Category Archives: Middle East

Where is really Home?

The basic reference of the word home comes as follows.
/hoʊm/noun, adjective, adverb, verb, homed, hom⋅ing
1. a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household.
2. the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.
3. any place of residence or refuge: a heavenly home.
4. a person’s native place or own country.

I have been for the last 7 years now in this northern part of the planet trying to figure out really what is home. Is it really true that when you are an immigrant to a new country, it’s like you are reborn. Is it true that you do the baby steps again, you build yourself, you integrate, you learn?  But does that make where you are now, your home?

As hard as it was to learn how to adapt, work, communicate in a new culture. Finland became my home! Every aspect of its society affect me, from its politics, to the little things of everyday life, even to the way i think. I have become “Finlandized”

When i came to Helsinki, i fell in love with the peace, with the system, the mentality of the Finns, their appreciation of everything given to them, their modesty, and the real democracy and freedom. This freedom and democracy is something people in the Arab world seems to be eager to have now, the youth of the Arab world are revolting to be able to live free, have jobs, a good life, standards, infrastructure, development and “democracy”.

But democracy cannot sadly be given in matters of days or even months, as i see after my experience here in Scandinavia, it is given by the way people  are raised, people learn to live  it, learn to be free, they learn to be given these rights. Our choices are ours, we are responsible of our actions.  The way you behave to respect  other humans even if different from you is the real democracy, the way you live is the real democracy.

Responsible for our actions is something that the Finns take seriously, they stand up to their country. I always say that the nationalism in Finland is not a curse, i wish my real home country was as nationalistic as we are here or patriotic and not divided over religion, over foreign interests or assets.

It is not the flag put on every building, it is not the love to “Lihapulla” or “Makkara” or the love to the “Suomi T-Paita” that makes Finns nationalistic really in my opinion, it is the way they are proud of their country, or the way they are proud of what they have built from the welfare state to the way how they  handle any breach of their air space or to the way they respect the value of a citizen. You can feel safe in Finland.

Many might say i am wrong, but i appreciate the love people have to their nation even though it is changing and maybe not toward the best. But well Home is a place where you are valued as a human, where you are treated with respect, where you are not scared from the police like the case in most of the Arab world. Home is the place where you can say to a certain extent what comes to your mind without fearing to lose your job or get in trouble. Yes! I know it is not the paradise, Finns still tend not to like being criticized and it is one of their weakness but the reality I feel home here and i am blessed to feel so. Domi ego sum!

Time fly and Beirut!

Time fly and lots happened recently. Mostly, i went on a visit to Chaos land aka Lebanon and had an amazing 10 days visit to my parents/family and took hell of pictures as also managed to get myself some sun.

Sun is the only thing we worship here in Scandinavia. People belong to church but their only believe in my opinion is the sun as it is a rare privilege after the long months of winter!

Lebanon is a surprising place, full of controversy of diversity and becoming an expensive destination. All the life standards we take for granted in Scandinavia are extremely expensive in Lebanon but well the food is amazing and just taste ( an issue i have with Finnish supermarkets where fruits and food items are never fresh and tasty ) , Lebanese choose to live in ignorance of their daily problems, the country is full basically of Syrian refugees due to the sad crisis in there.

Beirut itself is striving … life goes on, coffee shops restaurants, design outlets, stores, luxurious stores, fancy cars ( too fancy for my taste, in a small country with small roads there is really no need to have tons of jeeps.)  Also, horrible the lack of public transport. Basically, Lebanon is a no go without a car and if you drive there you must be insane!

I leave you some photos from my trip and more blogs to come about Finland’s amazingly warm summer, except the few rainy days 🙂

Flowers in RechmayaOlive tree in BeirutBeirut DTRechmaya MountainBeach St.Georges in Beirut!View from Le Gray. The pigeon rocks.

The Hours

” Happy Birthday me!” 1 year older and a 100 wiser, is a popular proverb from back home.

It has been again a while, but thanks for a week of holiday’s or well sickness in bed that I managed to come back here.

I have so much to write about, and really don’t know where to start but well I will let the words fall one after the other.

There has been so many events lately happening in where I come from and where I am today, Finland lack no action as some of you might think! There has been elections, a strong win for the True Finns party and awesome celebration’s after with the golden win in the ice hockey championship, Finland defeated Sweden 6-1 in that game and that my Helsinki became a mini Beirut, I actually did hear enough car horns on those 2 days of festivities to compensate on the 4 years of silence!

The events in the middle east lately, Lebanon and Syria fill a lot of my free time, watching all kind of media sources and following up but comparing my new home to my ex-home is  taking  a toll when I mostly check the Lebanese media, Finland is a fair place even if I sometimes fear what the future hides us here with the win of the True Finns and the rise of the extreme right-wing . I admired this nation since I came back in 2006 for things that differs it from the corrupted, sickening Middle East.

I  see though beautiful things that makes me grateful, like the excellent medical system that showed its care to me this week.

But let’s, go back to the hottest zone on earth, the land of the Arab spring. Is this spring still kicking? It seems many believe that it is fading. I see that it will fade but will rise again, the people want change but what is this change.
Coming from that region, I have enough knowledge of the people and their ways. This might not be fair, but I believe that hunting down the leaders will not make much effect, democracy and I mean the one I enjoy daily is taught, it comes from learning and understanding and respecting the values of humans, animals, ourselves. something we lack!

I see lots of young Arab youth on Twitter, Facebook revolting but the dreams they aim for need one thing they forget: A system of education and time and hours. nothing changes in one day, there will be chaos then perfection, it is the way life works.

These freedoms and democracies comes from rising above selfishness and working hard to build a sustainable system for all, equal citizens. But well, that spring is still very young and we will live to see its future. Meanwhile,I wish that the western societies become more supportive to those young groups forming there, the Arab spring youth of Egypt, of Lebanon, and sadly the youth of Syria are dying fighting for a better future without tyranny. Europe and the west, should do more.

While all this uncovers, and the future becomes clear I keep counting the hours and days I spend  comparing this world to that world.

Will write again soon, meanwhile I enjoy the peace and stability wishing that one day,the youth of my home country will taste the beauty of this real democracy!