children are asking over and over again when are the gates to be open and if they can sit by the window (not aware of the shotgun concept yet!).
  • The loner: You always have this type sitting by himself minding his business, playing with his phone, plugged to his ears, intently scrutinizing his surrounding. Assuming he is a student, returning for summer vacation. I wish everyone on board were as simple and calm as this person.
  • The social: This is my nightmarish type of traveller. He enters the waiting area all smiles and eager to board the plane. He does not sit and his fidgeting would give anyone a major headache. He reminds me of a kid unsure if he should ask the teacher to go to the bathroom or wait recess. To make things worse, this is the type that ends up chatting me up. What a delight especially when I hear the broken english words coming out of his mouth. One sharp cold answer to his question leads him to ask the hostess when the doors will open while I unconsciously pray I won’t be having to bare him in the seat next to me.

You gotta give it to the Lebanese to be unique in their traveling gear. If you do not believe, then I politely suggest you fucking take a plane and witness it all with your own set of eyes.

ps: I do not want to go further into detail of the chaos that ensues in the airplane before and after take off. That’s an altogether issue by itself.

Lebanese Society at its Best- Happy ‘In’dependence Day!

When I say that I love my country, I only want to make sure that you understand that I am only including the natural sceneries, the mild weather, the friends that make it bearable to live in and THATS IT. That aside, I do not appreciate what Lebanon is turning into, going from being the Paris of the Middle East to a state lived by a back warded mentality of selfish goons.

What makes a country is its citizens. Lebanese citizens are ambiguous & ridiculous at best. They long for a certain lifestyle yet implement another traditional mindset in their everyday action. The following are a few of the type of Lebanese that I have encountered within my surrounding that either make or break Lebanon. Honestly they mostly break it, but thats for you to judge.

man-vs-society

1- The 5% billionaires.

I know what you are going to say. Those are the people that have built businesses and own multinational enterprises, hiring as much as 50+ employees and hence providing indirectly to many families. Yet those are the people that would care less about what is affecting civil society in general. Its another thing if it were to hit their wellbeing or bank accounts. How many of you have encountered young adults from these families who only cared for their latest purchases, whether its the latest car or bag, rather than society’s uproar against governmental corruption or the garbage crisis? Those are the people that live by the slogan of “joie de vivre” whenever there is an explosion and innocent lives are shattered or protests and roads are closed, leaving them clustered at home. Their motto is to continue with their night outs trying to convince everyone that no one should let factors out of their reach affect their lives. Their motto is to “be strong and show them perpetrators that they will not let anything affect my social life”. Offsprings from such families are a disgrace for the future of the country as they portray a shallow image of the population at large.

2- The “bullshitters” 

The funny part is that those are the ones that constantly nag about the corrupt aspect of the government, the raising prices of just anything (food, clothing, outing), the implementation of a traffic law with exorbitant fines and the garbage infested streets since the unresolved garbage crisis. However those are the ones that will continue voting for the same leaders if they had the chance (see the parliament has adopted anew trend of re-electing itself any chance given), will continue getting loans for unnecessary purchases, will almost break the traffic law on a daily basis by double parking or not wearing a seatbelt and disregard the recycling campaigns because they cannot be bothered sorting out their trash in different compartments.

3- The “victims”

Those are the citizens that are stuck with this system. They are; owners of small shops, governmental employees, fresh graduates stuck with passionless jobs. Whichever their status in the workforce, they all share a similar point; they can not wake up one day and just call it quits. They are stuck with their position or businesses because they do do not have a better opportunity elsewhere in the market, better yet abroad. They are victims because, contrary to the sharks managing their state of affairs, they cannot come down to “playing it dirty” to get their way. Three words; they have morals. Trust me when I say that those are the ones that go through shit loads of pain and challenges just so that they can survive daily in this country. Apart from their upbeat morale, you will come to notice that this category of people is the nicest and genuine of them all, selfless and generous despite their limited means.

 

To be honest with you there are many people who make or break a country. Concerning my city, I have come up with the above mentioned general types without being too specific, leaving you, my readers, to brainstorm and remember people from your own encounters. Within each category, I am sure a face (if not several) popped instantly. I don’t know about you, but living among people who careless about society in general (vs their own pockets) and others who have become way too deeply nonchalant about the future of their current hometowns, made me after years of my return to Lebanon three steps further into returning to my civilized adoptive country. Am I less patriotic? yes I am. I have come to terms with judgmental opinions and cliche snaps about Lebanon. Few are those who are fighting for the well being of their country. Fewer are following them every passing months. As long as the citizens established in this city do not make a simple effort (let’s take an obvious example here) of ‘abiding by a traffic law’ without hiding behind the matter of fact statement ‘there are still bribes going on so why give the government pleasure of filling its pockets’, major changes will not settle into their mindset.

Not now. Not ever.

Maybe their grandchildren’s three generation down the road will…

But again I doubt….

Happy ‘In’dependence Day everyone!