Why is it better for girls to be living in the “Bab El Hara” era?

bab I know that the Arabic Ramadan series have started getting to my head. I am taking a long summer break and have a lot of time on my hands. And as per every season, a few series are set in the post medieval ages of the Ottoman Empire leading into the French Mandate for the region. I couldn’t care less about the political issues that are taking place in the series of course, but it did get me to think about the situation of women at those times. Although you would expect that the feminist independent woman in me would rise to the rescue. But all I could think of is that maybe those times were much better for women; believe it or not.

  1. You never have to play hard to get or any other type of game.

When the marriage is set by your parents and his, you know that you are his only option and you are his. You don’t have to worry if he wants to marry you or not! You don’t wait or question whether he wants a relationship or not. Marriage is the only end to things.

  1. There is no such thing as too much fish in the sea.

There is no bigger peace of mind than knowing that you don’t have any other option and neither does he. You never guess about what is out there. You take your destiny and embrace it.

  1. You don’t have to worry that he is cheating on you.

This is a nice one. Because the worst that he can do is smile to another woman behind a closed window or hear her voice. And although that’s still bad, but it is a one in a million chance! You can’t be that unlucky.

  1. No one can tell you that you made your choice and you have to bear the consequences.

If anything goes wrong, it isn’t your fault. If he ends up being a jerk, you can always blame your parents for this choice and they will take your side. No one will tell you to stick it out because it is your choice!

  1. There is no such thing as it is too complicated.

A different religion, a psychotic ex-girlfriend, etc… you never have to worry about all that. You are his first experience with women and that is a very liberating feeling.

  1. His financials are never an issue.

You don’t have to wait until he can afford a house or a wedding. His parents take care of everything and he is only wed when he reaches a certain financial level, mostly working with his father.

  1. The perfect housewife is all what is needed from you.

Clean, cook, make babies and tell your husband that he is right about everything. Although you’re not allowed to have any ambitions or opinions, but a simpler life doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.

  1. You never worry if he is just not that into you.

He simply doesn’t have another choice so he has to be into you. Love at those times seemed to be a lot easier. People learn to be together and love each other with time. Habit and respect come naturally.

  1. You are never a spinster.

Unless you are really ugly, you are wed at the right time. So you never hear the pity of the people around you telling you that you are an old maid.

  1. You are never judged by society.

Having previous relationships, passions, loves, being independent, etc… are things that you are never judged for because you never got to experience those. Having no choice can be a blessing in disguise.

While at these times, the choices, the opportunities and the exposure that women gained, have rendered them much more demanding and independent. And with that independence came a lot of drama and unhappy moments trying to deal with emotions that should have kept suppressed.

We wanted to contribute financially, to have opinions and to be independent and at some point down the line, we started being taken for granted.

And there is nothing worse than that!

23 Debatable and Not so Sane Reasons: Why Buying Shoes is Better than Being in a Relationship!

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My mother is soon going to lose her mind about my shoe shopping sprees. And it is a struggle with her every time I walk into the house with one (or more) new pair of shoes. She doesn’t seem to get:

a. why I need to buy so much shoes

b. where I will be storing them; as clearly there is no more space in my closets

c. how I am emotionally attached to a shoe

d. why I am still single (because Yes! that has to pop up every time!)

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To help explain this to her, and to everyone out there who doubts a girl’s need for shoes. I have listed 23 reasons why shoes are great. You won’t think that they are all sane or logical. So don’t be creeped out or become judgmental. Thank you.

  1. The actual act of wearing new shoes (for the first few times at least) can be orgasmic.
  2. Swiping that card on the POS machine might slightly be better than making out.
  3. Shoes don’t judge you, and you don’t feel you need to change for shoes.
  4. Whenever you want your shoes, you just put them on!
  5. You always know where your shoes are. (Unless you have my mother who decorates your room frequently).
  6. You are comfortable with people starting at your shoes. In fact, you show them off for that reason.
  7. They make your feet look nicer.
  8. Shoes are much better listeners than some of the men you have dated. Yes I said that!
  9. Shoes support you and stay by your side all day long!
  10. Even the pain they inflict on your feet… it is worth it!
  11. Shoes never leave your closet and wander into your friend’s closet all by themselves! If you know what I mean.
  12. Always better to answer: “Where did you buy those from?” than “How did you meet”?
  13. You are more devastated if a dog bites your shoes than your own boyfriend’ arm, let’s face it.
  14. You’re less scared to show your critical mother your shoes than introduce her to your new boyfriend.
  15. The second you don’t feel like wearing this specific shoe, you can easily buy a new one and not be called a whore!
  16. You can also own as much as you want. Still… not a whore!!
  17. Shoes are never too good to be true. They might be too expensive or too unattainable at that moment, but you know that you can put some money on the side and buy them!
  18. When you enter a place and heads turn to your shoes, you are flattered. As oppose to wondering if it’s you or the man on your arm that turned heads.
  19. Shoes make you feel better instantly. You don’t have to beg them or ask them to take you out. You just have to accept that great feeling.
  20. Shoes don’t have annoying friends.
  21. Shoes don’t have any political or religious background. Yup!
  22. You don’t have to laugh at the shoe’s silly jokes or pretend to listen to their problems.
  23. There are so many good choices when it comes to shoes. Choices, choices and more choices. All you have to do really is take your pick; without being scared if the shoes will like you or not.

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Girls, you know it’s true! And you know that there is nothing that a new shoe cannot solve or make better.

Keep Shopping!

Venus. The greatest highlight of the weekend.

I watched the last show of Venus; the play brought by The Actors Workshop Beirut and directed by a brilliant man called Jacques Maroun. This is Maroun’s third play after Reasons to be Pretty and Ka3eb 3aleh.

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Venus stars Rita Hayek and Badih Bou Charkra, and Sunday was its 64th show – a great run!

I only wish that I have watched it before so that I can drag you all and force you to watch it. Then, you would refer to this play as the best 2 hours of your life; okay fine your week.

In case you missed it, I have top lined the best moments for me.

  1. Rita Hayek. I am starting with the best thing about the play. And it wouldn’t be enough to dedicate 10 bullet points to explain how good this actress is. Breathtaking honestly. Pretty, genuine, multi-talented, charismatic and under-celebrated. By far the best in town.

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  1. Okay now that I have relaxed and can move on from Rita. I absolutely loved the stage and the set-up. And how the accessories keep coming into the scenes without you noticing their source and without any of the actors leaving stage for a second.
  1. How you don’t want it to end. And 2 hours pass so fast. You want to watch it over and over again. You keep hoping the end was only an intermission.
  1. How you watch an hour and a half of the play, and think that Rita is so much better than Badih. Compared to her, he seems okay. And then right there towards the last half an hour when you least expect it, he proves to you why he was chosen for this part and how amazing he is. Because 1 min was enough to turn everything around.

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10 Lebanese People You would Meet on a Plane!

There is no doubt that the Lebanese people are quite the eccentric bunch. And for some reason, if you put a group of them on a plane, their characteristics would be accentuated. After taking a recent trip, I couldn’t help notice 10 most apparent types of Lebanese people you would meet on a plane. And who’s to say that your flying experience won’t be enhanced coming across each and every one of them!

1. The woman with the 3 or more babies the-20-worst-people-on-every-airplane I really don’t know how they do it. To be honest with you, there is nothing harder than travelling with kids, and no nanny or no husband. The younger the baby, the louder his cries. I mean sometimes you,as an adult, want to cry on a plane, how about that poor creature not knowing what is happening to them. On some occasions, you actually want to hit the mother and the baby and ask her to kindly jump off the plane, especially if you are returning home and tired after a long trip. But other times, you just basically feel bad for her and want to help out. Your hormones will decide on that.

2. The man who has a slight fake English or American accent but proves to have no culture or decency. Gotta love this. The air hostess speaks Arabic to them and they don’t seem to understand. She has to say it again in English! Because you know what in Ottawa or Kent they brainwashe the 30 years of Arabic language he learned and practiced. And then he does something that just reminds you of his roots; like mistreat his wife, or disrespect a stranger. Because an accent clearly doesn’t buy you civilization.

3. The cute guy who never ever sits next to you. cute man Why does that happen?! I mean really. Can’t it happen like a cliché Hollywood movie? He sits next to you, you touch by mistake, strike a conversation, find out that he’s a Scorpio and you have a lot in common, headed to the same place and just enjoy a long trip talking, laughing and occasionally placing your hand on his. Okay fine I’ll shut up. Moving on.

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!الاسئلة التي لم يتجرأ أحد أن يسألها عن قانون السير الجديد

So the new Traffic Law has been officially launched last week with an outdoor campaign to remind the people to follow the rules. Which is all fantastic, and I have in fact downloaded the entire million page PDF which I tried to go through. Then skimmed and then went to sleep I guess.

I realized that either: I have missed something or: there are a few important mentions that have been omitted. Here are some of the questions that I have:

1. If the darake decides to hit on me on a red light, tries to slip me his number and winks sleazily. What is the fine for that?

f71a062c62543444658ccd8a3f97b307(oh you wish we had that in Lebanon at every light!!) 

2. If a girl is doing her makeup, but not the foundation – that’s too much. Just the blush maybe. Or the mascara. What is the fine for that?

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3. If a spoiled kid in the next car sticks out his tongue or worse, flips you off. What is the fine for that?

18 months old baby boy in car safety seat. Unhappy child crying.

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Haifa Wehbe, taking trash and prostitution globally.

I fought it hard. But then couldn’t anymore. I did it. I watched the new Haifa Video Clip, Breathing you In. I had a few Xanax-es, drank a few coffee cups trying to avoid it. But it wasn’t doing any good. I clicked play.

And then all hell broke loose.

The clip starts with a scene from Gravity and you keep waiting for Sandra or George to show up. But then you get Casper and Haifa!

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You then go back in time to see Casper’s abs, because why not. That brings so much added value.

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Then she starts to sing! And your ears bleed.

Because I am breathing you in, you get me started when you begin. Deep huh?

What follows is this:

1. A silly and cliché beat, that you think you have heard back in the 90s.

2. Some singing that you cannot understand because of her bad English accent and the amount of voice filtering to hide the fact that she cannot sing.

3. Haifa making her usual sex faces. Because this sells.

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4. Some terrible dance moves

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5. Haifa flying into space wearing a modern type furniture item upside down.

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6. The moment where you can see Haifa’s vgg.

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7. That moment when she travels to space to touch the hand of her lover. How romantic.

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8. That ugly red hair and old fashioned make-up. Someone should tell her that this look is really becoming trashy and deja vu. Too Arabic and too common and the furthest away from class. haifa 222

9. The usual top view of Haifa chilling in a garden

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10. How thankful we are that Haifa is now singing in English disregarding the fact that this country needs a good image and good credit. At a point she was a superstar and we disregarded that she couldn’t sing and used her body to entertain. It was her decision. But now that she has taken trash and prostitution globally because that is the only acceptable next step for artists with an added value.
What is her added value? – Showcasing another Lebanese girl, with minimum talent, respect and input trotting the globe and sharing her assets.

If you missed it and want a combination of being pissed off, having a laugh and puking a little bit. Here it is:

Regards,

Bewildered, Confused, Astonished and Furious Haneen.

What I learned from these Easter holidays and how the Lebanese do it!

This(ese) Easter(s), I realized that I have become more “racist” than I really am, or at least paid more attention to religion than I usually do. Maybe it is because Western and Eastern Easter Holidays usually coincide and we don’t have to ask too many questions.

But this year, people were more sensitive than ever to the timing of your greeting. You couldn’t wish them a Happy Easter when it was their Palm Sunday. You had to get the timings perfectly right, and I was slightly confused.

As a child and growing up a bit, Easter to me was all about going to Teta to dye the eggs and have a massacre cracking them. More importantly, it was about running away from the Easter bunny. That is not me because I couldn’t find my picture. But it could have been easily me, ask my kindergarten teacher.

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So this time around, I started all my conversations over the past 2 weeks with, “Are you Roum or Maronite/Catholic?” (Also learned the Maronite, Catholic story. Thank you Clairi!)

Although I really don’t give much attention or care to these things, I didn’t want to piss anyone off! And the truth remains that I did learn a lot about Easter and especially how the Lebanese celebrate it.

1. “Al Masih Kam” should be followed by “7akkan kam”. Although I had heard that expression a million times, I did not know that I was supposed to finish it. So when someone said to me (out of all people) “Al Masih Kam” I would simply smile at them and say something like yup! he did! So when a friend at work explained to me what I should answer, I realized that I might have insulted many. And I am sorry for that. “Al masih kam, 7akkan kam”

2. The weather. It has everything to do with religion. Are you crazy?! It is an important testament of which party God prefers. But it is a tricky one here, it should rain on Friday and be full of sunshine by Sunday. Does this mean that God approves Eastern Good Friday, and Western Easter Sunday? I am seriously still confused, but thankful that this week is going to be sunny.

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3. Palm Sunday. Sha3nine. So I can now say that I know the meaning of this date in Christianity. But what I do not understand is why get dressed like you are going to a wedding, and styled by a melange of Madonna and Clauda El Chemaly. Beats me.  Continue reading

Post Mother’s Day Weekend: My mother’s hobby is to pick on me #MommyIssues

So people who are close to me would say that I have a funny relationship. For the sake of therapy and post this lovely occasion, I would like to say that the sacrifices that my mother did and continues to do are tremendous. How she continues to wake up and take care of us everyday is beyond me.

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But she has both a talent and a hobby (she said it herself) to pick on me and annoy me. Let me tell you how her hobby manifests in 12 lovely moments:

  1. How she always comments on my weight. Always.
  2. How she puts the TV on a really high volume and then just leaves the TV room to the kitchen.
  3. How she changes my room’s decoration all the time, and puts away my stuff. Which means for the upcoming week I will not find anything and will lose my temper.
  4. How she takes us not eating a dish she made very personal. And then will probably not cook again for at least 24 hours.
  5. How she hardly answers her phone and then when you ask her, she says “ma ele jlede”. Even though you might need her for something urgent.
  6. That annoying same question she asks every time I am going somewhere. Me: Mom heading down to Hamra.” Mom: “W shu fi bil Hamra…” And the list goes on.
  7. How she watches the news on all channels every night, then the midnight recap as well. Because the news can drastically change within a few hours.
  8. How she throws my laundry on the bed when she is mad at me.
  9. How she is always mad at me for some reason.
  10. How she makes the best food and deserts, especially when I am dieting.
  11. That new Instagram account that she opened to spy on me.
  12. How she is right about everything.

But then there was this one time over the weekend, when we were at this big dinner and she said something along the lines of, “Mama, I know that you are the prettiest one in the room.”

And that sort of just makes everything worth it. Because it is a fact that she was too.

Happy mother’s day!

ليش الشب اللبناني ما في يكون Prince Charming

So, I watched Cinderella this weekend. The 2015 version of this Disney story, directed by Kenneth Branagh, from a screenplay written by Chris Weit. Of course it starred the amazing Richard Madden as Prince Charming. Just a small background check, we watched it at VOX Gold theatres digging into a Caramel Popcorn large box, and covered under a blanket; because apparently, that is how they do it at VOX Gold.

The story is your traditional plot. Not many changes done there. But for us girls, that doesn’t matter. A Fairytale is amazing any way shape or form. We love happy ending cliché endings, as brain washed and silly as it may seem.

There are many things that caught my attention while watching the movie, and here they are:

  1. Richard Madden is a very generous man with a sexy accent and blue green eyes that have this marvelous ability to break into your very soul. He is amazing when he doesn’t die!richard-madden-1500-xlarge
  2. Kate Blanchet is an amazing villain! You will love her more than you like her.CINDERELLA
  3. Helena Bonham Carter makes the best godmother in history. Her quirkiness fits the role perfectly.bonham-bar-640
  4. The leggings that men wore at the time! Quite revealing downstairs don’t you think?! Lucky Cinderella.getting-to-know-the-real-prince-charming-a-chat-with-richard-madden-cc9ecf23-87cb-4537-8584-fb531758cab2
  5. For once, Prince Charming has a character!

Anyways, you can definitely watch it, stare at Richard Madden (or Lilly James) and dream of your own love story.

But as an average Lebanese girl, what struck me the most was that the average Lebanese Man cannot be Prince Charming!

Regardless if he exists or not, regardless if happy endings are more of a dream than Santa!

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Let me give you 10 reasons why He, the Lebanese Man is not Prince Charming! And you can debate this later!

  1. He has to report to Mommy and Daddy to check what they would like him to do. Although it’s his life, but he is supported financially by them or have this subliminal drive to please them all the time. No-balls prince charming? I think NOT!
  2. He doesn’t like Cinderella for what she really is and cannot fall for her while she is in rags in the forest. He wants her well-dressed up, made up, real or plastic.
  3. He will certainly not woo her with his amazing dancing skills. To the average Lebanese man, dancing isn’t straight! Little do they know.
  4. He will most certainly not make the effort of throwing a ball for a chance to see her. “Bokra eza shefta bi Uruguay bsallem, w bot7ash 3laya ana w sekran!” When you don’t make an effort, Cinderella won’t care – unless she is desperate. And aren’t we all thanks to you!
  5. The average Lebanese man will not search an entire kingdom to find Cinderella using one slipper. Instead, he will wait for her to call or come back, la2anno howe jagal. Logique!
  6. He will not wait till he kisses her on the wedding day, on the royal balcony. He will attempt all kinds of shit on the first date, then call her constipated if she doesn’t feel like exposing herself to a stranger.
  7. He will not know a nice thing to say. We are not asking for a Prince Charming Poetry. But a nice word can go a long way. Not the cheesy, unbelievable phony flattery please!
  8. He doesn’t look this good in tights J
  9. He doesn’t own massive lands in a kingdom and is still down to earth, sweet and rides a horse.
  10. He is not Richard Madden. Period.

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End of discussion.

Dancing with the Stars Week 3. I wasn’t Impressed and this post is boring!

So, the third week of Dancing of the Stars is back, and there is a void. Wayna Jane?! Because quite frankly I didn’t feel like slapping anyone in the face after she left and MTV took that away from me.

So I have to deal with what I have left, and quite frankly it was average this time around.

Let me share with you the highlights, that I had to squeeze out of me:

1. Call me crazy, but there was a lot of nakedness on the show last night.

Amina   Chloe  Ibrahim 2

Dalida  Raed Rony

2. I really liked Carla’s dress, and her mistakes were brought down to a minimum last night. Good job for on a lot of the funny jokes. Bravo Carla.

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3. I still have no idea who Reine Ashkar is, sorry! And Reine, that lying on the floor beginning of your Charleston wasn’t very flattering my friend. This program is G rated.

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