The Nomad Mum's Diary

Monday, December 10, 2007

The road to Egypt- Hectic preperations

Ok guys, i have 2 days before i go incommunicado, we are leaving for Egypt on Thursday, I have no idea if there are any interent cafes on the road, and l will have Adam on my hands since Max limits himself to driving and dealing with border points. There is a lot to do before Thursday and the weather is not helping, it's raining like hell and the wind is battering people and umbrellas mercilessly. I'll try to do as much posting and reading as I can, take care everyone! Sign in to see full entry.

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Damscene moon

Souk Alhamidiyyah, A must-see for anyone who comes to Damascus Ok guys, I know this obsession with Nizar Qabbani maybe have gone on too long, but I can’t help it. I have no idea why I find myself going back to his poems time and time again, maybe because I see many of them in a new light, especially the ‘feminist’ ones which are still as relevant and true today as they were four decades ago. Some of Nizar’s most popular pieces are the ones about Damascus, his self-imposed exile and his well... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A voice from the Harem meets the tears of Shahrayaar

These two poems by Nizar Qabbani come from two books, and were probably written with several years in between. Separately, they read like idiosyncratic whining, together they are a fascinating example of Qabbani’s Janus-like ability to speak in the voice of men and women alike with poems that cover every possible angle on love, passion, even obsession. Shahrayaar is the king in Arabian nights who marries a maiden at night and orders her killed the following morning, and Nizar often uses him as a... Sign in to see full entry.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A love for Nizar

This is a translation I found on the web of one of Nizar Qabbani’s poems, it is not one of his famous pieces but it is characteristic of this poet’s blend of romance and rebellion. His sister's suicide in protest against her arranged marriage started Nizar on a crusade against the oppression of women. Conservatives raged against the erotic references in his poetry but women worshipped him as he -literally- became their voice, phrasing many of his poems as letters from women to men or as pages... Sign in to see full entry.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Road to Egypt - A nightmare in the making

I am a control freak, I'm not ashamed to admit it, but I am about to embarke on my kind's worst nightmare: a road trip through the Middle East! As I've told you in the previous post, my husband has decided that we drive to Egypt for the Eid Al Adha break which falls, conveniently, 5 days before Christamas. I would have preferred taking the plane since we are traveling with an -almost- three-year-old, but Max gets a certain look on his face at the prospect of a long leisurely drive that makes it... Sign in to see full entry.

Friday, November 23, 2007

And in unrelated news...

Hubby has spoken: We are going to Egypt by car! Spending Eid Al-Adha break in Egypt with my dad –who has flown there from Poland to satisfy his sun-hunger- had always sounded like a good idea, especially with a flight from our doorstep to Cairo every Thursday and a return flight to Lattakia on Saturdays. But to my husband’s ears it was too easy and it would cost more than it should, and wouldn’t it be nice if had our car to drive around Cairo instead of taking cabs all the time ( as if we knew... Sign in to see full entry.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

For whom the Blogs roll?

I started this blog as a kind of chronicle of my “adventures” as a mum. It slowly turned into an outlet for all my frustrations and a place to get advice on my dilemmas. Yet it was my culture and its customs that seemed to be the interest of the majority of you, and it does not surprise me: the Levant and Islam are subjects shrouded in mystique and misconceptions and it is natural that there is a need for someone to provide some answers. I was happy to answer those queries as best as I could and... Sign in to see full entry.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Home of the Alphabet

Few of you may know that just a stone's throw away from my home is the birth place of the Alphabet. The ancient kingdom of Ugarit may be unknown to people outside Syria but its contribution to humanity -a small pottery tablet with the alphabet indented into it- is invaluable. I've just came across this interesting article about Latakia and Ugarit, it'll give you a glimpse of the place where I live and it will help explain my renewed fascination with the alphabet. Enjoy!... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

In sickness and in health

Hi everyone. Sorry for the long absence. I never imagined myself to be able to stay away from Blogit for so long but it was unavoidable. Adam got sick with a nasty strain of the flu that wouldn't go away. 20 days later and he still coughs like an old smoker. I got sick around the end of Ramadan and spent the 3 days of Eid in bed. It was inevitable with all the stress of looking after a sick child, fasting and cooking for frequent guests. Now, thank God, it looks like we're out of the woods. Adam... Sign in to see full entry.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ramadan diary 4: Gun shots by popular demand!

The highlight of a Muslim’s day in Ramadan is when he/she hears the call for prayer at sunset which marks the end of the fast. My earliest memory of Ramadan is of me and my brother with noses pressed to the window as we would wait for the minarets’ lights to be turned on, a sign that it is time to eat. Back in the 80’s, there were four mosques that could be seen when they were lit: one to the north of our block and three that were visible from our bedroom window to the south. Yet despite having... Sign in to see full entry.

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