Showing posts from June, 2018

What I'm Reading: "Harness Your Creativity" by Nadia Tabbara

I’d heard about writer and creativity coach Nadia Tabbara some time ago. Anyone in Beirut who dabbles in writing has probably come across her name, as she heads a space called FADE IN:  to educate aspiring writers on the creative process. Beyond that, Nadia is a professional screenwriter who’s worked on famous Hollywood productions including “Step Up 3D” and “The Adjustment Bureau.” What I didn’t know is that Nadia and I share a bit in common, namely our American upbringing. In fact, we were both denizens of Boston, though not contemporaneously. She graduated from Emerson College in 2005; I, from MIT, in 2009. We both made the dramatic decision to move to Lebanon in 2011, citing a raw hunger to experience our ancestral home. In her new book Harness Your Creativity , published last month by Turning Point Books , Nadia articulates that yearning ever so eloquently: “A big part of the creative process is learning how to follow a whisper until it turns into a thought, then an ide

“On Your Way” Brings the Amazon Shopping Experience to Lebanon

One of the things I miss most about living in the US is More than merely a marketplace, it’s a treasure trove that sells absolutely everything under the sun (and then some).  I’m not exaggerating. I used to skip the university bookstore, buying (and selling) ALL of my college textbooks via Amazon. Last Christmas, I stumbled across gorgeous Ivanka Trump navy blue pumps at a steal…on Amazon. Every perfume I have ever procured, from my very first bottle of Burberry Brit back in grad school, was through Amazon. Most recently, my son Stephen’s play pen, stroller, bottle sterilizer, bottle warmer, and organic bamboo bath towel were unearthed…on Amazon. Yes, folks. Amazon is life, and nowhere do you appreciate its existence more than in Lebanon, where it is nonexistent. Here, if you come across an imported product, particularly clothing or electronics, it’s substantially marked up (been to Virgin Megastore recently?). Quite often, too, you won’t even find what you’re look

Baby Stephen's Baptism

In Lebanon, sacramental events like baptism, first Holy Communion, and marriage can easily spiral into lavish affairs. Lebanese love to celebrate big, and that kind of festive spirit extends even to deeply religious occasions. Modesty is rarely the motif! Contrarily, my husband and I tend to be understated in our approach. Two weeks ago, we baptized our seven-month-old son Stephen in the presence of an intimate few. The ceremony was beautiful and symbolic; the lunch reception following it, chic and idyllic; and the keepsakes, lovingly handcrafted with ornate detail. If I were to describe the day in two words, it would be elegant subtlety, and we wanted Stephen’s first sacrament to embody that. The Ceremony St. Paul’s Basilica in Harissa holds monumental significance to our family. It was where Jimmy and I united in holy matrimony over three and a half years ago. It was the church in which Jimmy himself was baptized some three decades ago. And it is where we wished to chr