Alice’s Pearls

I was interviewed few hours ago for a documentary and one of the directors’ questions was about my pearls. My answer had nothing to do with eclectic styles mixing and matching old and new, luxury and humbleness, ‘East’ and ‘West’, or the importance of filling one’s neck with necklaces that strike me fancy. Even if […]

My ‘Go Home!’ Movie Review

‘Go Home’ by Lebanese director Jihane Chouaib is a powerful statement about the difficulty that many members of the Lebanese diaspora face when they go back to their homeland, with a particular focus on war memory, post-traumatic syndrome disorders and identity crisis. I watched the movie two days ago at the Dubai Film Festival and […]

Le Liban, un morceau de lune ?

A ce jour, le Liban est en guerre, tant physique que psychologique, et s’enlise dans les sables mouvants de crises multiformes – politique, religieuse/confessionnelle, socio-économique, générationnelle, environnementale, culturelle, crises du genre et du savoir, etc. Il est vrai que l’existence même de faiseurs-es ou d’agents-es de paix qui tentent de promouvoir les valeurs de réconciliation […]

Celebrating Women in our Families – International Women's Day (American University in Dubai)

Writing history – and defining our identity, individually and collectively – is linked to memory and memorialization, which never seem to be complete. Someone is always forgotten. Pieces of the puzzle are always missing. I tend to agree with Napoleon or whoever said “History is but a fable agreed upon”. In the history – or […]

Ressusciter les paradoxes

« Jamais nous n’avons été aussi libres que sous l’occupation allemande », dixit Jean-Paul Sartre, parangon de l’Existentialisme assaisonné aux slogans du mai 68 en France. La liberté serait alors la fille légitime de l’oppression, de la résistance, de la mortification et de l’aspiration à l’émancipation. Dans ce Liban, au cèdre biscornu, au peuple blasé, démissionnaire, souffrant […]

Lebanese have to become Good Ancestors

Lebanon has witnessed several conflicts in the last decades, caught in a never-ending cycle of wars, both physical and psychological. One of the dramatic consequences was the proliferation of disparate scattered cities and neighborhoods run by warlords, mafia leaders and tribes, manipulated proxies who mastered the art of utilizing their people, and unconventional participants in […]

Our history is not drawn linearly, it is a braid of stories!

I started to be interested in the war and peace issues in Lebanon when I left my home country to pursue my studies at the University of Montreal (QC, Canada). While living abroad, I learned that once the war grabs hold of you, it never loses its grip; it shapes one’s emotions, thoughts, attitudes and […]

We cannot give up!

In the last decades, religious fundamentalism was on the move in several countries, but so were mainstream interfaith dialogue, dynamic encounters among ethnic origins, sexual identities and social classes, and secular ideas/practices/movements. In counterpoint to tidal waves of authoritarianism, terrorism, extremism, exclusivism and absolutism, there were (and still are) individuals and groups of people breaking […]

Learning from the Past, Understanding the Present, Fighting for a better Future

The incomplete yet revealing journey to the past of Western Asia with a particular focus on womanhood made me realize the importance of pursuing the investigative process of the past at all levels, including the not so obvious ones, the unthought and unthinkable, in order to build constructive memories thus histories and identities. Most Western […]

Womanhood in Ancient Western Asia (Middle East): why is it important to study the past?

This is an excerpt of my book’s introduction ‘Womanhood in Western Asia: a Journey to the Past’, recently published in Arabic by Dar el-Machreq, Beirut, Lebanon. Book signing: December 13, 2013, 7 p.m., International Arab Book Fair (Biel, Beirut), Librairie Orientale stand. [hr] “In the nineteenth century, the central moral challenge was slavery. In the twentieth century, it […]