Month: March 2009

Le courage du poète juge

LEBANON :: Chibli Mallat Liban (la photo de gauche est celle de Tamer Mallat, l’autre est celle de son frère Chibli, le Poète des Cèdres) Mon grand-oncle, Tamer Mallat (1856-1914), n’a pas eu d’enfants. Sans une mention passagère du nom de sa femme dans l’introduction que son frère Chibli, le Poète des Cèdres (1875-1961), a publiée en préface au Diwan des deux frères en 1925, on n’aurait pas su qu’il s’était marié. Deux vers, les plus célèbres du Liban du 19ème siècle, sur la vénalité du mutasarrif Wasa Basha, sont restés. قالـوا قضى واصـا وواراه الثرى فأجـبتـهـم وأنا الخبير...

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Ras Beirut, ninety years ago…

LEBANON :: Mary-Averett Seelye USA The photos above show the Seelye house in Hamra, gypsies with dancing bear, the Seelyes on some outings and with friends. Seventy five years later, what’s left of my Beirut memories? It was long after our arrival in 1919 that I became aware of the different parts of the city. For me, there was Ras Beirut and then there was the rest of Beirut. We lived in Ras Beirut, where the American University was located. Ras Beirut was a nice open combination of old houses with tiled roofs and new apartment buildings being built....

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Letters from Beirut

LEBANON :: Laurens Seelye Permission granted by Kate Seelye Much thanks to Kate Seelye for sharing with us two letters written by her grandfather, Laurens Seelye, a professor at AUB from 1919 to 1934. The first letter of three pages tells of the visit of Prince Faisal to Beirut in 1920. The second letter of which excerpts are published here mentions the death of Howard Bliss, the President of AUB. Dear family, A few days ago came the word that President Bliss has died. Of course we knew during the last few weeks that he was critically ill, and...

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The story of an AUB professor in the 1920s

LEBANON :: Kate Seelye USA In the main photo, the Seelyes just arriving at their new home in Beirut, oct.1919 after spending two weeks in the mountains subsequent to their arrival to Lebanon. The other photos show professor Seelye with students, friends, colleagues and AUB outings as well as Bliss street in the 1920s My grandparents arrived in Beirut in 1919, two children in tow, ready to embark on a new life teaching at the American University of Beirut. For my grandfather, Laurens Seelye, Beirut was a novel experience. The son of an American professor of ancient Greek who...

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How Sartre kept me awake

LEBANON :: Samer Sabri Student, Lebanon From 1976 to 2005, Lebanon was under occupation by Syrian troops, characterized by military and political domination, resulting in a total disrespect for human rights. In the midst of chaos, my next chess tournament and the new comic books I couldn’t wait to buy mattered more to me than having an independent representative government in place and living in a somewhat democratic country… Several events, on both a national and personal level, transformed me from an ordinary boy into an active citizen. On February 14, 2005, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was...

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Une foire au centre de la ville

LEBANON :: Tania H. Mehanna Liban EN MARS 1920, le gouvernement français décide d’organiser dans la ville de Beyrouth une importante foire industrielle. Les produits européens doivent y être exposés ainsi que les produits des principales villes du Levant. Il est également prévu, en marge de la foire, une série de divertissements : cinématographe, ménageries, chevaux de bois, balançoires… Pour les autorités françaises en place, cette exposition-foire a une importance stratégique indéniable. D’une part elle vise à relancer l’activité culturelle et commerciale d’une région très touchée par la guerre et par d’importants bouleversements politiques, et d’autre part, elle a...

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العجوز التي لم أشف من مقتلها

LEBANON :: حازم الأمين صحافي، لبنان Much thanks to Ramzi Haidar for the photographs الطريق بين بناية البرج ومستشفى عساف في عبرا (شرق مدينة صيدا) هي نفسها الطريق التي كنت اسلكها يومياً في السابعة صباحاً ذاهباً في حافلة المدرسة إلى مغدوشة. لكن في ذلك اليوم عبرتها مقاتلاً وليس تلميذاً. لم يفصل بين حالي كتلميذ وحالي كمقاتل سوى أيامٍ قليلة. لم أعد أذكر نهائياً حال الطريق والمباني ومحال البقالين على جانبي هذه الطريق عندما عبرتها في شاحنة الحزب. ربما نقلنا بشاحنة مقفلة ،أو كان الليل حالكا فلم أبصر شيئا. ما أذكره انني بينما كانت الشاحنة تصعد بنا كنت متنازعاً بين...

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إحذروا منتصف آذار

LEBANON :: محمد فريد مطر نشكر دار النهار للسماح لنا بإعادة نشر هذا النص (Extrait du livre “El Bourj” paru en 2000, © Editions Dar an-Nahar) وبالفعل، فمنتصف شهر اذار كان يدعو الى الحذر لم سبقه وما لحقه من تصعيد. فبين ٨ و٢٤ اذار أصبح المشهد مألوفاً: حرب كر وفر يومية بين الطلبة والسلطة. أدواتها ما تيسر من عصي وحجارة وأعمدة إشارات السير، بمواجهة هروات وغاز مسيل للدموع ومياه مضغوطة وأعقاب البنادق. نبدأ بالتجمع في ساحة اليونسكو وصولاً من كلية الحقوق في الصنائع أو الجامعة الأميركية في بلس أو الجامعة العربية في الفكهاني. وننطلق من هناك سالكين شارع الحمراء...

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A campus at war: the 1974 strike

LEBANON :: Makram Rabah Researcher, Lebanon In the main picture, Pierre Gemayel- leaning over- referees an AUB soccer game in 1975. To the right, FAS captain wears a jersey which reads why 103 in reference to the 103 students suspended. The start of the academic year 1973-74 coincided with the outbreak of the fourth Arab-Israeli war. The newly-elected Student Council at AUB, with Mohammad Mattar as president, mobilized the student body by creating four committees to support the war effort: a medical committee, a fund-raising committee, a follow-up committee and a ‘popular work’ committee. These committees turned AUB into...

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Lucullus, gastronomie et mémoire

LEBANON :: Daniel Bordes France Les photos en noir et blanc sont du premier Lucullus et datent des années 60, celle en couleur est du nouveau Lucullus. Mon père est né en 1908 à Konya de parents français dans la chambre no. 16, ce qui lui valut le prénom de Louis. Vers la fin des années 20 et après un apprentissage chez divers chefs cuisiniers, dont monsieur Rabette, grand chef de son temps et de Beaulieu-sur-Mer, il rejoint un autre restaurateur, son oncle, monsieur Soulier, installé à Beyrouth. N’ayant pas fait son service militaire en France, il est peu...

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The voice on the radio

LEBANON :: Rana Hanna Freelance writer, Lebanon “Hopeless! Hopeless!” I mutter to myself as I struggle to avoid a car hurtling towards me on the wrong side of the road, minutes before I narrowly avoid an errant pedestrian crossing the highway, only inches away from the overpass built specifically for pedestrian crossings. Hopeless, I think as I switch on the radio, expecting the latest doom and gloom to ooze out of my speakers. I make quick plans in my head, a daily ritual: what age should I send the kids away? Should I encourage them to come back? What...

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انهيار كوكب الشرق

LEBANON :: مهى يحيى نشكر دار النهار للسماح لنا بإعادة نشر هذا النص (Extrait du livre “El Bourj” paru en 2000, © Editions Dar an-Nahar) نفذ السهم المراش، وشاء القدر الغضوب أن ينهار كوكب الشرق الرابض في ساحة البرج الجسور، ساحة الشهداء والحرية ، مسرح اللهو والفرح، ميدان السرور الجامع للبانة الشباب وتسلية الشيوخ”. بهذه العبارات مهدت مجلة “اللطائف المصورة” (صاحبها محي الدين سعاده) لوصف سقوط المبنى القائم، منذ ١٩٠٢، على مدخل طريق الشام، والمملوك من جاك وفيليب تابت . وكان يقوم في المبنى، إلى جانب الفندق والمقهى الذين يحملان إسمه، ويستثمر الأول طنوس نجم والثاني أحمد الجاك، أحد...

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How I shot a militiaman

LEBANON :: Michael Young Journalist, Lebanon It must have been in late 1984, or early 1985 that I took this photograph. I had recently bought a Minolta camera but could find nowhere to use it. On my first outing with it, to Douar, my film was confiscated by the army. “This is a military zone,” the officer told me, and he kept my roll of film, denying me inestimable views of armed birds and fortified trees. A few days later, I was on the balcony of my apartment in Tallet al-Khayat, and again took a few snapshots. The buzzer...

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Return of the native

LEBANON :: Shirine Abdallah Lebanon In the firdt picture on top left are Toufik Abdallah Nasrallah, Father Antoun, Salim Issa Ayoub, Faris Bou Khanjar, Issa Esber Nasrallah, Elias Shaker, Michael Elias, Elia Bou Nemer (Saikaly), Hajj Issa Nasrallah, Elia Michael Nasrallah. The three people with the fezzes are from Rashayya: Salem Malek, Ghantous Shaker and Elias Shaker, who was married to a woman from Kfarmishki. My late grandfather, Toufik Mikhael Abdallah Nasrallah, born in Kfarmishki (West-Bekaa) in 1896, emigrated at an early age to Canada, escaping the famine that took place during World War I, when Lebanon was still...

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The perfect arak

Michael Karam Journalist, Lebanon The arak production process begins with the grapes. For our purposes they should be white Lebanese varietals, preferably Obeideh or Merweh (although Ugni Blanc, the preferred grape in the Cognac region of France, can also be used). The Obeideh should be crushed slowly and allowed to ferment naturally without the addition of artificial yeasts. The wine alcohol level should reach around 13 per cent before the first distillation process or brouillis (literally the first draft). The still’s head should be an Arab head or tête de maure (moor’s head) – unlike other stills such as...

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