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contemplations inspiration morning coffee talk Photography street photography UAE

Morning Coffee Talk~ 40/365

Good Morning,

We were treated yesterday to a beautiful tradition of Dukhoon where incense was burnt on our arrival and several times throughout the day during our visit and the midkhan or incense burner was passed around to allow us to incense our hair and clothing following the example of our hostess.

Dukhoon has a very long tradition in the Arabic culture of being used in religious ceremonies as well as social events and it’s use is reputed to heal, repel bad spirits, enhance smells and increase creativity and motivation.

There is something quite haunting about witnessing and being part of this tradition and obviously I go back home tomorrow with a variety of oud and incense to burn in my home and keep this tradition alive.

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human rights inspiration lebanon life love refugees Travel war

Love you~

I love you
I love you

أحبك “I love you”

Reem is 9 years old. She is a Syrian refugee living in a camp in North Lebanon. I learned today that she lost both her parents in the recent conflicts. The only message written on her hand is : I love you

 

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lebanon life Photography street

Day Eight~ February 8th~ Lebanon

I left a part of me on this old street

Have you ever experienced going back to a place you lived after years have passed? Have you gone through the stirring deep emotion that goes with such an experience?

This little street in a little village in North Lebanon holds so many life changing memories for me. It was along this street that I walked day after day alone but for my thoughts and a little stone I used to kick along the whole way from home to the little shop that sold anything, everything and my favorite 5 pennies ice cream cone; a 15 minute walk that took me more than an hour to complete. I remember walking along that road and letting my mind drift and dream in Arabic save for a single word that kept resonating in my mind strangely in English: ‘determined’!

It remains one of those mysteries of life, unexplained, strange and precious…

walking back into the past~ photo by Shouly Khair

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Photography

Day Seventy Four, April 6, 2011

 

When all seems upside down

 

Have you ever had days when all seems to be going exactly the opposite of what you have planned? When the universe seems to be having a laugh at your expense? On days like this, I remember a very simple and old Arabic saying that has echoed in my ears though out my childhood years in Lebanon: “Do not hate anything lest it is meant to be good for you”. So simple, so direct, so wise, so good to remember on such days.

All is well!

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Photography

Day Twenty, February 11, 2011

a multi culti Valentines!

English, German, Chinese  valentines cards delivered to us from our daughter and received by us in Arabic… this is life as an expat in a city like Shanghai!

We realized that as a mixed nationality family , we sound like the tower of Babel at our dinner table: I speak with my daughter only English, her father speaks to her only  German, my husband and I speak together only Arabic and we all speak to the baby sitter Chinese!

Yet somehow, no one is ever confused 🙂 Happy early Valentines!!