So, this blog has dead ended.

dead end

It’s been 6 years that Shalabieh’s World has been online and active, but it is now time to stop kidding myself and end this journey. I’ve been wanting to resurrect it for months now but feel this history is weighing me down. I have grown, changed and shifted. So this blog is being retired. I will not be posting here again. Something new may evolve more in line with who I am today and what I want to say. Its been a good run… over the last six years my writings have taken many turns and twists starting with the personal and ending without words but rather pictures. So happy blogging to those who blog. Happy reading to those who read.  And thank you to those who have read the thoughts in my head and the mundane banality of my life as Shalabieh.

 

Salam.

Living out of a hotel for 2 months has meant I have gone out and explored different places and foods. I have some pictures for some of the foods and places I have been. The most amazing thing about my trip food wise is that the Msa7ab sandwich (de-boned chicken)  of my childhood is still to be found from the same place and with the same amazing taste 22 years later!

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This is the place of the famous sandwich full of garlic and amazingly cooked chicken. PURRRRRR.

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And this cocktail is the perfect accompaniment to the said sandwhich. And by the way, this hasn’t changed either – mango, strawberry, and banana!

But this Cocktail from a shop in Salmiya is amazing as you can see🙂

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A cool menu that kuwaitifies its offerings. Really cute.

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Tea is served on a metal saj to keep it warm with some hot coals

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Tea with spices, milk and sugar (shakar) cubes. Yum!

In the Middle of the Mubarkieh Souq is an alleyway filled with tables and hungry people enjoying fresh fish, fresh bread and other yummy things.

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Pomegranate Salad

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Freshly grilled fresh fish picked by my dinner mate!

In another part of town in a place that is slightly more upscale we get to see the menu in pictures on an ipad! This is a very common thing to see in Kuwait. Is this happening in other places, digital pictures instead of paper?

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Not the same burger but it’s sister did arrive. This one was called the ninja burger and came with a date sauce.

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This was a fusion of two of my favorite things pumpkin and cheesecake. I have noticed that in Kuwait sweets are not to be taken lightly. So many places making cakes and cupcakes and there is a lot of cheesecake to be had too.

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A breakfast feast, Homus, Ful, falafel, fateh, ash, fresh bread, and so much more. And some of the bread was made with dates mixed into the dough. It wasnt sweet as one would think… it was amazing.

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I did not manage to get a picture of all the amazing food before we devoured it! This was an Indian feast not to be missed.

Kuwait is a place that has a lot of western franchises, but if you look hard enough there are a lot of amazing local places and foods that are worth exploring.

Public Space is plentiful in Kuwait. All along the sea front are walkways that have been paved and beaches with public access. These places are open, easily accessible, relatively clean and safe. These places are mostly family places – just like Kuwait. People using camping gear in the winter to set up their barbecue spots. So on the weekend they are littered with kids on bikes near families with tents and camping chairs sucking on an argileh and fanning a grill.

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Public Beach – all you have to do is walk up to the sea.

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Who said only people enjoy a lazy weekend by the sea?

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Walk way by the sea- near Salmiya

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Near the Scentific Center and the Aquarium

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At Souq Sharq

Some public spaces include a visual attraction such a dhow or art work🙂

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The Dhow at the Scientific Center

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Art work in 360 mall

I am joining the black out. Don’t know what I am talking about?

Check out The Black Iris and 360 east, or go directly to 7oryanet’s page.

Censoriship is futile, we will always find a way around it!

I’m realizing more and more that I trust less and less. People that I shared with intimate thoughts and ideas, feelings and opinions, people I shared amazing experiences with have come to fail me time and time again. Things that are private are made public and sometimes with such twisting and embellishment. Stories and assumptions are made when the facts and details aren’t even there. A part of me has given up trying to explain myself and another part of me is filled with questioning about what I am putting out there into the world. 

 

I have spent years working on building trust and maintaining it. I know I’ve always has a crisis of trust. It takes me forever to open up. But with these trusts broken, and so easily sometimes, I have come to distrust my intuition and ability to judge character. I questions motives, even mine much more now. I feel like I have to think 10 steps ahead and always be guarded about what comes out of my mouth for fear of how it will be interpreted and passed on. It has gotten to a point where I am shutting down.

I don’t want to be so distrustful of the world around me. This crisis has me thinking and rethinking relationships constantly. Trying to step away from the old and build new relationships. But is this the real solution or is this another form of escape away from confrontation? 

I’m not sure what to do with this blog. It has morphed many times as I have in the past few years that I have maintained it. It was a space of expression that I used to enjoy and maintain daily for a couple of years. It was a place that was an outpouring of my inner thoughts that I shared with no one, and when they were here they were shared with everyone. But then it became a place of activities, events, campaigns and anger. Nothing wrong with that… but it went away from the personal to the distant. Today, when i write it is deeply personal and vulnerable and I dont want to expose that. So I write and the writings get buried away in an electronic archive.

 

But I think back at a time when I did expose my self and I did make my self vulnerable, and it was OK. What has changed? Am I censoring myself? I feel I censor myself for others and because of them. I know when I was in Lebanon, that that was why I stopped writing altogether.  I am no longer in that place or space, yet I still cant bring myself to say the things I want to say. Censorship, self censorship is a scary thing.  

I first heard that Cirque du Soleil (CdS) were going to be in the region when I heard about their Beirut performance, I was excited and bit sad that I couldn’t attend. I then learned that they will be in Amman at the end of June and I got really excited until a couple of days later I also learned that they will be in Tel Aviv performing in August. My heart fell. In talking to various people here in Amman we seem to be dismayed at this decision by Cirque du Soleil. It seems that CdS are not respecting the call for Boycott and that is just unacceptable.

The Jordanian Popular Boycott Movement has sent a letter to Cirque du Soleil that calls on them to cancel their show in Tel Aviv. Below is the letter and a list of contacts in which you too can call on Cirque du Soleil. Email them, tweet to them, say something on their Facebook page.

Hopefully with our collective voices they will cancel their show in Tel Aviv, otherwise I know I will not be going to the circus :(!

Cirque du Soleil contacts:

Emails:

contact@cirquedusoleil.com

chantal.cote@cirquedusoleil.com

mediainfo@cirquedusoleil.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CirqueduSoleil

Twitter: @cirque (hastag being used is #CDSCancelIsrael)

The letter sent by the Jordanian Popular Boycott Movement:

Dear Cirque Du Soleil,

Date: May 2012

Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral”―Paulo Freire

As Jordanians and as conscientious citizens of the world, we are appalled to learn that Cirque du Soleil is scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv this August. We are strong advocates of the arts and of cultural exchange, but the choice of Cirque du Soleil to entertain those who commit crimes of war and against humanity is shameful.

As often neglected by mainstream media, Zionist militias (such as the Haganah) started arriving in Palestine back in 1917. Through land-theft, ethnic cleansing, displacement of native people, terrorizing innocent civilians, and the distortion of natural terrain, what is referred to today as the “State of Israel” was created. At present, this so-called State grew to become more brutal, and continues to rob our land, massacre our people, appropriate our cultural heritage, and commit what is now known as the crime of apartheid. This is not a matter of opinion or perspective; it is an issue of historical events and documented facts.

Since the establishment of this colonial entity and until this day, our people have resorted to various forms of resistance, be it armed or non-violent, organized or popular. For us, to resist is to exist. Boycott strategies are but one form of peaceful resistance that we choose to implement. We believe that artists have a responsibility towards what is righteous, as art should not stand neutral and indifferent towards injustice; this is why more than 500 artists in Montreal alone have decided to boycott. We ask you to join them.

Under what you call the Global Citizenship section of your website, you state that “Ever since Cirque du Soleil had the resources to pursue its dreams and perform around the world, it chose to become involved in communities… Concerned with the future, Cirque du Soleil turned its attention and resources to global issues… Cirque du Soleil wants above all to take its place in society as a good citizen, with all the duties and responsibilities that go with citizenship”.

A “good citizen” does not side with those who commit genocides. Your participation there will help them in promoting themselves as peace lovers; this so-called State has mastered the game of “criminal-record laundry” using the arts and culture, and you will be contributing to that.

We urge you as humans and as artists to take a stand against entertaining those who have and continue to commit various forms of atrocities. This is not a political position that we are asking you to take, but one of justice and human dignity. Take the stand that so many freedom fighters have taken before, cancel your show in Tel Aviv.

Should Cirque du Soleil decide to boycott, we will be your strongest promoters in Jordan and the region, but if you choose to go ahead as planned, then we will be obliged to launch a boycott campaign against the event in Jordan, and we will urge other boycott movements around the world to do the same.

Finally, and despite your decision, we ask that you share this letter amongst members and artists in your group, for it is their right to be aware of what they are taking part in.

Sincerely,

The Jordanian Popular Boycott Movement

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