A lebanese weekend in nyc

I knew the weekend was going to be fun, but it was much much more...
It was a new place to explore and taste, nice people I got to meet, and re-meet, old faces to see again, laughs, common memories, Fairouz, and above all....Lebanon as it is. Don't we carry it with us everywhere?
For me, it started Friday night, meeting our great hostess Mirvat and two of her nice friends at Times square, with the night finishing in the village's streets at 4 am with a quick Belgian fries meal. Between smoking causing cancer and emphesyma, moonlighting envy by the PhD's for the real doctors (MD's), remembering old names from AUB, and alot alot of politics and religion talk, I started to feel like home.
Our blogger meeting was on Saturday evening, with me and alot of old friends (the sweet seriously please Gitane and three classmates) arriving late to prove that we are proud of our Lebanese heritage. There, a big group were already carrying their own version of the lebanese bloggers' meetup in nyc. Matching the names to the faces was not straitforward each time.
Acting like a princess, Laila was easily spotted. Calm, but alert, Ghassan was again easily identified, with the help of a vague memory I had for him from AUB days.
Ashraf was there, and i knew him from the early med school days when he was with us before he saw light and decided it's not worth it! The hostess, Mirvat, was again there, with her warm smile, and welcoming spirit.
Firas, a classmate and a friend, was there never losing his baby face, and witty remarks.
Fouad, another classmate and friend was also there, filling the atmosphere with artistic remarks, and fantasies.
Ziad, Anton afandi, Anny, Maroun and his wife, were the completely new people I had the pleasure to meet.
As a punishment for our classy, very lebanese soiree coming, we were forced to have our own table, enjoying the Byblos good food. The two tables, however, will be infiltrated by each others and soon, became one large round table.
Even more late, and classy, the late coming of Maya, with her zeina and Nahoul, and Grandizer nostalgia. Jamil, driving from Canada, was the last to join, or at least as I recall.
While I missed the political discussions the early commers had, I was there for the quick revision of lebanese blogs, and their role in the last war.
After a long, again very lebanese style, talk at the restaurant door, a group of the bloggers and friends met at the Faluka club, for a long night of dance and music.
At 4 am, hunger stroke, and the group gathered at a small place for an early morning Falafel meal, in what is now known as "Falafel bi nyc".
With Fairouz's voice streaming the small place, the memories of the civil war started surfacing. The shelters, card play, the different names of our lebanese internal battles, and in what days they started, we all had same common memories.
Like scars on our skin, they were there...to stay.
Singing Jonger, Sami Clark's treasure island, annesr el zahabi, 3adnan wa Lina, Remi, Sindibad, Sandy bel, Bashar sewar el 3asal, Bill wa Sebastian and alot alot others, the sleeping kids inside us just woke up at that late late night hour.
Poetry as well had its place in that memorable gathering of 7 sleepy people, that will never ever suffer a dementia! From Omro2o el kais kefa nabki, to elia Abu Madi watan el noujom, each one of us was filling the gaps in each others' memory....what a great great common thing we all share.
For me, these common things and memories are what define us all.
They are things we acquire, and can never be baught ot taught.
When the early sun rays hit the earth of the city that never sleeps, the group called it a night, and the nyc blogger festivities almost finished.
On my way back to Pittsburgh, I could still hear the talks, the laughs, and most important, feel the warm feelings we all had in this weekend.
Despite our differences, the lebanese can always get together, and discover how close they are.
We always share our love, nostalgia, and fear for the beloved homeland.
At the end, it was our belonging to it that united us all, in a city far far away from it.
To everybody who made it there this weekend, thank you for a nice weekend.
For fellow bloggers in Lebanon and all over the world, we hope we'll meet someday.
Hopefully in Lebanon.
3ishtom wa 3ash Loubnan!

* For more cartoon songs nostalgia, please refer to : http://alsaher.com/cartoons/


At Tuesday, October 10, 2006 12:07:00 PM, Blogger Jamal said...

So the Empire strikes back, huh?

well this is not over.

At Tuesday, October 10, 2006 12:08:00 PM, Blogger Eve said...

ok, mnesma7elkon bi one enjoyable meeting. bass fari2na will have more fun next time ;)

At Tuesday, October 10, 2006 12:24:00 PM, Blogger Leila said...

Here on the West Coast, I am jealous. Any chance of a Bay Area Lebanese bloggers' meetup? Or am I the only one out here?

At Tuesday, October 10, 2006 12:55:00 PM, Blogger Delirious said...

Hey~ that girl near Laila looks awfully familiar. I think we were together in school. Are her initials AS by any chance?

At Tuesday, October 10, 2006 2:17:00 PM, Blogger hillz said...

hey any one knows that fairouz once sang the nightmare- istizhar: wa6ana ennojoomi ana hona?

I still envy u all ;)

At Tuesday, October 10, 2006 2:18:00 PM, Blogger Maya@NYC said...

ye3ne!! all those who wrote posts about this meeting, mentionned zeina w nahoul! it's starting to stick to me like an etiquette! ya Mephistopheles! :)

Eve: fari'koun needs people min fari'na to have fun... ana hek bzenn!

At Tuesday, October 10, 2006 2:49:00 PM, Blogger laila said...

Delirious, yes it is AS :)
bass she's no blogger.yet.

At Tuesday, October 10, 2006 6:02:00 PM, Blogger AbdulKarim said...

Thank you very much for the al-saher.com hint. This websiteis a treasure of all the childhoodmemories. Thank you!!!!

At Tuesday, October 10, 2006 6:41:00 PM, Blogger _z. said...

eve... don't be hatin'!

At Tuesday, October 10, 2006 7:06:00 PM, Blogger Ms Levantine said...

Too bad I missed the meeting. I must have been away when you posted the announcement. I hope I can make the next one.

BTW, is it forbidden to smile at your meetings? You guys look so serious.

At Tuesday, October 10, 2006 9:19:00 PM, Blogger Eve said...

Maya, ehem ehem :p
_z, tayyeb I'll try ;)
hashem, inno kil hal childhood songs w ma fi lulu w tabboush?

At Tuesday, October 10, 2006 10:20:00 PM, Blogger hashem said...

Jamal- we're ready for a fun war..:)

eve- ok...do the next meeting when I'm in Lebanon....I'm starting to lke these meetings :P
and btw, tekram 3aynek...this is
Lulu's song

At Tuesday, October 10, 2006 11:10:00 PM, Blogger Mirvat said...

ba3do mab7ou7 sawte add masarrakhna we ghannayna!

At Wednesday, October 11, 2006 12:13:00 AM, Blogger Ana Min Beirut said...

OK, Beirut based bloggers this is getting serious...we need the higher council to meet asap and annouce some very drastic measures...we can't have them have more fun than we usually do...yalla choufou chou badna na3mil we have a reputation to keep up with...
to all LeBNAN members hope to get to meet all of you bi Beirut in the first "inter-galactic" meeting of Lebanese bloggers.

At Wednesday, October 11, 2006 12:36:00 AM, Blogger Delirious said...

Laila ~ Do ask her if she remembers me, although it's been so long I doubt it. I dunno how I remembered her myself.. I think we were together in Grade 5 or something. Hehehe...

Ana Min Beirut ~ There's something brewing very soon.. as in this Friday ;)

At Wednesday, October 11, 2006 1:34:00 AM, Blogger jooj said...

Great meeting you Hashem and everyone.

And to those in Leb, ya 7aram!

At Wednesday, October 11, 2006 2:10:00 AM, Blogger Lazarus said...

ok, this is freaky. quite a few of those in the pics were in my brother's class. go figure.

At Wednesday, October 11, 2006 2:33:00 AM, Blogger gitanes legeres said...

ils sont jaloux...ouououou...tres tres jaloux...
lazarus, say hi to ur brother..

At Wednesday, October 11, 2006 3:24:00 AM, Blogger Mirvat said...

gitanes, they're jealous that we were so happy but we were only happy to have a piece of lebanon here.. hayete they have all of lebanon there..
saraha i'm jealous :)


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