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.



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!


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


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 🙂




A cool menu that kuwaitifies its offerings. Really cute.


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


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.



Pomegranate Salad


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?


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



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.


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.


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.


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


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


Walk way by the sea- near Salmiya


Near the Scentific Center and the Aquarium


At Souq Sharq

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


The Dhow at the Scientific Center


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 came across this post today ( and I would love to do an Arabic version.
Here is the video from the post, anyone in? 

Happy Birthday Baba

Last year I wrote about my father, it was big deal for me to break a wall of silence about my missing parent. I find myself thinking about him in a very different light after that post. I think about resurrecting him and bringing him back to life. To trying to tell stories about him and bringing him closer to us as a family. It was interesting to see the reactions from my siblings and my mother. Some of us have made more peace with our histories and for others the scars are still raw.

Well once again it is his birthday today, and my gift to him and to myself on this day is to remember the man that was my father. And to do so publicly and out load because he was buried in silence for far too long.

I will tell a story from my foggy memory to keep your memory alive and to pass it on to my little brother who never really knew you, and to my neices and nephews. One of things I remember quite vividly was you never could eat alone. I remember you coming home tired and sweaty from a hot day’s work in the sun. Coming back to our home in Salwa, Kuwait. I remember a spread of food being laid out for you in the living room on the coffee table in front of the TV. We had all eaten hours earlier, but you would insist that we join you. I realize today that I carry that tradition with me, I will always eat, even if it is just a nibble, with others. A part of me can not let a friend or loved one eat alone. I now know this comes from you :), so thank you for a lovely habit.

Happy Birthday, I am glad your memories keep coming back.

wadistocracy واديقراطية

UPDATE: There are credible reports that many of the supposed signatories to this document never saw it and had no knowledge that their names were being used. I respectfully request that anyone who has republished this translation take appropriate measures to inform their readers.

A collective Palestinian statement
To apply for membership in the Syrian Writers Union and in solidarity with the Syrian people

It is our honor, as Palestinian writers and signatories to this statement, to request as a group to be inducted into the Syrian Writers Union, which has been recently established by the free Syrian writers and intellectuals who stand with the people as they climb the ladder of freedom which has been smeared with blood by the hand of the tyrant. The establishment of the Syrian Writers Union constitutes an essential pillar of the Syrian revolution and places the true intellectual in his or her rightful…

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So, a lot of people are wondering what to do during Ramadan. It’s quiet, boring, slow, things shut down, our routines are disrupted and it seems like there is nothing to do! The other part of this is money, everything costs a lot of money to do… so here is my list of things to do during Ramadan, in Amman, for under 10 JD.

1- Go to Turtle Green for a coffee and manousheh, hang out on your own, or with friends with an internet connection and a chilled out atmosphere. Don’t forget to check out the original artwork on the wall downstairs- It is really cool.
Cost= -about JD 5

2- Walk down a side street at sunset and revel in the silence, enjoy it… Amman only becomes this quiet at this time during Ramadan. Alternatively,  take a walk in with Fast Walk – or do your own walk in one of the old neighborhoods of Amman and smell the fabulous jasmine bushes that waft round the corners. This is a whopping zero to do and lots of fun with the right persons.
Cost = ZERO

3- Experiment with your atayef – make them from from scratch or buy them ready made and just stuff them with different things. I’ve done cream and jam, dried fruits, nutella, labneh, pumpkin pie stuffing, bananas… try  anything you like, its fun to experiment.
Cost = about a dinar for a kilo of atayef  and the cost of stuffing. It really is cheap, fun and yummy.

4- Go to Citadel Nights– you can stroll around and have some evening fun in an amazing setting and cool night breezes. Cost= entrance is JD 5 and  if you see a Qalaa kid hanging around and can’t get in buy them a ticket and let them in (makes it an even 10JD).

5- Feed someone: check out Tkiyet Um Ali, smile in a box, under my olive tree, or just do your own thing…
Costs= the costs vary depending on what you do… and it is very rewarding a lot can be done for under 10 though.

6- Hang out with one of the kids in Jabal Al Qala and ask them if they can teach you to make a kite- they will love it and so will you.
Cost=  about 3 JD tops.

7- Goto one of the art galleries in Amman – there are many and learn about the Art. Jacaranda is happy to talk to you about the Jordanian Artists they exhibit and are open from 12 pm- 5pm.
Cost= ZERO

8- Check out one of the ramadan tents that have argileh, cards and other great things…
Costs= The costs vary depending on where you go, but I am sure you can manage to get a nice cup of tea for under 10 JD somewhere… just make sure there are no cover charges or minimum charges.

9- Downtown Amman is a must, before iftar go to the vegtable market and stock up, the closer it is to eid the more you want to check out the craziness that is Italian Street, great buys and lots of fun. After iftar you can have a ramadani juice at any of the juice stands, Creme caramel at al quds, S7our at Hashems, or buy yourself a DVD for a fun night in with your friends. You can also check out the new lights of King Faisal Street- I am told they are really cool.
Cost= anywhere from 1 JD for a DVD and upwards depending on what you do and what you buy. The walk around the hood is free and very energizing 🙂

10- At su7our, go out and talk to your local musa7arati- you know the guy with the drum (He’s like santa only comes out once a year and is hard to catch).

Feel free to add your favorite thing to do in Ramadan for under 10 JD… and watch for the Arabic version- It is coming soon.

Ramadan Kareem.

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