This Is Hell

Following the recent mass murders occurring in Occupied Palestine by Israel, I allowed myself to create a visual piece by a photo originally taken by Hosam Salem.

This photo has touched my very soul and in it I see the beginning of the end of Humanity.
What is happening is a beginning of several scenarios for the end.

This Is Hell

Original Photo Credit: © Hosam Salem
Photo Edit + Concept: © Samah El Hakim

But hope still lives on, with love all things are possible.


The End

Just so you know:
The end of something can be the start of something new.

Think about it:
The End of a fruit rotting away on a garden's soil can -if watered- give a new plant that would eventually bear new fruits.

Now, think about an End that has a Beginning waiting around the corner, one that can't wait to be a Beginning, what do you call that?
That's a unique chance I say.

So, is it really The End?


I believe that there are several "soul mates" out there for every one of us, they're a bit like Willy Wonka's golden tickets, everybody wants to find one but rare are the ones who find any and rarer are those who really earn them.

I found one, but it was stuck to the chocolate, so I left it in the Sun which will melt away the chocolate and let me earn my golden ticket.

Too much soul talk, now that's another kind of soul, one that is true when you're around.

Drink water.
It's summer.



There's a special sweetness to a day filled with mixed emotions, a "Fattouch-Day*" I call it.
These kind of days happen often to me.

The following is a depiction of a "Fattouch-Day" broken down into milestones each equal to a special emotion that wiped out the one before it.

It goes like that:
> Happy to be alive
> Stressed
> Angered
> Want-to-kill-someone
> Surrendered
> Peaceful
> Surprised
> Excitement
> Reminiscential
> Disappointed
> Chilled
> Amused
> Content
> Blessed
> Surprised *again*
> Lost
> Loving/Sad/Pragmatic
> Shitty
> Pensive
> Hopeful
> Content


Looking back at this particular day made me realise how delicate we are as human beings -sadly not all of us- and how a small action, encounter or word can reshape our mood and day.

Taking all this Fattouch into consideration, I declare that I want to make this doomed world a better one, no matter how insignificant the effect, one act of kindness at a time.

It's hot inside-out.
Drink water.

* Fattouch is a traditional Lebanese salad consisting of lots of ingredients mixed together thoroughly with pomegranate molasses sauce topped with fried bread.


Blessed are the forgetful... or not?

"Blessed are the forgetful: for they get the better even of their blunders", I love this quote by Friedrich Nietzsche taken from the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

There are days when being just becomes too heavy for me and I wish I can just forget, reset my inner system, this tangled web of nerves, feelings, muscles, memories, neurons, synapses, dreams and blood.

I wish I can feel less and forget more.
I wish it, but I know that inside I don't really want it.

There's a sweet "taste" to all the memories one collects along the journey of Life, and even though at times they hurt, they are an essence in shaping who we become day after the other, while the ability to balance between memory and reality is what defines one's present.

That look that said everything.
That word you wish you never said.
The sweet embrace.
The thing you wish you did.
The magic.
That awkward moment when nothing made sense and time stopped.
The failure and how you faced it.
The lost time over an illusive love.
The slap on the face.
The people you will never meet again.
That smell filled with wonders a long way from home.
The One, or not.
The last time you were genuinely happy and didn't have a clue about it.
The wonders of youth.
The daydream that will never happen.
The madness.
The things/people you took for granted.
That friend you lost and will never see again.
All the "what if's", "could be's" and "why not's".

It hurt but then she came along, I thought the pain was starting to go away, then I realised it was just the start of another memory that will eventually make me wish I was a Forgetful... or not?


Carpe Diem

There is no higher goal in this ephemeral life than living your humanity.
Living it to the fullest extent, in the smallest details, throughout all your days.

There's no excuse for being inhuman in any way.

What's being human anyway you might ask... well it all starts with any of us having enough heart in us to be compassionate towards others.

We cannot help everyone all the time, we might not cure cancer, we surely will not stop human trafficking, nor will we be able to stop the production of arms or slow down the toxic technological advancement...

But we can smile for that stranger even though he/she is shit incarnated, we can help that woman carry her grocery bags even if we're in a hurry, we surely can pull over and check why that old man looks lost, we can be nice without expecting anything in return, we can love whoever we want and make them know that, we can think about our own comfort just a bit less, we can do lots of little things that will help us get closer to being human.

I am currently a mix of unfolding dreams, sweet chaos, uncertain future and content soul.

I have no idea what tomorrow holds for me, but today I know for sure that I'm gonna "Carpe Diem" in the most human way and though there's a big chance I'm gonna lose again, I am happy to have met you, you who I have not met yet.

You're lost aren't you?



Knives that cut

There are times when I wish I can just unleash that beast in me and give way to a surreal killing machine that eradicates scum off the face of this earth, then I realize that by doing so I would be degrading myself to the level of scum that think they are gods.


I had the chance to visit a renowned nightclub in Beirut yesterday night, it was the first time I go into one of those flashy-pump-it-up-fake-away-venues and two of my doubts have been proven:

1. "Maybe it's because I am different in some ways that's why I can't have fun in these places"
Now I am sure that I do not fit in and I don't want to ever fit in these decadent gatherings of hollow and fake wannabe men and women. I judge on experience here, for what I experienced was intense from the moment I stepped into the venue: it's like cancer but it's in the looks, attitude, reflexes, gestures...
While I tried all evening to have fun with my friends and not give a damn about what's happening around, I felt that cancer all around: it's a young demented (the bad demented) people that's in the making and the worst is yet to come.
I am also sure that I can have fun wherever I may be, for I am what I am, naturally: authentic, genuine and unique. And I know that there are lots of people out there who are too, so I am hopeful for a cure for the cancer.

2. "I am not sure I can write/talk about the people who love these places, after all they can do whatever they want to do"
Hell yeah I can when I feel that "cancer" I felt yesterday. I imagine these people like the nice knives you find at the tables of Arabic restaurants: they're bright, shiny, fancy, and make the table set look beautiful and complete, but do they cut?

We need knives that cut!

Knives that are sharp, that can cut off the decaying skins of successive rotten generations' fruits and get to their core goodness, that can slice smoothly and make things happen, not just sit there, be beautiful, look fine with the fork and plate, and just nearly scrape the skin of anything good that might feed the body and soul of what we call our society.

No one obliged me to go to that place or any other like it.
Someone will tell me to fuck off and stay home if I do not like these places.
Everyone will just continue to do what they do and sit there, fake-it-all-away and just dance the night away, can't they?

No... not with what's at stake.
Now drink water -not that fake shitty vodka- while it lasts.



A beating heart engulfed by a complex structure floats in the ocean with a part of a plastic bottle suffocating it.
It needed to release some if its confined secrets and burdens in order to get rid of that alien body suffocating it.

"I can be an egocentric fool at the worst times and lose a lot for that."

"I'm tired of trying to be a warrior of Light in this darkness that is getting larger every day."
It felt good to release some of that pressure...

Then came the long sentence:
"Nothing seems fair in this ephemeral life and I believe that no matter how hard we try we will never be perfect or get near being or living perfect with all that shit that surrounds us and that grows more eccentric and varied each day leaving us in a state of inner and outer chaos and numbing our brains with sounds of fake promises and surreal dreams as our life passes and time consumes us with tender violence melting our stressed and suffering souls slowly."
That felt so good...

Then came the longer sentence:
"The irony of doing your best while wanting the best thinking you've finally got on track as you suddenly get rammed off track by the gentle loving smile that says no as it goes into another direction and as time passes a day a week a month and you're just laying there next to the track still trying to figure out what happened the thought that what goes around comes around passes and you feel the weight of your past experiences that rammed some persons' lives off their respective tracks sometime in the past crushing you to near suffocation before letting you go and leaving only the thought of that gentle face that is no more that might never be again and be left there asking what if while massive movement takes place in the corners of memories that will mutate with the years' passing by leaving only the essence of joy from stolen moments of the happy orchards that are sprinkled left and right on the long road of life and as you stand up again you feel older wiser more serene although a part of you got broken just like many parts in the past but you know that this is only another one of those essential parts of life that make your very existence unique."

The heart shrank a bit loosening up the alien body suffocating it.
As it wriggled to set itself free, the heart released a final sentence that would set it free to roam the ocean without suffocating:
"I know now that your presence breathed a new life in me and I feel hollow without it just like a nutshell without its nutte."

The plastic part slides away from the heart that has a whole ocean to roam in even with its missing parts.
There was surrender.
There was pain.
There was hope.
Then, silence.


Waynak Poster

Waynak / 50x70 cm / Limited Edition Screen-print / Available for sale through Fiballouta


My angel

Yes you... who else could it be Mother?

With me she became mother, in her womb I grew for 9 months and I'm still growing ever since with her support, love, encouragement, blessing and understanding for 29 years now.

Since my early childhood I remember her smiling face and her comforting presence. Never did she lessen of her tenderness, love, care and protection throughout the years even with us being 3 brats and me being the eldest.

She learned to be a real "Boys-Mother" (إمّ الصبيان) the hard way with every passing day and this began when she married my father who helped her become more confident of herself, more focused and just a tiny bit tougher than the "city-girl" she once was.

Her sensitive soul is reflected in the smallest chores she does, not to mention her artistry with words making her a unique poet and her innate talent of making food literally "happen" out of pretty much nothing and in just minutes when she already had a long day at work!

I remember the times of war which were -strangely- happy times to me and my brother Mirab. They were so because of mum and dad's continuous daily survival to keep us out of any material/emotional insufficiency thus preserving a pure aspect to our troubled childhood.
I remember summer time when we used to go out to play in the neighboring "forest" starting 7 am and her voice calling us to come to lunch then her voice in another tone calling us to come home at 8pm "...OR ELSE!"
I remember her eagerness to buy us new clothes for traditional holidays and occasions, clothes that were, for the biggest part of my childhood, too bright and happy to me or my brothers' liking.

I think about her sacrifices as a young educated & willing woman who put her dreams on hold for a while to make sure her kids were growing into the men she wants them to be before she resumes where she stopped, goes to a graduate school for 5 years, learns how to use a mac computer and an advanced layout program, gets her doctorate heavy with literature and Art and gets it published then starts teaching at two universities. All this knowing that she takes good care of her household, her family and her friends with joy and affection.

I like it when my brothers and I tease her just to see how she will spontaneously react.
Her comforting words and care are always soothing even when I don't want to admit my weakness and need for her support.
I feel her presence through her continuous prayers for me whenever I leave home where I try and do my best to make her among others proud of me.

I wish you good health and joy, you're my angel on this earth mother and I love you.


Bonum facere, sentit se bonum

Where on earth are we heading?
How is it that the wicked rule our world and make things their way?
I have a strong faith -other than my personal religious beliefs- in goodness, but there are days when the gloom takes over my head and confines me in a little box of helplessness.
Recently, I'm fighting this in order to make things happen.
What's the worst that could happen when I'm armed with goodness?
This tee says it best:

Do your own thing...
Do good, it feels good.
Now drink water... while it lasts.