Et il y a Beyrouth

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Il y a l’odeur du jasmin qui vous surprend au détour d’une ruelle obscure.

Il y a le bruit, le chaos, la pollution et la vie qui bouillonne.

Il y a la fraîcheur inattendue d’une terrasse qui embaume le café et l’été.

Il y a l’explosion de couleurs des bougainvilliers qui parvient à peine à masquer la laideur du béton.

Il y a la pauvreté et la misère, les inégalités criantes et l’incivilité crasse.

Il y a la chaleur étouffante, la moiteur qui vous colle à la peau, comme une étreinte subie et que l’on n’a pas recherchée.

Il y a les sourires et les mots des habitants du quartier assis au seuil de leur immeuble.

Il y a le parfum des manakiches, la douceur des tomates, l’onctuosité de la mhallabieh et l’âpre saveur du sumac.

Il y a les volutes de fumée des narguileh qui s’évapore dans le ciel indigo du crépuscule.

Il y les fleurs de frangipanier, les roulements de tambour des batailles qui se rapprochent, les étreintes volées des amoureux en bord de mer, les plongeons insensés des aventuriers de la Grotte aux Pigeons, les niches religieuses où Mar Charbel et la Vierge veillent, la corruption des politiques et la colère sourde des habitants.

Il y a Beyrouth.

La Rebelle.

Qui vit.

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Help a Sister Out

Women often have to hear the age old stereotype about them that they’re catty with one another, competitive and mean. This stereotype is yet again one of the by-product of the patriarchal society that loves to demean and patronise women, yet does everything in its power to pit women against one another for male’s attention. 

However, this stereotype, like all stereotypes, doesn’t live up to a reality many of us experience: that most women out there are more than ready to collaborate with one another and stick together. 

This is why I’d like to start a women’s solidarity chain, to try and break this prejudice, one act of kindness at a time. It won’t destroy the patriarchy, this is another fight that we need to carry on undertaking in parallel, but it ‘ll annoy the hell out of it, and that’s something right?

So basically, the idea is simply lend a hand to, offer support to, start a collaborative project with or mentor another woman or other women, then tweet or post about it with the hashtag #helpasisterout for visibility. A junior in your company needs career advice? Go to lunch with her and prep the hell out of her. Mind your neighbour’s kid while she’s interviewing for a job. Help a struggling new mother, write a post denouncing women’s unfair treatment, listen to different women to try and shake our own prejudice, take photos celebrating their bodies, basically any and every idea that comes to your mind to make a difference in one woman’s life. 

It might be small, but if each and every one of us starts somewhere, why, we could take on the world. 

For me, I start right here: I’m helping a friend get the fair treatment she deserves in her workplace by working with her on communicating with her supervisor. I hope to be able to help a sister out whenever I can. 

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