Every time
I think about this fateful day

My heart gives a jolt

Disbelief is still here

Lodged in my brain

Like a permanent bullet

Are you really gone?

It’s been a year, 

But the feeling is the same

A punch in my gut

A sharp tug at my heart

A quick draw of my breath 


That monstrous beast

Remains here

Curled up in me


A moment of weakness

To rear its ugly head 

Are you really gone? 



I’ve been told to write about what I know.

Well at the moment, what I seem to know is loss. The bewildering emptiness that comes with that phone call in the middle of the night. Why is it always at night? Is death afraid of the brightness of the sun?

You feel what that phone call will be about, a few split seconds before anyone tells you anything, you know.

Then you hear, and it’s like crashing in a wall of cotton, everything just goes silent at your core for a while, as in your whole body was folding in a ball of darkness.

They call it shock. Apparently, you go into shock. That’s a nice word to say that you can’t wrap your head around the fact that you will never see that person you love again, never hear their voice, never see their smile again, except in your sleep.

It’s a nice word to say that your whole body, mind and spirit are fighting against the dreary stillness of death, its definite inexorability, the slashing cut it makes on your soul.

And yet you try to keep hope. You try to believe, really believe, that when it’s time for you to go they will be waiting for you on the other side, whole and happy, their spirit alive and blooming, having tea with John Lennon and Karl Marx, as if these years you were apart never happened, and never mattered.

But until then, you sit down, and you cry, you smoke and your drink, you look for some light in that ball of darkness, and you carry on living, because life, and love, and light are your best weapons against the revolting stillness of death.  You choose to carry on with your life, because that’s one life that death has yet to claim.

You choose to carry on with your life, because the people you lost were fighters, and the only way to honour them is to keep up the fight.

After all, you don’t want them to shame you when you’re having that tea with Marx.

For Nicolas and Bassem, may your shining souls keep leading our way

Beirut Never Dies



My Beirut is wounded. Shocked and saddened, she looks at her open, bleeding wounds, mesmerized, as if in a daze. She was not dreaming though, it really did happen to her. How odd, to think it thought of itself more or less healed, the wounds only painful scars, to realise it’s as vulnerable as ever.

My Beirut is crying, it saw its men and women weeping in despair, it had to hear once again the hypnotic sirens of ambulances rushing people in limbo back to the shores of life, it had to catch its breath again as the dead were giving their last one. It was confused, it had thought those were nightmares long gone.

My Beirut is angry, It would like to silence the so called politicians exploiting its despair, it would like to meet the coward perpetrators behind this insult, this injury to its glorious name, it wants a fight with someone, anyone, to make sense of the senseless, to comprehend what can’t ever be understood.

My Beirut is tender, it walks the walk of the shadows of death with the ones departing her, cleansing their blood away from their faces and wiping away the tears of their loved ones. It stands proud amongst the vileness around, it kicks with contempt the abomination of criminals.

My Beirut is hurting, the thousands, the millions hearts that love her are hurting with her, and that beating, that never ending beating, still resonates in our ears and minds. Do you listen, you cowards, do you hear, you murderers, do you hear that silent noise, that thumping like thunder? They’re our hearts, reminding you, once and for all,