Don’t let The Gays into my country!

Reblogged by my dear friend Hasan, on this link: Don’t let The Gays into my country!.

This will be my profile photo on Twitter and Facebook because:


I believe that all citizens should be treated equally regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression.


I am outraged by the arbitrary arrests in Dekwaneh on Apr 21st 2013 where a transwoman and 3 men were detained, and subjected to verbal, physical and sexual abuse, their nude photos were taken by cell phones and sent to the media. The Mayor was present through all that and he then confesses to his crimes on national TV. All this is documented. No investigations or disciplinary measures were taken against the mayor by authorities.


I am disturbed by what our Minister of Defence has just announced: “Lebanon is against perversion (his chosen term for homosexuality), which is considered a crime according to Lebanese law. I wonder, now that France allowed same-sex marriage would we allow them to enter our country”. How could I be more knowledgeable about our laws than our Defence Minister. Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code penalize any sexual act “against nature” by up to one year in prison and has been historically used to criminalize homosexuality. In 2009, a Lebanese judge in Batroun ruled against the use of article 534 to prosecute homosexuals. He clearly flaunts his ignorance when he questions whether Lebanon should allow The Gays to enter our holy nation, as if the door has been closed and the recent achievements in France on the human rights front will open that door!!! I stand speechless.


I am encouraged to speak out because I know how many want to and how little support they have to do so.


This is an adaptation of the Lebanese flag. The red says “7okouk” Arabic for “Rights”. I also like how the two red bars form an Equal sign. I wish they could have added to the flag what would represent the rights of womyn, foreign workers and refugees, all of whom are also at risk to suffer similar brutality in our rotten system.


I will keep this photo till May 17 2013: The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO)


I don’t want religion in my life, But …

I get email notifications of blogs I follows, yes, I’m that lame, I still use email notifications once in a while, and honestly, I find it cute to wake up to a new post by someone you care about, despite the fact that you never met them before. The Pink Agenda author, who is an interesting person, usually, with posts that are sometimes too personal for me to understand, wrote an hour ago this post: Is Islam Evil & Why Does Muhammad Look Mongolian?.

I read the post on my email, then gave it another read on his site, before I wrote him a comment. As a person who comes from a Muslim background, I felt like he sees Muslim people like this:


While, honestly speaking, Muslim people are more like this:


Yes. Muslims are a nation of family guys, with lots of misconceptions about the world, falling from the skies without parachutes and trying to enjoy it. Honestly speaking, they’re not all the bearded men you see on your TV waving guns and promising destruction on the safe families back in the States, and to steal your child’s lollipop while they are at it; those men exist, yet, they are a very small percentage of the Muslim community. I kid you not, I did not think that I’d ever write a post defending Islam, that religion basically was curl to my mother (and every woman I know), it was the reason why my father and I don’t see eye-to-eye on anything, especially that fact that I’m gay, and also the reason why I hated Fridays when I was young. You imagine to wear a dress-like thing called Abbayya and put a stupid hat on that mess up your hair and go to the mosque for two hours while some clerk is speaking in a sleepy voice. Yet, what religion is not exactly that, anyway? Isn’t Christianity all about Sunday Church and being anti-gay? Isn’t Judaism all about funny hats, hating on women and messed up hair?

Anyway, here is my comment on that article; I hope that it would open up a conversation here.

I was born to a Muslim father, and I know Quran by heart, and while I consider myself to have my own relation with whatever-higher-power-out-there, I still do not see Islam as a religion that calls for violence. The parts of Quran that you speak of, calling for Jihad, also comes with lots of undoubtable phrases that such Jihad should be done while not harming a woman, a child, an old man or even a tree. That Jihad should be done by the order of a reasoning leader, and done for the reason of spreading the word of Islam in other nations (which can be done by a TV channel nowadays, if someone is interested in such a matter) or to protect other Muslims around the world.
I don’t think that we should paint any violence done by any individual according to what religion they believe in. I know this will sound silly, but it’s like blaming McDonald’s for every fat man dying of a heart attack!
That said! I do not justify the Boston attack at all, and I consider it an act of terrorism: yet, the religion of the criminals who are behind it should not be an issue to discuss at all; they took their own sickness out on people, the religion was their justification. If they weren’t aware of Islam, they would be serial killers, or murderers, yet, they used Islam as a way to justify their hideous acts to themselves; and we should not encourage other people to use the fact that they were Muslims to also justify an attack on a certain religion; that’s sectarianism.

Finally, I don’t consider myself a Muslim, and I do believe that Islam has its faults and has its good sides, and I do believe that it’s faults are more than its good deeds, yet still, it’s a religion that is still developing itself, maybe in 600 years we would see an Islam that is closer to the current understandings of liberal Christians.

I, personally, do not need religion in my life, yet some people might need it; and there is no religion that is better than the other; there are religions that passed by the timeframe needed for it to be civilized, while others are still in the process.

Also, I leave you with this video, in part because it’s super funny, and also, because it somehow speaks about this kind of discrimination when the guy pretending to be Princess Jasmine speaks about her lost Aladdin, saying things like:

Hey, I’m OK, but I’m slightly scared. My husband’s a mark for the War on Terror. Aladdin was taken by the CIA. We’re not Taliban, you’ve got the wrong man in Guantanamo Bay. Prince Ali, where could he be, drowning in wawa! Interrogation from the nation of the “free”! Bin Laden’s taken the fall, We’re not trained pilots at all, Jafar went crazy and no one put up a fuss. We’re for freedom, Genie can vouch for us.
Bush was crazy, Obama’s lazy, al-Qaeda’s not in this country!! Set free my Prince Ali!!!


I’m gonna break the cycle; I’m gonna shake up the system. I’m gonna destroy my ego. I’m gonna close my body now. I think I’ll find another way: There’s so much more to know. I guess I’ll die another day: It’s not my time to go.

Madonna – Die Another Day

 As our bodies shatter, we reassemble ourselves in all sorts of acts to recreate the glory that once was our souls. These souls, now hiding in the shadows, are waiting for the right person to put our body parts together. We recreate, we rekindle, we remove parts, we reinstall others, we redesign our faces, our feet, or big bellies, our fat thighs, our body image, and we reinvent ourselves, over, and over, and over, and over.


I’m sitting inside the bus, getting myself together for a trip that would last around 40 hours, not knowing that the seat I got is broken, and it can never incline, which meant that I’ll be sitting like a rock statue for the next 40 hours, resulting in a back pain that I would ignore while I enjoy my first hours in Egypt, a country I visit for the first time. I was 21 at the time, I was naive and heartbroken.

I pick up the phone, and I call Hussam, a short and tearful goodbye with promises to meet merely months after this departure, a meeting that never took place ever since. As I head to Egypt, I start to think to myself, maybe it is a new beginning, maybe I will be accepted, maybe I would stand against the stream and open my arms wide, and maybe, for the first time in my life, I won’t drawn.

For a year or two, as I go through life in Egypt, I struggle, as you do, in finding my place among people, and I struggle some more with finding myself among all the places Cairo can provide you: What am I? Am I the young romantic writer destined to become a columnist one day in one of the Egyptian newspapers? Am I the new hot dude in the gay community in Cairo? Am I a journalist with a thirst to the unknown? Or am I the Syrian who is missing his country and family and wants to go back? I needed around 5 years to find out the answer to that question: That was about the time that I left Cairo.

I’m sitting inside the airplane, getting myself together for a trip I did not expect, less than 24 hours ago I was standing in the middle of Tahrir square, reporting about what is happening there, and  now I’m on a plane I did not plan to evacuate Egypt to Jordan, I thought, from my whole heart, that I will be back in Egypt in couple of weeks, which never actually happened. I call Jimmy, and we have one more goodbye, we were dating for a couple of months by then, we were getting ready to move to the next phase of our relationship, when I went out the door and I never returned.

As I sit there, in my father’s living room, with my grandmother crying and asking me to stay in Syria and never leave again, I think to myself, maybe I will be able to find my place here once more, maybe I can have friends and family and become who I really want to become, maybe I will plan my life around Syria again, and maybe this time it would work.

For six months, I went through life in Syria, I struggled to find a good home and a good life and a good job; as I’m settling into this new life, getting to know real people, and having the best relationships I had in my life, I was offered to come to Beirut for work. Was it needed? Did I really need the change in my life? Did I have to? I cannot tell, what I know is that I couldn’t say no to this job offer. I packed my back, and in less than a month, I was out of the door.

I’m sitting inside the car getting ready for the three hours trip to Beirut, worrying that the police at the borders might not like me that much and I might end up in some unknown prison, I make a final phone call to my boyfriend, who will follow me in couple of months; I couldn’t handle anymore reinventing, I couldn’t handle reimagining my life, I wanted him and  no one else, and I did not say goodbye, I did not reinvented the world around me, I decided to put my life back together.

Now, as I plan to go to Canada, I know that I’m facing the struggles of settling in yet another new country, Beirut is expensive, heartless, yet beautiful and welcoming. I’m facing the struggles I’m going to face once more when I move to Canada, but at least, for once, I’m facing it with someone I love.


Shattered Bones

Angela: I’m afraid that I won’t… (cries) have the chance that I had with Kirk ever again.

 Brennan: You will.

– How can you be so sure?

– Because nothing in this universe happens just once, Angela. Nothing. Infinity goes in both directions.  There is no unique event, no singular moment.

– I don’t know what that means.

– It means you will get another chance.

– You promise? From your heart?

– Better. From my head.

Bones – Season 1 Episode 17 – The Skull in the Desert 

Face down on the wet ground, I scream in pain, I turn my head around looking at my foot, stuck in the metal of my bike and cracked in front of my eyes; and pulses of agony are travelling from my toes up my spin all the way to my brain. I froze in time trying to calculate the losses. I remember taking a turn on my bike on the wet ground in a cloudy morning after a heavy rainy night. I remember my fall, which took a split of a second, and my face as it goes, in the speed of gravity directly towards the concrete; my palms as they hit the ground and my body as it smashes on the road; then comes the pain; solid, colorless and constant; I am at loss of words; as I scream primitive sounds aimed at no one, I think of the worse: I just cracked my bones falling off my bike.

From nowhere comes my boyfriend, my lover, my knight in shining armor, my sweet man, my partner, my bed-mate, my one and only, my Mr. Right, my reason to smile in the morning and to sleep at night. He stands helplessly studying the matter; he doesn’t want to pull my foot from its location, stuck between the metal of the bike, fearing that he might add salt to the wound; also, he doesn’t want to leave me on the ground; he slowly pulls the bike away from my broken foot; he helps me to try and stand; but I couldn’t put any weight on my foot. “It’s not broken,” I repeat in agony, but I knew I was just telling myself lies to ease the pain.

Sitting on the side of the road, waiting for him to deliver the bikes back to where we rented them from, I look up as the sky begins to rain again; softly at first, then getting harsher and darker. I try my best not to, but with the frustration boiling inside, and the pain reaching a limit I can’t even describe; I cry.

Under the rain, I walked the same city, eight years ago, Beirut was welcoming and warm; the sounds of people partying the night away is being heard from the bars on top of buildings despite the rain. I was young and mending a shattered heart; I had a nightmare that I will die when I reach 24 of age; that’s in four years, I think to myself and welcome the thought. It was a dark period of my life.

I sat there, on a side street, under the rain, and I imagined myself in that burned, twisted car that I know all too well. I imagined myself opening its door; the passenger door that I usually open and where I usually sit while Eyad is driving. I imagined myself cleaning the passenger seat from the shattered glass, and sit there. I imagined myself putting my hand on the wheel, which is the last thing that Eyad ever touched; and feel his last moment; the panic he must have felt as he lost control of the car. The painful second as he was hit by the incoming cars on the other isle. The moment when his precious soul parted ways with his beloved body forever.

I direct my anger at myself; I started punishing myself for not talking him out of that trip; for not hiding his camera and forcing him to stay the night. I start hitting my own face with my open palm, once after the other after the other. Destructively, I walk the high road without looking; hoping that a car would sweep me and end this on-going pain that is haunting me (and will continue to do so for years to come).

Sitting on the side of the road, the frustration is building up in me; and emotional pain reaches a level I can’t handle; I cry.

“Healing takes time, you know.” My beloved boyfriend tells me, as he smiles at me while I’m in bed with a grim look on my face; looking with half a heart to the cast on my left leg, “you’ll take your time, and the bones will heal, and you’ll walk first, then you’d be able to run; and before you know it; you’ll be back on the bike again.” My dog is sleeping next to me, she rests her head on my cast. The next day, she’ll guard my leg with her own life when the cleaning lady who comes to the house tries to help me stand; she doesn’t allow anyone to touch my cast.

A month, it will take me a month to heal completely from the fall off my bike. Eight years! It took me eight years to feel for the first time that I healed completely from the loss of my love for Eyad.

But, as I woke up yesterday, Sunday, warmly tucked in the arms of my boyfriend, my man, my one and only, and as we exchange soft kisses as we open our eyes; and as I smile at his jokes and he helps me get out of bed; I think to myself: Lightening can strike twice in the same point; Because nothing in this universe happens just once, Angela. Nothing. Infinity goes in both directions.

I smile.

Fractures of a Revolution

Baby I love you, but if you wanna leave take good care,
hope you make a lot of nice friends out there,
but just remember there’s a lot of bad,
and beware, beware,

oh baby baby it’s a wild world… 

Cat Stevens – Wild World

March 2012:

I call my Pierre, one of my best friends, on the phone again. It’s a Saturday afternoon and we were supposed to go to some park in Damascus to play cards with the gang. That, however, changed that morning when we heard the screams of protesters down the road from my house. He and another friend went out to join the protest, I told them not to.

We hear another shot, then a the sound of a big explosion. His phone is off.

I call him again, and rush to the door with my phone on my ear. It’s the other friend, they got lost in the crowd, he says, and he has no idea where Pierre is. He jumps to the window to try and see when we hear another explosion. I grab him by the ankle and scream at him to stay down. We sit, all five of us, on the floor of my living room. Hassan is asking us to pray to God, his voice is cracking, the agnostic inside me shivers, then gives up and start to pray.

We hear a loud noise; then the sound of a machine gun. His phone is off.

I call him again, while calculating in my head the odds of the possibility of regime troops storming houses in my area; we are five people from five different cities in Syria; we’re all guys. We’re a sitting duck for them to consider us a “terrorist group” and shoot us on sight. I keep my thoughts to myself, but our neighbor calls my roommate and tells him the same thoughts. My roommate is freaking out now. “Where would we go?” he asked me, and I thought loudly: “to the roof!”

I look through the small crack in my window, I see regime troops walking down my street with big knifes in their hands. His phone is off.

I call him again, I step outside our house front door, I look up and down the stairs before I start moving silently towards the building gate; opened like welcoming arms, I want to close it, limiting the possibilities of armed troops thinking of running inside, I start moving it slowly, trying not to get the attention of one of the armed troops walking down the road. “Go inside, you son of a bitch!” one of them screams, and I close the door shut and run back to our home. Close the front door behind me and lean on it breathless.

I slowly slide to the floor as the fighting rages outside, his phone is off.

Pierre, a month or two after this mess, got shot in the leg repeatedly while protesting back in his hometown limiting his ability to walk and leaving ugly scares on both of his legs. When he picked up this time to tell me that a family hosted him when troops stormed the square he was protesting in, my only thought was to curse him repeatedly, then to ask him to come home. “Just come home when you can, alright?!”

May 2012:

I woke up before you, my love, and watched you for an hour as you breath calmly next to me in my bed. I grab my mobile and start playing games, trying to adjust the way I’m sleeping so I snuggle up against your body, while having the freedom to play my silly games. You wake up, and without voicing a word, you plant a kiss on my back. I smile and continue my games. Hours goes by, and we’re leaving the realm of sleep to the brightness of the morning.

“I’m hungry,” I tell you, and you smile, “we have so many friends sleeping over from yesterday and we don’t have any food in the fridge, I’m thinking of going down to buy some ready-made Lava peas for breakfast.”

You tell me to stay, pull me down when I try to get up, I laugh while hearing the sounds of my friends waking up around the house. One is opening the bathroom door, with its door’s announcing sliding sound, another is asking a third how he likes his coffee; and a fourth is opening the windows in the livingroom where he slept on the couch. for 20 minutes, we discuss the idea of me getting food, we get into one of our small arguments where we’re both saying the same thing but we want to say it in different ways; we laugh at ourselves and I pull the window open, on top of our bed, while saying that it’s “getting hot in here.”

Next thing we know, you and I are on the floor, with dust and dirt coming from the opened window that its glass would have cracked and fall on us if I did not open it a minute ago. It takes us a moment to realize that there was an explosion downstairs from our building. It takes us a day or two to realize that it was right outside the doors of the lava peas shop I was going to go buy breakfast from right around the time of the explosion  if you did not stop me.

In the afternoon, and after a long morning of clashes between people we don’t know and people we don’t care about. Hunger was the name of the game in my house; no food in the fridge, six hungry men are sitting aimlessly drinking another cup of tea to keep awake; I gather my strength and decide to go and find food outside. “It’s calm outside now,” I tell you, and you grim. “I will come with you,” you insist, and I trick you to stay home and run like the wind outside. When I return, with food and bread, I see tears in your eyes; you punch me in my stomach and you tell me you love me for the first time.

June 2012:

As we are preparing to go to sleep, we hear that explosion, it’s only you and I in the house. We have decided to sleep in the livingroom watching TV, was it “Arab Got Talent”, or “Arab Idol” that we were watching? I can’t remember now. I just remember sleeping under a soft cover, I remember the soft touch of your hand upon mine while we’re watching the show. I remember looking at you and smiling as you absentmindedly smile to something on TV.

The explosion, far away from my house this time, freaks us out, and the insured clashes after it keeps us crawling from the livingroom floor to the bathroom floor in fears of a mortar bomb that might hit our wall and kill us both. We were scared; we tried to laugh it off.

Two hours of heavy clashes, two hours of unstoppable shooting outside. We didn’t know, at the time, that a guy with a machine gun decided to use our very own balcony to shoot at the rebels from. We just found, in the next day, the signs of him jumping from the street to our balcony on the first floor, and the empty bullet carriers on the floor of the balcony around my flowers. We had all the doors locked from inside, including the door of the balcony, and we turned off all the lights in the house when the clashes started.

That night, I spent the night awake, assuring you every time you wake up to the sound of the clashes that it’s “only a dream” and tell you to go back to sleep.

The next morning, we walked in Qudsiya, the streets are empty, the place is deserted; no one on the balconies, no shops are opened, no cars in the streets. Suddenly, we arrive at the main square of the city, and we see the Free Syrian Army fighters, covering their faces with mask, sitting around drinking tea and laughing; we saluted them quietly and they replied the morning greeting. Every wall has the flag of the revolution painted on it; every tree, ever burned down car.

We walk down the street, and a man tells us to go back, “unless you don’t value your lives.”

We tried to go from a side street, but a man told us that he saw a sniper there. a group of men are standing in the center of the street with the supposed sniper, all of them looking up and searching for him, as if they are saying to him “if you’re really a sniper, shoot us.”

After we begged a car to take us outside the city, we looked back and we saw the street we were in being shelled from tanks nearby; we saw the explosions we used to see on TV right in front of our eyes, we saw the big splash of dust flying in the air; we saw death.

That was my last night in Qudsiya.

July 2012:

As I visit Qudsiya for the last time in my life, I get in the city with a car who accepted to take me for a huge sum of money, to pick up my clothes before I head to Beirut. The streets are emptied out, the power cores are on the floor, dancing like a snake. The silence is falling upon the city and not a soul, except for me, is there.

I empty my closet in my bags, and head out. On the other side of the street, an old lady stands on her balcony, she used to look at my flowers, and me look at hers, every morning when we drink coffee silently from opposite balconies. We never said a word, but today she simply asked me: “You’re leaving?”  When I nodded with a yes, she told me to “take good care, everyone is leaving my son.”

I asked her, why she did not leave as well; and her only reply was: “and go where?”

A man of losses

These zombies in the park they’re looking for my heart. A dark world aches for a splash of the sun.
If I could find a way to see this straight, I’d run away to some fortune that I should have found by now. 
I’m waiting for this cough syrup to come down.

Young The Giant – Cough Syrup 

I am a man of loses, and for that, I can’t trust fate anymore with happiness. Everything that I ever loved something so much, that my heart would burst with flashes of joy that will cover the world around me; I tend to know that I’m at loss. That time may come when I’m losing this very thing that is making my existence matter. For that, I try my best to avoid loving completely: I had two long relationships and two short ones without really loving the person I’m with to the extend of happiness. That fearful feeling that I’m going to give my all to someone has been long lost in my mind; years passed and I did not really completely loved someone to the extend they might have loved me.

Mistake me not, I did love both my Egyptian boyfriend of two years and my Italian boyfriend of three years; however, the more comfortable I was in the relationship; especially with the Italian, the more fearful I feel about loving him; the more I feel that I might lose him in a sad twist of fate that God has planned so perfectly to break the remains of my already shattered heart. I remember sitting there, in a hotel room in the middle of the Egyptian revolution; and while people are demanding freedom from a dictator, my Italian boyfriend was demanding freedom from the ghost of our relationship; here comes the day, a month or two before that, when he arrived on an early afternoon from Yemen, or Libya, or Jordan, or wherever the hell he keeps travelling to for work; to find me sitting there on the bed; fully dressed and with my stuff gone from our bedroom. He wanted, that night in the hotel room, answers to why! Why did I leave him? Why did I have to cut short a seemingly perfect relationship between two men from different worlds that came together as one; then suddenly were shredded apart.

In our breakup day, I think I told him the usual cliches of “It’s not you, it’s me,” and “let’s try to be friends.” I might even have held him near, as his surprised face break a bit by bit into tears, and asked him that we might, after couple of years, decide to go back together. However, deep inside I wasn’t sure about anything anymore.

In that hotel room, I told him stories of my mother; how I had to abandon her to her sickness under pressure by her family; how I had to let go of every memory I had with her; how the feeling of loss made me incapable of loving someone completely. I never told him that the most horrible thing he ever screamed at me, in the middle of a fight, is what lead to our doom. A chain of events started when he screamed at my face that his friends are asking him how come he, in his mighty glory, can put up with someone like me. “Why are you dating him, they ask me,” he told me, months before our upcoming breakup, and while I was hurt to an extend I did not know how to react; the question did make sense to me later on; as I was laying in my bed at night; in the days when he was travelling; and asking myself; why indeed? Why would someone like Ray date someone like me? incapable of loving, a snub, yet over attentive, a person with so many sad backstories that he is broken beyond repair?

I discovered; the day before he returned from his travel to God-knows-where, that I wasn’t giving that relationship the best of me; simply because I didn’t have it. I did not have the best of me simply because it was taken away from me; over the span of years and years.

I remember asking Eyad not to leave that morning, I told him, so softly, that it’s raining outside, that I’m not feeling good about his trip; I told him to stay with me in bed; and promised him to order chocolate cakes and watch hours of Friends. He left, never to come back, and whenever I pass by that road that he had that car accident on over 9 years ago; I feel the rush of pain going through my veins; the pain that my boyfriend, my lover, my partner in crime, my mother’s best friend, my everything, was dead; sitting there on a table among friends in collage, 9 years ago, the news shocked me; I thought that everyone around me was joking; I thought that they are being nasty; and I threaten never to talk to any of my friends; gathered around the table silently, if they are prancing me with some lame ass joke.

I remember how my mother placed me on that plane and told me to go; to leave and never look back; her brother, standing next to her, was squeezing her shoulder as I was looking back at her; freshly shaved after months of staying home crying over a dead boyfriend and hugging every shirt I find of him for hours. Destroying painting her painted of us in bed; crashing frames with pictures of us that I shall never find again. For three years, I won’t see my mother again, I won’t even talk to her on the phone, mad at her for burning all the memories I had with Eyad, forced to stay away by her family who refused to allow me as part of them; being the homosexual son of a Muslim man.

The day she died; I was in Damascus and she was in Beirut; her sister called me to the office and told me about her death; noting that I shouldn’t go; that I should stay in Damascus. “We as a family feel that it won’t be appropriate if you were there in the funeral,” she says, and I’m not listening, “Let me know if you need anything.” she says, “I need my mother back, is that too much to ask?” I reply.

That night I sleep in my bed after hours of crying; I relax my body and mourn the losses I had; my shattered heart and my loneliness that I feel. Back in the hotel room, with Ray, he asks me why, and all I want to answer is with “I don’t know how to fix me. I just don’t know.” I still echoed that same statement the night my mother died.

Now, as I’m opening up to a new relationship, lasting seven months so far and carrying the hope of real fixation to my problems; I stand there in the middle of my living room; waiting for my boyfriend to rent from his job; wondering at every turn of the clock if he’ll make it safe and sound; and when he returns, and while he is falling asleep in my arms while watching the latest episode of “How I Met Your Mother”, I ask myself, will he still love me tomorrow? I believe that the love I have for my boyfriend now is unconditional and evergreen; but will fate leave him be to me? Would I be able to grow older with him? Would he stay in my arms every night? I’ll download him all the silly sitcoms he likes; and wash the dishes after every meal; I’ll tell him I love him a million time a day and I’ll protect him with my own life. Just, fate, please, keep me fixed; don’t break me again.




Some nights in Qudsiya

This is it, boys, this is war – what are we waiting for? Why don’t we break the rules already?

 I was never one to believe the hype – save that for the black and white. I try twice as hard and I’m half as liked.

FUN. – Some Nights

It’s 10PM and it’s raining outside. Hazem, my roommate in our little house in Qudsiya is trying to get the fireplace to work; giving us some seriously-needed warmth. Another five friends of ours are roaming the house; Fahed, who is originally from Raqqa, is sitting in the arms of his boyfriend. I never liked the boyfriend and I always thought that Fahed deserves better: However, who am I to judge? I dated the worst losers in Damascus you can imagine. They say don’t cast your stone if your house is made of glass.

The house is broken now. One wall is down and the furniture are covered in dust and rocks. The fireplace? I’m not sure if it’s still in its location by now. Fahed broke up with that boyfriend of his. Fahed is back in his hometown; I assume he is alive. I can’t tell for sure.

Bello is sitting next to me: We tuck ourselves closer under the redish cover, with a painting of a tiger on it, as we try to figure out how much we want love and how badly are we willing to put an effort into it. Bello has this smile; you won’t believe it until you see it. He smiles and his whole face glimpse with lights. He is so innocent and sweet. He holds me closer as we feel the cold breeze coming from some cracked window somewhere. We talk about love and hopes; he tells me that he loves me like a brother. No one ever loved me like a brother. Hazem, in his naughty ways, is trying to lift up the atmosphere: telling dirty jokes and calling me a “sister” of his. I laugh as hard as I can. Then lit the candle next to me as the power turns off: it’s the third time power goes off today. Goes away for long hours. It’s cold. But Bello pulls the covers and ask us if we want to play another round of cards.

That was the last time I saw Bello without the ugly scars on his legs; after he was shot twice there. One bullet went through his left leg and landed in his upper right leg. The other? It destroyed his knee. When I saw him: After months of operations, physical therapy and pain; he managed to visit Damascus for my birthday. He was still smiling that smile of his: However, something little, unmatchable, unseeable, is gone from there. Maybe forever. 

Bisso shows up, late as usual, carrying cheap drinks with him; we cheer him, Bello, Fahed and I, and we start to toss the drinks around. I ask anyone if they are hungry; and suddenly everyone remembers that they are. We think of cooking; we thinking of killing our hunger with some fruits or maybe some tea. But then we decide that “the hell with it,” we want to eat Shawerma. We walk down, Bisso and I, to the Shawerma place; we order food enough for everyone; we laugh as the little kittens in the streets suddenly decided to fall in love with us. We look at a hottie passing by and we start to push each other to go talk to him.

He is in a relationship: Bisso is always in a relationship: sometimes I feel that his heart is so tired of looking it’s just settling down to the available. I tell him so, sometimes, and I let him live his life as he pleases some other times. We go up; talk about his mother, coming to visit from Aleppo in couple of days, and we reach the house; where the hungry squad is waiting for us.

Bisso was stuck in Tadamoun for over a week under shelling. He couldn’t leave his office for a week. The office had no drinkable water, no food, and sometimes no power. When the power was around he’d talk to me on Facebook; telling me that he is eating the last breaks of bread he has. His mother? She is worried that if she, and his little brother, left the house, they might get arrested and the brother would be forced to join the Syrian Army. She hasn’t left her house in Aleppo for two months now. 

We never talk about his boyfriend anymore. I’m worried that if I asked, I might get a sad answer. “He broke up with me,” is not what I’m talking about anymore. 

I’m sitting on the balcony, after a first date that ended up in my house. The guy I’m with is smiling. He is sitting next to me on the balcony. It’s 3AM in the morning and we’re a bit cold; but the streets is empty, and the world is quite. I just wanted to sing. According to the guy, who ended up being my lovely boyfriend, I was singing “Cough Syrup”. I’m glad I picked that song and not Nicki Minaj’s “Starships”. I’m not sure how my relationship with my boyfriend would have went if I picked “starships”.

We are sitting among all the flowers and plants Hazem loves to take care of. They are scattered everywhere on the balcony, from the smallest of flowers to an actual tree planted in the biggest can I’ve seen in my life. My boyfriend did not notice, and maybe I was a bit drunk myself: but there was a bird sleeping on the side of that balcony. I thought it was a good sign.

On our last phone call, Hazem tells me that Qudsiya is burned to the grounds; he is trying to find a house somewhere else but the rents are rising crazily, he is hoping to find somewhere safe but what is really safe anymore. He tells me that he tried to visit the house; but really couldn’t. Qudsiya, the city where I lived for the most of two years when I returned to Damascus, is gone. Disappeared. Nowhere to be found. The Shawerma place? Burned to the ground! The street that the balcony overlooks? destroyed! The wall behind me and Bello is gone. Nothing is left there but my heart. 

This is the street where I lived; or what’s left of it, anyways. 

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