You fell in Love with… Thank God it’s Over!

It’s true, before ending with our prince charming we all have kissed a few frogs and those who say they haven’t, well they are lying!

In this blogpost, I decided to share with you a few of the typical men you will one day fall in love with. You will not only regret them, but look back at and laugh at how gullible you were to fight for their love.

By all means, this is not an autobiography. Apart from a few hands-on experiences, it is mostly friends and acquaintance’s stories.

1- The Fuck Boy.

This is the number one asshole every girl will encounter and be manipulated by. Do not judge the girl. She is hopelessly looking for love and easily believing his promises of a future together. His aim is only to get into her pants.He will come up with several excuses when approached by the status of the relationship and take his distances once she starts being clingy. Surprise surprise, when he will eventually have a girlfriend and leave you in disbelief over that fact. But a fuck boy remains a fuck boy. Pray God that you came out of his grip not too harmed.

ps: He will contact you again after his break up. Don’t become one of those “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me” quoters. Just move on (away) from him.

2- The Commitophobe (#wordbymoi).

This gentleman (because yeah he generates that vibe) will ask you for a date, take you out to dinner, drinks and integrate you within his circle of friends. You will play house after a few months of being together. It’s a no brainer, he is the One. You’ve already planned you engagement a year+ later but,Surprise! Surprise, he breaks up with you. He is not ready. He never promised you anything. It was all in your head. You think about it and your realize that he is saying the truth indeed. He never talked marriage.

ps: You weren’t his One and trust me no one is either for the few years to come. Thank God he booted you out before that one year turned to two or three, in vain.

3- The Bipolar.

I am not sure if the title fits for this one, let me know if you find a better word for the person I am going to describe next. Before you started being too serious, he was openminded, generous, welcoming and embracing of your friends. Once the relationship tumbled into serious mode (after a few months) he completely changed. He became jealous of your friends, those same ones he met and enjoyed a couple of drinks with. You kissed your girls night out goodbye instantly. Your wardrobe became too skimpy for his likes. He started patronizing you and mistook his role of bf to father figure. The relationship ended because you just couldn’t continue with this new version of X.

ps: In my opinion, get away as soon as those traits come out of your boyfriend. You do not need a 21st century version of Khomeini in your future.

4- The condescending One.

You will never understand how you came to be in a relationship with this one. On paper he is perfect; same background, same religion, class and status. Your parents mingle within the same circle and well know one another too. Eventually you succumbed after a couple of dates into becoming his gf. For the wrong reasons. The latter being too good on paper than anything else. He doesn’t acknowledge you as a person, as his second half, only as the future trophy wife. He feels at ease in disrespecting you and your aspirations are null. He permits himself into acting this way because coming from a Middle Eastern society, women are desperately looking for their future husband based on these above mentioned points which, praise the Lord, you two have, so be merry and shut up. He abuses you emotionally. After a few months and many given chances you both give up. It just isn’t meant to be, pen & paper aside.

ps: It is a shame but it goes without saying, don’t settle for the one that will make your family and community happy. Go for the one that make YOU happy.

5- The Cheater.

He lacks self confidence. He has an emotional instability that dates back to his family dynamics. Oedipus’s complex much? Add to that; He is the player that suddenly turned saint when he met you. He wants to marry you. Shows you his materialistic accomplishments and offers you security. He takes you out and shows you off to everyone. You feel like a Queen. No you are the Queen. Now you peasants can become jealous. But we left out one thing here; the joke’s on you. You are a victim of his manipulative behavior. You are just a number, the xx-enth victim of his mind games. His goal? Well nothing at all. Life is a game for him. Get out of the field.

ps: He is a baller. And like that he is going to bounce in and out of your life if you permit it. Move on already and thank your prayers he’s on to his next victim.

 

It’s sad to know that there are many other types of relationships in which women fell and fought hard to keep for the wrong reasons.

Yes we have loved such men, and yes we imagined our future with them. However, I believe that God played a big role in teaching us lessons from such union and set us back to life in order to know whom to wait for.

Have you found your other half yet?

Trust me, you will…

xo

Bourj Hammoud; Safe haven for the survivors of the Armenian Genocide

Disclaimer: “Go ahead, destroy Armenia. See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a new Armenia.” William Saroyan

Today we mourn the death of 1.5 million Armenians, 950,000 Greeks and 750,000 Assyrians under the directives of the Ottoman Empire rulers. This extermination policy led Armenians to flee (warned by their Kurdish neighbors) to neighboring countries in what is known as the death march. Many settled in Der el-Zor (Syria) and more reached the coastal city of Beirut (Lebanon).

You can read my blog post on on the centennial commemoration of the Genocide by clicking on the link below; https://patylsperspective.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/the-story-of-an-armenian-genocide-survivor-my-grandmother/ 

Today I wanted to share with you all a glimpse of the safe haven Armenians built in Beirut city known as Little Armenia to some and Bourj Hammoud to most of you. This neighborhood, built out of a swamp, turned into an industrial and residential area for Armenians and other ethnic minorities over the years.

This past month I have visited Bourj Hammoud more than I have in the two decades I have lived in Lebanon. Many errands kept me going back and forth but it is mostly the genuine, cozy interaction with its residents, the real-feel of intimacy from its narrow streets and that old/vintage vibe that kept me going up to more than three times a week.

The infrastructure of Bourj Hammoud is an interesting one. Unlike its neighboring district, houses are built three/four stories high and the buildings stack up one next to the other each being polished its own unique way. The survivors of the first genocide of the 20th century did not despair about their fate. They took matters into their own hand and started building their future in this welcoming unknown territory. Most of them got employed just so to put aside some money in order to feed their families and eventually open their own businesses.

When strolling through the streets of B.Hammoud you will instantly notice that Armenians are handymen i-e they excel in the craft of art. They are known to be famous jewelers hence the stretch of jewelry shops on its main road. Furthermore when you enter the streets parallel to the famous Arax street, you will come to notice small shops selling dried food, spices and unimaginable artifacts (sometimes all sold under one roof).

The streets are narrow and permit one car to pass through (very slowly). Pedestrians walk in the middle of the road as well as on the pavement when permitted since most items from shops overflow onto the pavement. Although it is a busy street, you do not feel overwhelmed. People are lively, interactive and very much happy. If you have not heard Armenian before, be prepared to be drawn by its hubbub. Clothing shops tend to compete with each other and if you look closely you will notice that most of them sell to an extend the same products. I don’t know what you have heard but it is not easy to bargain with an Armenian. But you will most probably have heard before (and many times) that they are the most honest businessmen and their work speaks for itself.

How many of you have gone out of your way to buy in bulk from an Armenian vendor in Bourj Hammoud?

How many of you go first to an Armenian jeweler for an honest opinion about the price of a stone?

How many of you fashion designers have settled a deal with an Armenian clothing manufacturer to produce your collection pieces?

and again I’m going to ask you

How many of you swear by the work of Sako, Ara and Garo?

There you got it.

We might have been persecuted a century ago. We might have fled our home country. We might have spread worldwide. But we maintained our integrity, our faith and our trust in God that no matter where and no matter the circumstances we are going to remain and fight against all odds thrown our way.

I encourage you to visit Bourj Hammoud, take unique pictures, mingle with its residents and have a bite of some delicious Armenian food.

Trust me, the experience is one of a kind.

 

 

 

The wonders of Baalbek City.

Can you imagine I have been living in Lebanon for three decades and I have never ever visited the city of Baalbek located 85 km from Beirut in the northern Bekaa Valley.

For those not familiar with the city of Baalbek you might be wondering what’s so special about this city in particular. Well within the following post I will paint for you the historical rich city of Baalbek, its Roman temples of Jupiter and Baachus Temple, the remains of the Temple of Venus…  I bet I caught your attention now!

We woke up my sister and I energized on this Sunday morning (two weeks ago) excited about visiting Baalbek with a couple of other friends. My camera was all set, being charged the previous evening, phone batteries check, coffee sipped quickly and off we were picked up and on our way to the Bekaa.

The Bekaa region is a fertile valley within the eastern part of Lebanon. It is a farming area which I advise you to take nice shots of when seeing its sight from the mountainous height before descending towards it. I did not have the privilege of snapping some shots as my lovely riders were more interested in their bellies and looking for a snack to have breakfast. We stopped at Jaber Jaber, one of the snacks along the roadside and they each ordered a couple of 2arisheh. The latter is a famous sweet made of cottage cheese wrapped goodie with honey that is well known in the Bekaa area and to which many Beirutis drive to eat solely at. Not something I would eat but they swore to me it was delicious. I believed them as they ordered more than two (but hey who’s counting, right? 😉 )

We continued our trip after our 30min break.

A little bit of history.

As I mentioned, Baalbek is at 85 km from Beirut. It is a long road trip so I advise you to have an iPOD plugged into your car radio as the frequency gets messy the further you distance yourself from the capital. According to an online website, “Baalbek is Lebanon’s greatest Roman treasure and can be counted among the wonders of the Ancient World. They are the largest temples ever built and among the best preserved. Baalbek is located among two main historic trade routes. One between the mediterranean coast and the Syrian interior and the other between northern Syria and northern Palestine. ” .

Tourists flock to the city of Baalbek to visit the famous temple complex of Baalbek which is made of the Jupiter Temple and the Bacchus Temple adjacent to it. Further away is the circular Temple of Venus and  only part of the staircase remains of a fourth Temple dedicated to Mercury.

When we first reached Baalbek, we instantly saw the imposing monument of the Temple of Jupiter. You must be blind not to be hit by its beautiful stand on your left side. We parked on the road and started walking towards it. A nice man led the way to the entrance, of course beware of the local vendors who would insist on you buying scarfs or souvenirs from their cart.

We walked for more than hour. We took a lot of pictures. We met many foreigners visiting the site and listening avidly to the stories of their respective guides. It was charming listening 60+ year old guides talking fluently in English to their visitors. Which further proved to me of Lebanese pride in their history.

The Temple of Jupiter is made of six Corinthian columns thrusting 22meters into the sky. Built on a podium of 7 meters this would give you an idea of the vast structure at its original structure. Originally it was surrounded by 54 external columns which at this day lay in fragments around it. The standing columns are decorated by a frieze of bulls and lion heads.

Next the Little Temple of Bacchus is anything but little. Constructed during the half of the 2nd century, it is said that the temple was consecrated to a mysterious and initiated cult around the Young God of Baalbek. This God was identified as a solar and growth deity, whose birth and growth promised regeneration and eternal life to the faithful. Thirty three steps leads to its entrance, adding to its structure sitting on a platform 5 meters high.

We climbed those stairs and entered the temple you see above in the picture. It is very imposing. I left like an ant within its walls. Notice the man sitting in the middle? Turns out it is a popular place to take a picture of yourself sitting on a throne and imagining being a King- like.

We ended our tour and have we had the time would have visited the city itself. However it was already time for sunset and we preferred having our two hour drive back home in daylight and before the rush hour (it was Sunday, remember?).

On our way back, we stopped at a bakery and my sister and friends ordered the renowned ‘sfi7a baalbakiyeh’  which is a dough filled with meat. Another goodie that I did not try because I don’t eat meat (boohoo sue me!). However I did try a veggie item which I loved.

The return back to the capital was exhausting. It was longer than I imagined, but it was worthwhile discovering the Temples of Baalbek. My sister and I agreed that another visit is a must to explore the city itself and mingle with its inhabitants.

Visiting Baalbek should be crossed off every Lebanese citizen’s list.

Xo

An open letter to my boss; I’m out!

Dear Sir, 

Let me be frank & direct and ask you the following; who the fuck do you think you are treating your employees like their life has stopped the moment they were employed in your establishment? 

Who do you think you are, confined in your glass walled office, to yell at me and abuse me verbally for not conforming to your last minute demands? Who permits you to threaten me if I do not comply by your demands? And most importantly, who the hell granted you the mighty power to suggest I pack my bags and leave if I am not comfortable with my ‘altered’ job description?

I have my rights even though they were thrown out of the window the moment I went out of my way to work longer hours.

I have my dignity even when I sat silent in front of disgruntled and disrespectful customers because of the establishment’s motto “the client is always right”. 

I have my self respect even when my colleagues seem to have sold it for less for their end of the month meagre paycheck.  

I am an accomplished woman who takes her job very seriously but to a certain point. Don’t walk all over me, that’s what I am going to say.

My bad for not listening to my friend’s advice about my choice of employment. I have always stooped to bureaucratic jobs below my league. 

A job is a job regardless of your social status, I believed. However when your rights are null and you are taken for granted and disrespected, that’s where I draw the line. 

I am leaving.

So long bureaucratic slavery. So long arrogant employers. So long ungrateful colleagues.

I am leaving. 

Because I am worthy of respect, of gratitude and acknowledgment. Because I am not as much in need of this job as you are of an employee. Because I believe that receiving merely a paycheck above the SMIG is not worth the abuse, workload and ungratefulness of everyone present.

I wish you nothing at all. 

Sincerely not yours, 

The one with her self- respect intact, who left.

(NB: To those in the same position as the above mentioned woman, just leave because you are worth better elsewhere).

If you decide to do it – Don’t be AFRAID.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

This blog post goes out to all of you who are indecisive in taking the next big step in your life.

I know the struggle.

You want to spread your wings and fly away towards new horizons. Those, you have been dreaming for the last couple of months, if not years.

You want to become independent from the gripping hands of your surrounding.

You just want to get away from all the negativity and discouragement the ones around you have inflicted upon your person.

What’s worse in this dilemma is when your closed ones are those that will pull you further down instead of just giving you that extra push to let go and grasp your future.

Hereby I am writing to you, as I have experienced it first hand, why and how you should let go of their pettiness and jealousy and just throw yourself into oblivion.

  • Every one has a goal in life (those who don’t, well seriously, jump off a cliff). Your goal is yours. It is your baby and only you will work it, manage it, excel in it so as to succeed in it. No one will as they are not you. And thankfully will never be you.
  • A purpose in life is part of the cycle of life. You are put into this world to achieve something. Never underestimate your goal, never put others’ feelings about your purpose before your gut feeling.
  • Speaking of which, gut feeling is important. Gut feeling never lies nor unbalances you. It sets you straight towards attaining your goal and sometimes even better, abstain from certain decisions for better ones.
  • Critics are everywhere. And thank God for them. Never take them seriously, sometimes their reaction, behavior and opinion is what will let you remodel your purpose to excellency.
  • Jealousy? Well let’s face it, when a person is remotely jealous from another person’s vision, it is because he cannot relate. You will be surprised to notice that this same person has nothing going on with his own life, no goals, no achievements no nothing, hence that negative reaction. Logical right? (take a min and remember + think what I just said).
  • Always compare yourself to a successful friend, acquaintance or a family member. Their success will pave your way into the right direction.
  • Surround yourself with positive energy. If the household is pulling you down, grab your things and go work outside, in a coffeeshop or a co-work venue. You will surely be more focused, meet new people and get that pumped up energy into realizing you goal.
  • You don’t have your family support, fuck it! Haven’t you heard of the “friends become your chosen family” saying? Well now you have.
  • You have to, need to shine and make an impact in this life. Remember you are leaving a legacy behind , regardless its size. You are proving that the sky is your limit.
  • Most importantly, time is key. Stop delaying. Start.

My friends, the most important thing that I have learnt about achieving a long lost dream, is the effect of the reaction of your closed ones to it. I let discouragement and negativity affect me for a long time. But no more. Pursue your goals everyone. No one fails. because even if the outcome is not spectacular, but good, you know that the mere fact of daring and putting yourself out there is the most spectacular achievement of them all.

Love you all ❤

The Friends from the past; a blast!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

“There is something about childhood friends that you just cant replace” Lisa Whelchdel

If you are at university , even in high school, then this post’s timing couldn’t have been perfect. Mark my words when I say that, flash forward ten years, you will come to realize that good friends were, are and will forever remain the ones you spent most of your childhood days with.

Your childhood friends are those;

you have spent all your recess time with,

you hung every Friday after noons together at the mall,

you went to the movies, grabbed a bite, gossiped over your crushes,

all these and more will forge a place in your heart and will forever remain your most cherished memories of your past.

Come university years, many of you will separate and your path will diverge. Your dreams will take you to distant lands, different educational systems and rare, rare are those who will remain in contact with one other.

Within the confines of your new environment you will meet people that will share the same interests as you. The physicality, the distance, will play an important role in the separation of your childhood friends. Maybe not the first semester, but later on. Trust me (again).

I am sharing this with you because I experience this first hand (twice).

Georges was my best friend in high school. He was like a brother to me and always there for me. The true definition of a best friend. At university we separated and each went to its own. Thankfully the rise of social media brought us back together (online only). However, after 16 years of separation we finally made it and met over coffee. I did not know what to expect, yet I found my old friend. Same old Georges + married + wiser + as witty as before. I realized that after two decade of separation (HEY! I’m rounding the years here) we turned out to share more similarities in thoughts and how we viewed life and society in particular.

I really enjoyed my time with him and I anticipate our next get together before the distance separates us again.

An old friend of mine, whom I met a couple of months back (after 6 years of separation) told me something that struck in my mind “Your good friends are always going to be those that were in your life during your late teens. Those that no matter the separation, once met for coffee, will make you feel as if it were yesterday you last saw each other. And you will pick up the pieces and forge a stronger bond ..as if nothing ever happened”.

To you my friends, the day will come and when you go and catch up with your high school bestie, remember this; she/he will always be there anytime anywhere and any way imaginable.

xo

ps: do not misundertand me ; the friendships forged later on in life are genuine as well. However, those will never understand you fully, deeply as they were never there when your roots were being built.

pps: same goes to those childhood friends that were always there all those years; you grew up together only to be set apart unexpectedly suddenly…

 

“I’m engaged, I can’t talk to you”

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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