Monday, August 14, 2006





Mazeltov, Ehud. On behalf of the Lebanese people, I would like to thank you on a job well done. Thank you for the 1,150 dead. Thank you for the destruction of 400 cities, towns and villages. Thank you for the one million displaced. Thank you for keeping the two captured soldiers in the hands of "the enemy" so that they won't die in the battlefied. Thank you and Mazeltov. Your predecessors and those who will follow you (very soon) are so proud.
Hey, Georgie darling, what are you going to do now? Where are you planning to send Ms Rice with her fancy suit and her fake smile? I know a nice island called Sri Lanka (no, not next to Hawaii!) where the Tamil are rebelling against the government. Do you still have some Israeli left over artillery to distribute? If not, we can lend you some unused cluster bombs in the South. Tamil or government? Just throw a coin. Oh, Condie prefers the African sun! Zambia? Congo? Throw your coin!
  • A Greek reporter, who was supposed to leave on Saturday, showed up. After six cigarettes in ten minutes, I asked her what went wrong. She answered: "On Saturday, the road to Syria was very dangerous. Now I am waiting to be deported in a Greek war ship. I have to go to the Greek embassy, stay four hours there, twenty hours in the ship to Cyprus then four hours to Greece."
  • An American reporter, with a New Orleans t-shirt, ordered his large Latte. He told me that he was just one mile (is a kilometer less than a mile?) from the explosion in Shoueifat. "I am telling you man, that the whole building was shaking. I couldn't hold on to my Bud!" What are you, dude, a Swan Lake reporter?
  • Then his American colleague came in, the famous I-got-an-e-mail-from-the-US-ambassador-thanking-me-for-the-coffee, telling her New Orleans bud to shake his butt full of Bud. He was having a conversation with an Iranian customer about the after-Shah regime, so she had to wait, ordered something with lots of caffeine coz she spent the whole night on CNN, and engaged me in a one-sided conversation about the need to have a translator so that she can know what is happening on Arabic speaking TV stations because CNN and BBC broadcast late information. (1- I am sorry that the sentence doesn't end but I have to submit the exact and original magnitude of the conversation. 2- If someone is interested in being an English-Arabic TV personal translator for an American reporter (No office needed, the couch and the bed will do), please contact me). Then, believe me it never ends, she asked me for a cigarette, do not lit it please I will save it for later, and explained that she does that because the cigarettes in Lebanon cost less than two bucks while in New York they cost more than eight US Dollars and (again, sorry for the long sentence) if the prices were the same she would never ask for a cigarette because that will cost (her: brief calculating pause, me: brief relief) well it's like half a buck or something and not (another brief pause) two hundred of "your Liras". Finally, the divine intervention that I was waiting for appeared in the form of spilled coffee, I stormed out of the shop to talk non-sense to the poor client, and when I came back, she has joined the Iranian-American conversation and all what I heard was her final saying, worthy of Socrates himself: "When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail". Curtain.
  • I saw a bag packed of cleaning equipment with a woman who was ordering a pack of coffee. When she noticed that I was staring at the brooms and mops, she explained: "I am going to clean my house in Dahieh. I bought all the necessary supplies. I still have the coffee. Wish me luck."
  • An Irish reporter ordered his caramel cappuccino. His clothes and his desert-storm boots were all dusty. He told me that he just came from Dahieh and with a nice laugh he said: "With all the misery and destruction I saw, I noticed a man standing on some rocks that used to be part of a building's foundations, now leveled to the ground. He was smiling and shouting: 'I am standing on the ninth floor. I am in my apartment's bedroom'. Worthy of a Belfast-black-beer-drinking-citizen."


Attached: Saturday's pictures.

From up: Pierre and Abou Anwar, Saturday's crowd, the Israeli flyer.

6 Comments:

Blogger AnnieUS said...

Hello,
I am a student in the US studying the role of gender in islam. i have read your post and am very interested in what you are doing. i think it is interesting how you post what you observe in your cafe and for this reason i have a few questions i would like to pose. do you see any difference in opinion between men and women in your shop, and on the same note, do you see any differences between those who are older and those who are younger? if so, what are these differences? i am also interested in gender beyond the Israel crisis...how does gender play a role in your shop? when men are with men or when women are with women? does this differ when it is a mixed group? i very much enjoy the perspective you take in your blog.
thanks
annie

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