Art, Poetry & Pen Nora's Corner Nora's Letters
any of the topics below, click on the underlined link...
Article in Palm Beach News of 12-06-09 by M. M. Cloutier about Grace Halabi
Poem: Invictus by Grace Halabi - March 1, 2009
Ain El Tahta by Oula Aoun
Great paintings by a young artist: Nissrine Moujaes
Editorial by Grace Halabi: Simply My Point of View
Poem by Grace Halabi: "A Woman's View"
check out Grace Halabi's latest at her web site: http://www.renascence.homestead.com/view.html
1930's poems of George Moujaes courtesy of Fouad Major facilitated by Waleed Moujaes
Poem by Michael Sawaya courtesy of Rosalie Sawaya
Poem: A Woven Web by Grace Halabi
Poems: The Bay, The Dirt Road, No Gold and The Valley of the Myth by Antoine Halabi
Poetry & Biography of George Moujaes courtesy of his son Fouad Major (Moujaes)
Poem by Amin Beder courtesy of Antoinette Khnaisser
We are like guardian spirits by Dr. Klee
Poems by Grace Halabi
Sumaya Sabeh Samaha
Surreal Paintings - Amal & Zadallah Jabbour
The words of Fairuz' Nassam Alaina Al Hawa & Habibi Baddo al Amar by the Rahbani Brothers
The Villager - A poem by Antoine R. Halabi
Easier to read text for above article:
Versed Things First
Palm Beach Banking Executive
has been writing poetry since she was 10.
In the annals of modern verse, published banker-poets are rare. It turns out Grace Halabi, an upper-end executive and familiar face in Palm Beach banking circles, is one of them.
She also writes epitaphs.
Poet’s point of view: Grace Halabi, a vice president at BB&T’s Worth Avenue branch, says writing poetry has helped her prosper in her banking career, because the literary form demands so much creative thinking.
In progress is a fiction and verse-sprinkled autobiography. Who’d have thought?
According to Halabi, a 25-year banking veteran who is Vice President at the Worth Avenue branch of Branch Banking & Trust, better known as BB&T, “I’m convinced that part of my banking-industry success is a result of my embracing creative thinking. Understanding human emotions, which is a part of poetry, plays a role in everything.”
Multilingual Halabi, who grew up in Beirut under the tutelage of her English-professor father, was 10 when she wrote her first poem – an ode to rebirth after death. She has been writing verse ever since and recently published a collection of her poems (A Renascence of Heart and Soul, iUniverse, 2007).
Last year, Halabi – whose Web site (gracehalabi.com) details or links to her writing endeavors – began penning epitaphs by request; she has written a few dozen so far. “So many people who pass away have touched people’s lives, and their loved ones can’t always put it all into words,” says Halabi. “As T.S. Eliot once wrote, “Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning, every poem is an epitaph.’”
"For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I
still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. But I make known
to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according
to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came
through the revelation of Jesus Christ." Galatians 1:10-12
We pilgrims are not so twined,
Nay...we would rather reprise ..
And deliberately incise
Lest our ties should bind..
Nay...we would rather unwind
than ever Confide
To become clearly defined..
Alas, we choose to be resigned..
Black sheep can no longer sleep
Confined... they wail... they weep..
Besieged, anguished.. they seek..
A soul, languished..
longs to be refined..
Ah, Such is the fate of mankind..
Drowned by faults and fears
Through helpless infant years..
We weave our web of tears
And yearn to please…with all degrees..
‘Tis our disease!
Does Sin ever Cease?
We are indeed afflicted..
And some confess to be convicted..
‘Tis easier to offend... to pretend..
Our light is now spent ..
And we have yet, to amend.. to repent..
Hark! There He stands, Invictus!
He lights the coming age..
With pious words forthright..
A tortured soul , stands, upright..
A human pulse, now, purified..
Penned and spoken..
With precise excision..
And intended provision,
This swift incision..
Restores my crystal vision..
And I...transcend! My wings,
Once broken, were His crimson token..
Souls that desperately trembled..
Now Cling and Rise..
They no longer hide…behind earthly guise..
Discerning… His Splendor..
His Trumpet of Wonder..
The Music I now hear
is ever so clear..
And Oh so near..
I shed my pride; set all aside..
I see His face, His ebb, His tide…
Our Lord of Truth and Humble Grace…
Appoints our place..
Affectuous! We sustain!
Invictus! We remain!
Also, I would like to share my web site,
I offer personalized epitaphs and "in memoriam" pages for those who want to honor their loved ones with unique tributes. Kindly visit above site and sample some of my work. We are indeed fallible, yet , "A funeral is testimony that a Life has been lived". Let my words serve justice to a loved one's worth...
قصيدة شاعر أردني
حبيبتـــــي…أحبــــــــــك اللـــــــه يقطـع شكلـــــــك
حبيبتــــــي… أحبــــــك اللــه يخلــف علــى اهلــك
انا بدونك .....
متـل الشارع بدون انــاره متل التقاطع بدون اشــاره
متـل السلطـه بدون خياره متل السواق بدون سيـاره
متـل الحديقـه بـدون شجره متــل الثـور بـدون بقـره
متـل الـصحـراء بـدون بعيـر متـل بـوش بـدون بليـر
متـل الأهبـل بـدون هبلـــة متــل عنتــر بـدون عبلــه
انـا النـار وانتـي الدخـان انـا الـزلزال وانتي البركـان
انـــــــا بـدونــــك اضيـــع انـا بدونك بالشوارع بصيع
انا بدونك متل الخروف بدون قطيع انا بدونك حالي فظيع
انا بدونك حمام من غير سيفون انا بدونك سلطة بدون ليمون
انا الكهرباء وانتي الليت
وانــــــا مــــــارق مـــريـــت جـمــــب ابــــواب الـــبيـت
مـنـشـــانــك حـنـيــــــــــــت انــا روميـو وانتي جـوليـت
انـا سوبرمـان وانتي طيارته انـا باتمـان وانتي سيارتـــــه
انــــا عشانك اشتغل تاكسي انـــــا الميراندا وانتي الببسي
انتـي القشطه وانا الزيتون انتـــي نعناعــه وانــا ليمــون
انتي الجزيره وانا سبيس تون انتي بومبـا وانـــــا تيمـــون
انتــي الباب وانــا الـــمفتــاح انتي الضفدعه وانا ا لتمساح
يا اجمل من بنات المغرب واليونان آآآآآه ياريتك بنت الجيران
انـــا لعيونك بغلب جاكي شان واعبر المحيطات والخلجـــــان
واصارع في حلبة الثيران يا احلى من شاكيرا وبرتني وكريستان
آآآه .. انا وانتي احلى معنى للحب
انــا المتــــر وانتي الشبــــر ليــش انتـــي الشبــــر .......؟؟؟
إلـــــك هالكبـــر لااا حبي لك أكبر من موج البحر
حبي لك كثر مافي العالم قهر
كثـــر مافي لبنان بنات حلوات كثـــر ما عند الوليد يختــــات
كثـــر مـــافــي هــولنـــدا ورود كثر مــافـــي امريكــا يهــود
كثر مافي الصومال مجاعه
ااااااه ..... احـــبــــك
Courtesy of Riad Khuneisser & the staff at Nameh Jaffet Library archives at AUB. Thanks to all who helped.
Another well-known Shweirieh. Amin Khairallah, the son of a
great Shweirieh Daher Khairallah. The wordings and the poem are for Najib
This picture is for Shweir in 1930. The poem and the picture
is for Najib
Mushraq in his book "Al Mashraquat", published in Harisa 1931.
As you Know, the well known Shweirieh are more than can be
counted. From time to time I will send you pictures and info or poems for a
Shweiry or about him. The attached are picture of Abraham Rihbany and the poem
by Najib Mushraq.
To read about Ibrahim Rahbani's work, click on Ibrahim's name to go to the "Books" section of Shweir.com
Thank you Riad Khuneisser for sending this info.
Dearest shweir.com family,
These few words are are only to thank you for your endless efforts to keep all the shweirie united and our dearest shweir your first concern. I hope these words have embodied your true feelings as I sense them. Thank you once more for everything.
Sue el Nemri
wife of Habib Jouka Moujaes mother of sandy and jack. shweir, lebanon
STAR DOT COM
sailed from their homeland,
With a handful of its own sand.
Tears were shedding
with the last glance,
Tenderly on their cheeks escaped to dance.
Far and away they
settled their homes,
Yet Shweir’s wind in their hearts still roams.
Though the years
skillfully carved their traces,
They couldn’t the longing vanish from their faces.
In the eyes gleams a
Which anyway couldn’t wait any longer.
What “Shweir Dot Com”
all their best goals are?
Creating from Shweir, Lebanon’s most shining star!
What a wonderful poem!
Thank you Sue, Sandy, Habib and family.
We are blessed with wonderful people like you.
Best to all,
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2002 1:20 AM
Rustum is a well known poet who lived in America. This poem is in his "Dewan"
pub. in 1908. I hope you like it.
Courtesy of Grace Halabi
an excerpt from Fields of My Blood © 1998 John Asfour
Still you turn out lives
in dribs and drabs, lives
of no return
of doom, no snakes that scale
the walls of certainty—
and then you produce
the lives of geniuses and infants.
I still can engage you
in a faceless argument
of politics and the economy
that upends the facts, only
to collapse. And why is it
that you retreat
when I wish to thank you
and discuss your plans?
formed inside your head
are not made to human measure
I am forced to cut and paste
cut and paste until
the collage becomes a home.
compelled to seek it
but it is preferable to setting traps
in the brain’s underbrush
baited with our flesh.
Click here: Grounding Sight
Courtesy of Angie
From: AATIK@aol.com [mailto:AATIK@aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 04, 2002 1:44 PM
Subject: Fwd: Lebanon, I miss you...
IS A LETTER DEDICATED TO ALL LEBANESE OF ALL RELIGIONS WHEREVER THEY MAY BE IN
PLEASE PASS THIS LETTER TO ALL THOSE WHO LOVE LEBANON.
THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING OF LEBANON'S REVIVAL.
My Lebanon is just like yours.
It lives in my mind , my heart and my spirit.
It lives in my humor and sadness.
It thrives in my family , my friends , my countrymen, my memory.
Lebanon is in the air that I breathe every day.
It is the moon climbing slowly from behind the hills to crawl into the sky,shimmering softly on the calm Mediterranean.
It is the sun burning red and orange as it sinks gracefully on the horizon.
It is a row of pine trees along a mountain road and a little stone house set back in a quiet little village.
My Lebanon is just like yours in the long hot summer days beating us down to sleep in the shade of the afternoon.
It is in the feasts ,lunches and dinners stretched out along long tables with friends and drink.
It is the heart-thumping rhythm of the derbakkeh and the whirling dance of the dabke.
It is the smoke that curls from the nargileh as you sip your coffee brewed fresh from a large boiling pot.
Lebanon is the sheik in his mansion and the priest in his church.
It is the Mouezzin calling Muslims to prayer at dawn the voice ringing through the crisp air.
It is the Church bell tolling loud and clear from the hilltop.
Lebanon is the farmer leading his oxen to plow.
It is the shepherd whistling and calling to his flock and the stone flung with the aim of a hunter walking beyond him in the valley.
Lebanon is the shahrour and the bilbol singing , the fig tree lending its fruit and the grapes sweetening your mouth like cold wet honey.
My Lebanon is just like yours and the neighbors who welcome you into their hearts and their homes.
It is in the old woman sitting cross-legged before her sajj baking the mouthwatering mankoush and markouk.
It is the men sitting before the Saraya under an eucalyptus tree playing tric trac each wiser than the next and both content in their rivalry.
It is in Beirut on a busy day with the people walking and the cars honking.
It is in the crowded restaurants and cafe's and the beaches.
It is the fun of being alive.
My Lebanon is just like yours when the snow falls on Sannine, Faraya and Bcharre.
It is the white laden branches of the cedars in winter that have stood before time itself knew of them.
It is the olive tree that was planted by the grandfather of my grandfather and the sindianeh under which he sat and told me.
Lebanon is Fairuz and the songs of the loves and dreams of all of us.
It is the stars on a clear autumn night flickering like the lights of the fishing boats in the bay.
My Lebanon is all of that and more.
It is beyond any enemy and their devices.
It is above any politician and his manipulations.
It is bigger than any scheme or any plot.
My Lebanon is invincible, it is unconquerable and unwavering.
My Lebanon is beyond the traitors and the thieves , it is beyond the cowards and the knaves.
My Lebanon cannot be bombed nor beat, nor bowed.
My Lebanon is made of things that cannot be broken , of dreams that cannot be erased , of passion that cannot be withheld.
My Lebanon is as free as the hawk that flies on a hot summer day and as tough as the pillars of Baalbek.
My Lebanon is powerful and proud, tolerant and forgiving, beautiful and stern.
My Lebanon is made of the immortal.
My Lebanon is just like yours.
LETS GET IT BACK
PLEASE FORWARD THIS LETTER TO ALL THOSE WHO LOVE LEBANON
Ain Al Tahta
Shweir.com note: Thank you Oula, that is a beautiful painting and it conjures up many memories. Thank you for sharing this with your fellow Shweirieh. Hope you will be sending more paintings.
Great paintings by young artist: Nissrine Moujaes
Art is part of the
daily course in Nissrine's family.
She takes after her father who is a well recognized artist.
The above is a small sample of a large portfolio of Art pieces that she did.
Last August, some of her work was featured at the Baladieh for the National Art tour.
Great work, Nissrine,
Keep it up.
books by "Mrs. Sue".
a.k.a. Susan, wife of Habib Jouka Moujaes
Below, you see the cover of each book and the attached inner flap,
below each book cover is a sample writing from that book.
Lost their Destination
For Women in Love
|Words of the Dawn|
"Mrs. Sue", please tell us how to contact you if someone wishes to discuss your writing or buy one or all of your books.
By Grace Halabi:
Simply My Point of View
I must do is all that concerns me, not what people think. This rule, equally
arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction
between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find
those who think they know what is your duty better than you
know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who, in the midst of the crowd, keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” Emerson
Why do we compromise our deeper selves? As a fellow Lebanese, I have always believed that we have a responsibility towards our country, more importantly, towards ourselves, to ascertain that our values would empower us to break chains of false beliefs. Why is it that we find ourselves attracted to the counterfeit? Every single day we murder impulses of truth. And slowly, but surely, we are losing the ability to find serendipity.
Daily, I witness egos engorged, values and vows hanged by hypocrisy and lives smothered by custom. How can we breech our own convictions? Instead of looking at, and finding out why someone is putting their attention in a certain direction, we put our own conclusions as judgments to the situation to save us from having to accept something we did not understand and having to acknowledge something we personally could never touch. It saddens me to see people vaccinated with counterfeit affection, desirable deceptions, making unconscious choices. Were our choices conscious, liberated of outside and inner influences, we could then live in a society, a world, which places more emphasis on introspection and honor, and less on interpersonal dynamics?
Simply this, it takes courage to be a hero. It is not about how many medals we have earned, how many wars we have fought. It is NOT about being a martyr. It is about having the courage to express a sense of self-worth.
Lastly, who am I? Is it relevant?
To say, I am a woman, intuitive and visionary…. Does that lessen the value of what I have or what I say? Certainly not! After all, our self-image should prescribe our limits. Let us be heroes of desperate courage and not prisoners of false convictions
A Woman’s View
manhood a bullet in a martyr's heart?
Or is it the heart's slave admiring a woman's art?
Is it the verse that stands?
Praising a woman's worth
Or the tear that brands
Welcoming a firstborn's birth?
Is it the soldier leaping large lengths of miles?
Or the humbled king asking forgiveness a million times?
Is it the steps he takes, mistakes he made?
Or perhaps the substance, the fair unperfected shade?
Is it the love one feels for a brother?
Or the innate desire to love and discover
Is it the man bursting with new pride?
Or the one who swiftly sets it aside
When love's gentle grace meekly knocks his door
Seeking warmth and tenderness from an inner core
Is it the man that commands his enemy's respect?
Or the one who worships his wife's defect?
Manhood is neither in inward worth
Or outward skill
It is the painful birth
Of an ardent will
It is the tears of a humbled youth
The desperate prayer made of truth
It is a soldier on stage
Containing his rage..
Surviving shame, taking blame
This is man, his worth, and his truth
Not beauty, birth wealth or wit
Could keep a candle forever lit
Virtue and iniquity
Afford him injury...
Antiquity.... a luxury, his remedy
Swiftly etches his faded memory
George Moujaes' 1930's poems
I have attached three more poems written by my father in the 1930's, two of them were written when he was a teacher in Amyoun. to honor a Patriarch and a government minister, I think. The third one is the Arabic original of the poem Mona was working on... it is a eulogy on the death of a young cousin in a motorcycle accident in Sydney in 1936.
Fouad Major (Moujaes)
Thank you Fouad for sharing these treasures with your fellow
and thank you Waleed Moujaes and Mona Khoury for your assistance in the matter.
A poem by Mikhael Sawaya
-----Original Message----- From: Rosalie
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2001 8:43 PM To: George Matar
Subject: Hi George
How are you George ? It 's a long time that I don't write to you, but I am always reading your E-MAIL. George it's fantastic everything you are doing to all Shweirieh. Congratulations. I'd like to go this summer, but I can't, I have many problems to solve, my heart is in Shweir, that lovely and dear town, where we was born, study and grow up and drink that delicious water from AIN-EL-KASSIS.
All the views are in my mind all time. I connect the web and I feel like I'm there.GOD bless SHWEIR and all the Shwerihe people and MUKTTAR EL MUGTARIBEEN. I'm sending a poem from my uncle Mikail Sawaya.
Rosalie, Thank you for your sweet note, you don't realize how much it means to me to keep hearing from you. Thank you so much. I like the poem it is short but very good. I am hoping that Elie Rahbani will rewrite it to improve the layout then we will publish it, Elie My Good Man Do your Magic. Anwar you are going to like this poem. Lets see if Elie can rewrite then scan and send it to you. George Matar
Note: I will post the original writing, and when Elie does his majic, I will replace it. Click on thumbnail above to enlarge, Anwar
This thumbnail is another poem from Rosalie
In this one she used an thin pen and as such it was not as crisp to scan as a picture.
It is a good example to see the difference between thin and thick pen. the substance is 100% Shweirieh. No question about it.
Stay tuned when we begin to feature more excerpts from a 1921 - 1922 Shweir Guide book.
Courtesty of Rosalie Touma Sawaya El Khoury. Thank you Rosalie
A poem to Shweirieh sent by Rosalie Sawaya El Khouri, Sao Paolo, Brazil
The above was a poem that Rosalie copied from an old book (1921) on Shweir. To see a couple of photos from that book, go the "Photos" web page.
To know more about Rosalie and her family, go to "Shweirrieh Bil Mahjar" web page, then click on "Brazil".
Thank you Rosalie.
Grace Halabi's Latest:
A Woven Web
Insecurity.. invades heart and mind
With its cancerous impurity…
Within.. A poet’s bleeding pen….
Aches to erase all past.. And present affinity
A mind like no other…such pity…
There it goes…
Seeking solace.. its mother
Others come and go, without empathy
While it, selfishly, selects its own society….
God softly knocks with such majesty..
extended arms with all of his mercy
Reminds them all of their lost dignity..
Fools are those who read blindly, who pray desperately…
And only suddenly…when life bears down with such calamity..
Man quickly forgets and later
And when finally laying in his grave…
He desperately tries to trace YOUR face…
Dear God, how patient You are indeed
To see a race bear fruitless seed….
Such is the human race..
Some find their own place…
Some want more space…
In the end.. all that remains…
Is You and your Heavenly Grace…
This is the official site for the above poem, this way, you will enjoy reading it with suitable music. : http://renascence.homestead.com/Web.html
Thank you Grace. How wonderful to see father - daughter communicate and respond in a creative and poetic form.
That is the best artistic way to get as close to a "Haflet al Zajal".
Bay, The Dirt Road, No Gold and The Valley of the Myth
by Antoine Halabi
No Gold was a response to the first reading of Grace's poetry (Prison of Gold)...
nor all the guilded form
The Valley Of The Myth
deep in the belly of the mountain
person walks the road
pulled a chair and sat in the shade
At any event, (looks like the computer changed its mind again) ... thanks to Antoine Halabi for these great poems and thanks to Nabil Matar for facilitating the process.
Poetry of George Nuhra Muja'is
From: Fouad Major [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Sunday, March 04, 2001 11:30 AM
To: Waleed Moujaes
Subject: Arabic poems
It has taken me a little time to get familiar with a new scanner.... I'm still not able to do all the things I know this thing is supposed to do....anyway I think I have attached one poem, which I assume is typical of the rest. I hope you can open it and it is legible. I'm under no illusion that this is "great literature".... but I know that in his lifetime, my father did have a local reputation as a gifted poet. It's very kind of you to take an interest. I certainly would like to know what the poem is about! As for a brief biographical note about my father, here it is:
George Nuhra Muja'is
George Nuhra Muja'is (later anglicized to "Major") was born to Tannios (Anthony) Nuhra and Adeebe Ghosn (the grand aunt of Nabil Ghosn) around 1887 in Shweir. He attended the Preparatory School of what was then "The Syrian Protestant College" (AUB) graduating in 1902 , entered the college as a sophomore under the sponsorship of the wealthy Sursook family, but could only get continued financial support by enrolling in a college of agricultural engineering in Egypt in 1904. Because of student riots he lost a year and denied graduation in 1908, and was employed on a cotton plantation by an Egyptian pasha.
He spent the war years 1914-18 in Shweir with his mother, suffering unimaginable hardship, thanks to the Turks. He began teaching in 1919 at the Patriarchate of Tripoli (Orthodox) school, and married 'Annie Chalhoub around 1921 and had two children Chaffic, and Adeebe before emigrating (the first time) to Wellington, New Zealand in 1926. A third child, Alfred, was born in Wellington before the family returned to Kfar Habou in northern Lebanon in 1928, where Fouad was born in 1929. In 1932 the family moved to Amyoun, where he taught school until 1936. That year the family moved back to Dhour Shweir, where he taught at the American School in Shweir. In 1937 the family emigrated to New Zealand again, where Helena , George's sister, had by then established a successful cosmetics company.
The war years (1939-46) were spent in New Zealand, all the time wanting to return to his beloved Lebanon, which he did in 1950. He died in Beirut in 1954. This is a little longer than I had intended.... feel free to shorten it!.
Please click on the Thumbnails below to enlarge them and view George Moujais Arabic Peoms.
The following is an excerpt of an email sent on March 6, 2001 by Mona Khoury to Fouad Major and Waleed Moujaes.
Here is the poem translated:
It is a very well written poem, meets all
the standard elements and the meters a poem of it's type should have.
Thank you Fouad for such a wonderful and detailed information that helps us learn more about your family, our Heritage and Shweir History. Also Thank you to Waleed Moujais for facilitating this exchange and to Mona Khoury for translating.
From: Fouad Major [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, March 25, 2001 12:22 PM
Subject: Poems by George N. Muja'is
Hi, I am deeply touched by the interest and effort that has been devoted to translating a couple of my father's Arabic poems, from a bygone age. I'm sure he could not have dreamed of the technological revolution that has made possible his rather parochial writings to be broadcast to potentially millions of readers! Thank you Mona and Waleed for taking the time to do the translation work, and George for posting it.... I like the totally candid, unedited form of the posting, "warts and all". I would gladly do some editing, if you think it is not too much trouble at this stage.
My very best wishes
From: Waleed Moujaes
Sent: Sunday, March 26
Subject: Poems by George N. Muja'is
We are more than happy to now about a poet from Shweir whose work can be
linked in one way or another to our past. It is also important to us and to all
Shweiriyieh to personally know George Nuhra Moujaes and his work. Thank
you for introducing your father to shweir.com, and through us to Shweir. We will
be more than happy to work closely with you and to post new poems if you
like. I have also included our webmaster, Anwar Kenicer, in my
It was originally posted on the Memories web page. We thought it would be appropriate to copy and paste here on the Art and Poetry web page.
We long for you, Oh
Mother Schweir we long
and love to kiss your brow and hear your song;
We never can forget your loving care,
You are our only friend when all goes wrong.
We miss your sparkling
springs, your clear blue sky,
Your flowers, your fruit, and your pines that sigh;
If we can gaze at your genial face
Then life will be complete when you are nigh.
The scented air of your
Our hearts with joy, --- our souls a - thrill;
No matter where your sons and daughters dwell
They still believe in you and love you still.
Her churches and her
schools we must maintain
So she can keep her pride in her domain;
Only a little from each will help a lot,
Be sure to do your part . . . do not refrain.
Poem by Amin Beder Nov. 24, 1942
We would like to know more about this fine poet. His words still ring true today. Any one with more info on Amin Beder or Bader, please let us know. Within 24 hours of posting the above request, we got the information we were looking for.
Within 24 hours of posting the above request, we got the information we were looking for. thanks Souheil Baaklini for your efforts and to George Matar for putting the word out and sending emails to key people and thanks to Rose Beder Dacey for taking the time to write us with the information we were looking for.
Intro & Bio by Rose Beder
Dacey - Simpsonville South Carolina
My uncle Amin Beder is my father Najib's brother. He emigrated from Shweir in the early 1900's. He wrote a book of poems which I had a copy of at one time. Maybe I can find out who has it. He lived in Florida for many years, where he had a business "Amin Beder & Co. for woman's designer clothes. He died in the 1950's. He was married to Sadie Ray from Bangor, Maine. They never had any children.
I remember him as a small loving elderly man, who always was smiling. He also brought my cousin Raif Beder to live with him and his wife, when Uncle Amin died, Raif inherited the business. Raif is a widower and lives In St. Petersburg, FL. Amin had 5 brothers and 2 sisters. If there is anything else you need, please let me know. I would like a copy of my uncle's poem, if it's available.
|Author||Topic: We are like guardian spirits|
03-15-2001 06:39 AM
We are like guardian spirits watching over the village
That spreads over the mountain close to heaven
Drawn down by elderly knights performing a sword and shield dance
And women spreading their scarves in a giant circle in holy places
Praying "Remember us".
We whisper in electric voices amongst ourselves "Can they hear
So the knight prances with Saif oo Terse
Poems by Grace Halabi
have always believed that when we look back upon our lives, the
should stand out above everything else are the moments when we have done things
in a spirit of love. This is one of those moments. What a wonderful way to
meet old friends, make new friends and more importantly share our memories, past
The awakening of self-realization, knowing that joys of the past will remain but an ever-fading memory, leaves a heart compromised. And the questions are endless, for the soul is filled with the turbulence of searching for the calmer waters which once were. But, how wonderful it would be if we could all develop a nostalgia for the future. Perhaps, we will all meet someday in our timeless Shweir ...until then, our journey will certainly be nothing less than pleasurable and enlightening.
On top right is my son, my pride and joy, Christopher James.
Last but not least, I am Grace Halabi, daughter of Antoine Rachid Halabi and Berrie Gideon Hatem.
Here is a couple of poems: ..The first of which, A Prison of Gold... is a beginning of a book I am writing...perhaps to be revealed one day... the second is called Stranger...Of course the link provides the special effects (music , etc...).
The following is a sample of Grace's poetry:
those who doubt,
could such glory fade?
soon, we all must,
now must part
those days that you felt all alone...
you are to find me
To see Grace's beautiful website and read more of her poetry with background
music, click on the following link. Grace's web site is http://renascence.homestead.com
To see Grace's beautiful website and read more of her poetry with background music, click on the following link. Grace's web site is http://renascence.homestead.com
Thank you Grace for gracing our web page. Please keep us posted and send us some more poetry.
Beauty and poetry is abundant in the Halabi Family. after all .. like father, like daughter. click here to read Antoine's poetry...
An excerpt from an email from Sumayyah:
Thanks for putting my website on. I am
leaving to Lebanon on April 17 and will be back on June 9. My love for
Shweir is sooo big. To me it is the most beautiful village in the world. It is
totally engraved in my brain and my heart. Sometimes I go over all the streets
and roam around in my head to make sure I don't forget it. There is a
price to pay for leaving. I have no regrets because I am blessed with a
wonderful rich life. New York is a great city and I love being here.
We would love to hear about your trip to Lebanon and Shweir. We can feature it on the web so that the other Mughtaribeen can relate and reminisce. Best regards to you and your family.
Some people promise to bend
backwards for you
Shweirieh reinvent space and rest on walls in their creative quest...
Say Hello to
Sumayyah Sabeh Samaha
Click on Sumaya to visit her
web site -
or if you prefer to know her web site address, it is:
A teaser Sample of Sumayyah's work
titled Frozen Sky > > >
To see more, visit her web site
Summayah will visit Shweir in April 2001, Have a great trip!
Neeyalik ya Sumayyah, please
tell us all about it when you get back.
Paintings that are "Out of this world"
My name is Amal Jabbour nee Boaster the daughter of Jack Boaster & Afdokia Moujaes sister of Elias .Ihsan (Sam) Bosauder married to Zadallah Jabbour an Artist Painter & Sculptor his father is an Artist too he make Icon's and at shweir there is of his work in (MOUKHALIS) at Dhour and where ever you see an ICON sign by Ibrahin Abdo or Jabbour it means it is for Zad or his father even in America Russia and other places.
I am from Shweir and Zad from south Lebanon but he lived in Ashrafieh we have a son name Hadi he is 14 years old and good and nice young man. We live in Lebanon at Zouk Mosbeh near Grotto of Jeata . we went to Qatar in 1992- 1994. For the time been we are in United Arab Emirates. Zad has work here and our plans to go to New Zealand for good and hope that this will be soon sending with this message some of Zad work but sorry for the colors may be are not the same as the original ones best regards to all the shweir's people you know and hope to hear from you soon
Amal, Zad & Hadi Jabbour
The following is a sample of Zad's work:
||View from Mtull 2001 b.c.
More photos to come... stay tuned.
Courtesy of Nabil Matar
The words of Fairuz' Nassam Alaina Al Hawa & by the Rahbani Brothers
|Nassam Alaina Al Hawa
|| Habibi Baddo al Amar
A poem by Antoine R. Halabi:
I was born there , and that was my luck
Like a horse shoe there crescent like
Lies where the heavenly horse leaped
Into heaven ; unseen as a body, kept
The mountain as a majestic witness stands
An eternal captured in worldly hands.
And my village in me hears the drumming
Hoofs of my mountain mythical horse
It gallops across the heavens and there
My thoughts take the saddle and ride.
The distances cease and I join in the stride,
The wind gathers and blows its storms
From my seat I fly off the mountain peak
Into the beyond on my mythical horse
The call is instantaneous and overpowering;
The endless sky ends ; the distance dies;
And I stand there and witness the fascination
Of the sun and the mountain in their rise
And far away from my village I never left
Never said goodbye ; never departed.
Always up on the heights of the mountain
Lies my village and me no distance
No trance, a whole universe in a glance
My village, my horse, and me
My land, my stand and my brand
A rare fabric of it makes my man.
The spindle from above and the mills
And the springs , the heights ,the hills,
The winding roads of childhood sills,
Thresholds and wide horizons
It is the sea and the mountain
My sun and shade, my rain and snow storms
Evergreen pine laced fine works
With dew drops and every morning breaks
My school and its many inspirational points
My village, my horse and me.
Antoine R. Halabi
Monterey, California USA
Tel: 831 649 3777
Thank you Antoine for this Beautiful Poem, I hope the rest of you Shweirieh will enjoy reading it as much as I did.
Arabic Poetry and LETTERS by Nora Matar Moujaes
Before you see my writing, here is a couple of pictures...
Hello everyone, I would like to introduce you to the Matar
Family in Houston, Texas, USA
gathered at the "Shweir on the Beach 2000" Party. Click here for more photos...
Here from left: Alfred Moujaes, Mouna Khoury, George Matar (al Mukhtaar bil Mahjar), Nora Matar Moujaes and Anwar George Kenicer, the Webmaster
The following is Nora's latest poems: Dai3etna (2 pgs) and Mama, Nehna Jayeen
Penmanship by Elie Mattar Rahbani in Quebec, Canada
|Dai3etna Pg 2
||Mama, Nehna Jayeen
Thank you Nora and Thank You Elie Mattar Rahbani
Two Poems: Haneen (2 pgs) and Baadkoom Bil Baal (5 pgs)
Excerpts of an email from Al Mukhtaar bil
Mahjar to Webmaster:
"Man, this is REALLY, REALLY GOOD......definitely one of Nora's best poems (attached). She wrote it after she came to the States when Lebanon was still in war.... I wish we can type it in Arabic. The Name of it is "Haneen". You still can read Arabic, right? ..."
Please click on each thumbnail (small photo) to enlarge and read.
Another Touching Poem by Nora Matar Moujaes > > >
|Baadkoom Bil Baal
Shookrun Ya Nora, this is Beautiful
Editors Note: Before reading the following
three four (and counting) memories, bring some tissue paper, most likely you will need some.
By Nora Matar Moujaes, Texas, USA
Sixteen years passed in this lonely Ghorbeh and nothing in the whole world makes me forget who I am and where I came from. Nothing can make me forget Dhour Shweir, that Piece-of-Heaven on earth: my real Home. The land where I was born raised. I walked on its sacred ground, breathed its clear air which was mixed with the Aroma of pine trees combined with the smell of Tayoun and those gorgeous yellow flower bushes of Liz'zan on its roads.
All that mixed with the smell of its soil, studying in that highly advanced school, those days, the Shweir Secondary School which rests peacefully on that little hill, hanging between the old Shweir and the seven hills of Dhour, spending more than a decade between its classes and the playground. That campus which was a gift from the American people who built it to the people of Shweir. I will never forget the picture of Dr. William Carslo and his beautiful wife hanging on the wall of the library in the building which carried their names. Sanine Building and the Arzi building with its majestic Cedar Tree in front of it. How many classes were held in that very special place which was called Inspiration Point!
How could I forget the voice of Sit Linda and her remarks (God rests her soul) " Nora", she shouts with her strong voice, "tie your long hair… Nora, don't run, walk with dignity and slowly." How can I forget Sit Zalfa who was always worrying about her cookies… and Maalem Yousef and Istaz Domingo, our arabic and math teachers. How can I forget all of those wonderful friends and their tremendous memories which stayed deep in my heart, praying to God I will meet them again one day, specially those who had been scattered all over the world.
Here I am in Texas, far away from all of these memories, after all these years finding myself missing all my dear friends of my youth and one of them, who was my class mate. For many years, he used to walk me home from school, defending me when I needed. Oh George, seeing him brought back to me all of those precious memories.
Standing next to him at "Shweir on the beach 2000" brought back my youth: the school, the volleyball team, those long walks through Droub Daayetna where the Cherry Blossom trees next to Ko3 El Baaklini looking like veil of a bride, celebrating Eid Mar Elias and Biyaa' El Simsmieh wa Tamrieh and that little Colored Carriage of Abou Bahbouha with mixed nuts, wa Flalfel Fouad Farah, wa Cinema Florida where we acted some plays on its stage, wa Haflet Al Kichefeh in Cinema Roxy theater.
And I will never forget Eid Al Moughtaribin and Khamis Al Jasad with Nowbet Al Shweir and that young man Jamil Eid Khneisser The Greatest , who thrilled us with his fantastic Sayf Wa Tirs dance, and the mighty flag of Shweir, the Lion (Al Assad)…
Faouzi Emad brought all of these Wonderful Memories (do you blame me if screamed when I saw his dear face after 40 plus years?) Faouzi , thank you for taking that long trip and bringing with you all of these lovely memories. Thank you again, you made my day.
Special thanks to you George, Alfred and Shweir on the Beach 2000. Thank you for making this event possible and memorable.
I love you guys,
Nora Matar Moujaes
By Fawzi Emad, Maryland, USA
Thank you my dear Nora. Your letter brought tears to the eyes of this old man! As I was reading it, I felt it was my feelings, my memories, my SSS, my generation, my love for Shweir and Lebanon... I hope the younger generation can appreciate our memories. All we can do is tell them about it.
It was not easy for us in those days. We studied by candle light or a kerosene lamp, the electricity was not dependable, and the snow and ice often broke the electric wires down to the ground making them dangerous. My clothes were often hand made by my mother. My best suit was made by the tailor whose grandson was at the Shweir 2000 party. His father Khollo (Khaleel) was a little boy at that time! His uncle Salah was my good friend.
I also remember Elias Mattar and going to visit him and his mother Sit Alice (God bless her soul) would be making bread (khibz mahlool al saj) and would offer me some. The smoke of pine needles would fill the air, my eyes would tear, and I would relish the taste of the bread (I still cry when I think about that scene, tears of joy and longing).
Yes, the American missionaries built our SSS (Shweir Secondary School) for us long ago. Around the same time they also built AUB (American University of Beirut), in the 1860s. If it were not for them, I would not be here in this wonderful country. I am grateful to those Americans, especially my favorite electrical engineering professor Arthur Regier (AUB) who taught me most of what I know, and got me fascinated with engineering. In my job as a professor in the U.S. for 32 years, I taught over 5000 students who are now electrical engineers. America's investment in the boy from Shweir came back (plus some) to the U.S.!
Not a day passes that I do not think about Dhour, el saha, el-fowar, Elie Sawaya and his brother Raymond (bless his soul), Mirhij Mirhij, Sabeh Farah, Tony Kharrat, Nouhad Yared, Margo Touma Sawaya, Sawaya Sawaya, Berth Gibrael Sawaya,Tamam Kurban, Nora Mattar and her dad Elias bu Najm, Nasri Kiameh, George Kiameh, Ramzi Germanos and his dad (Najib) who was our mathematics teacher at SSS, Nora's brother Najib, Jamil Eid and his clarinet and sword dance, and the list goes on and on! If I were to name all of you the people I love, I could spend all day typing...
Do you remember el istaz spiridon in his shop? He used to record everything that happened every day. His shope is where I could always find a "bulbul" or "spin top" to play with. He kept shop by the light of a kerosene lamp!
It used to get so cold, our homes were not heated (except for one room in the daytime). Going to bed I can remember the sheets so cold I would not move from my warm spot. When I woke up my view was down to Shweir and Ain-el-Sindianeh, and above them I could see Jabal Sannin all white with snow. In the early spring when I woke up, I can remember the smell that came into my bedroom from the large blossoming sweet locust tree (a'ousaj) just outside my window. Also the yellow "Lizzan"... what a lovely smell. This past October I visited Lebanon, and while at the Cedars I gathered some Lizzan seeds. Right now I have two plants doing well. I hope to transplant them outdoors next spring, and if they make it, I'll have lots of seeds to make more lizzan plants (Scottish Broom).
Excuse me, my letter is getting long. Just an old timer with but a few of his many memories of friends, a place in the sun, and a way of life long gone...
With love to all you Shweiries and your spouses, parents and children, take care!
By Elias Matar, London, England
Ya Luloos this is wonderful I think Nora will be thrilled when she reads Fawzi Emad and your responses. I think she started some thing for all of us old geazers. Gash, you guys are the greatest. One thing you guys did not mention: AROOS DIBS AL KHAROOB BE KHIBZ AL MARKOOK LIMMIN TSHARSHER ALA Al SHABAB. I used to hold it like a guy holding a Saxophone.
Dear Nabil, Please extend this message to Nora,
Dear Nora, Your message to George and the Shweiri broke my heart and brought tears to my eyes. Yours memories are our memories, your Shweir is our Shweir, all that you mentioned means a great deal to us all. It’s our youth and our childhood you talk about. I remember you well sitting On those steps of CARSLO HALL, beautiful as ever, with your smile and dimple that broke many hearts. Remember the bell in the volleyball grounds,
Remember the sneaking to Zalfa’s kitchen to tease her, remember in the winter all of us in the room behind the dining room eating and laughing and oulbet al toon wa alsardine wll khobz almarooa,, ya lateef aa hakil al ayamm,,
...Every summer I go to Shweir I visit the school. Last summer I had a walk to the school with OLLY HALABY and George Mirhij. We visited the inspiration point and remembered all our dear friends, those who are still alive and those who passed away.. And for your information YA SIT NORA, ZAlfas kitchen has been transformed into a beautiful and modern kitchen.. And YA NORA the the oak trees are still the same, and the ARZI is still there but benayet AL ARZI makes you cry. It’s an old skeleton. Hopefully the summer Protestants who run the school will rebuild this ARZI building to its past glory. The greatest pity YA NORA is that our children never had a chance to enjoy our Shweir and to share our past joys and prides and our memories.
We live Shweir in LONDON, we live it in TEXAS, we live it in BRAZIL, in
ARGENTINE, in CANADA, we live it everywhere but not in Shweir ITSELF. We survive
on our memories and great past. We all pray that Shweir will one day return to
its glory and heights and SANNINE will smile again and say: YA Shweir
INTI A’ TOOL BET HIZI YAMMOOD AL FALAK..
GOD BLESS YOU ALL
OUR LOVE ELIAS MATTAR
By George Matar, Houston, Texas, USA
In response to Nora's, Fawzi's and Elias' letters above:
Ohhhh Boy, those days were kind of wonderful weren't they? Yes I remember being a (cute) little boy 4 0r five years lod always anxious for his sister to taking him with her to school. Allahhhhhh all the attention I used to get from the older girls like (with all due respect) Nouhad Yared, Samira Baaklini, Zayneh Rehbani, and many many others...I can remember them saying "Shu Hilo Khayik ya Nora, Lameen taallaa shaaratoo shukir (blond)? Shu hal ghamzat il hilween (i told you I was cute). Wow what a feeling,I felt like a little prince surrounded by the prettiest girls in town. And oh, I can't forget Emily Dirghan I always related to her because altitude wise she was the closest to me. I can almost hear all the older Guys saying "what a lucky guy he is...." But what was better than the pretty girls were the boys (my sister's age). Why? I'll tell you why, not only were they nice, When Fursit a sa aashra came the took turns walking me to Ramiz el Jurdi Cart, parked between the road and the tennis court, and bought me what ever my heart desired. "Maakroon, Khams kroosh; mishabak, aashir kroosh, Tamreih ,just fried, khamstaashar irsh" Said the man with the hemishperical hat with a ball on top (Ramiz il Jurdi). Some how they convinced me that the maacroon was the tastiest and best sweet since my small hand can hold it better mitl al aaroos izgheereh!!!. I guess that explains why I am partial to that sweet. Yes I loved the guys, I remember Aziz Touma buying me "fistkuyeh". Nora is and always will be the special person in my life, and she "Loves me she really loves me".. She even wrote a poem about me... maybe one day she will publish it on this Web pag.
A year or two later I started school, and my sister's friends became my teachers, Miss Yared, Miss Kurban, Miss Sawaya, Miss Dirgham, Miss Rehbani, They were classy,they cared and taught us to be the best...(If any of you happen to be reading this I want you to know, that you are still in my heart).
The electricity for my generation was a little more reliable, but we still had one room heated during the day. On a good day I would wake up early in the morning to start the Sobia. But Bou Najib would win most of the time.....Wouldn't you like to have some kastana cracking on top of the sobia's or furn al hatab? aw shee ras batata ow basleh, being rosted bil remadat?.. Snow Days were holidays...Talj wo dibs, writing our names on the snow using------ "eat your hearts out girls".
In the fall was the Gilal season. Each week I had a special Tuss. The agressive player will use the Nutta style, the thinkers will use "sahloobeh" (Walak Yaaaaaa Michel Nikola Touma Wayanak these days???). Then the blabel season starts ( I bought several from Maalim Spiridon). Then Manara, wo Taka Ibrih, But the Best Game was Ghameeda, at night in front of our house next to Cinema Roxy....Khalil Miraaeh Moujaes was the king.
And then the School closed, and we became fish out of the water. You three did not experience this. I tell you THAT WAS HARD. But that's another Story
Thank you all for opening your hearts, and sharing your memories++ with the rest of us.