Biology is more like history than it is like physics. You have to know the past to understand the present. And you have to know it in exquisite detail. There is as yet no predictive theory of biology, just as there is not yet a predictive theory of history. The reasons are the same: both subjects are still too complicated for us. But we can know ourselves better by understanding other cases.

Cosmos – Carl Sagan

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Arabic Graffiti

Photos from “Arabic Graffiti”,   Pascal Zoghbi, Don Stone Karl, (Goodreads – Amazon)

Highly recommended!

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“The Oriental Pages Collection”, Malik Anas Al-Rajab

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“The Oriental Pages Collection”, Malik Anas Al-Rajab

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“الوطن ليس المكان أو التراب الذي يولد فيه الإنسان وإنما المكان الذي يستطيع فيه أن يتحرك” – عبد الرحمن منيف

Obhur , Jedda, 2012

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على الدنيا بعدك العفا – Abu Saiba, Sar, Bahrain 2008

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Hamra, Beyrouth, Lebanon

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Karantina, Beyrouth, Lebanon

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Lebanon

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El Seed – Montreal, Canada, 2008

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El Seed – Montreal, Canada, 2008

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El Seed 2009

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احتاج تاريخي – El Seed

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Julien Breton 2009

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Julien Breton 2006

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Julien Breton 2007

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احترام  – Julien Breton 2010

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Julien Breton

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Jacques Bournat

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Khuraif, Weimar, Germany 2008

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يا غنماتي قولوا وراي – Ahmad Sabbagh , Amman , Jordan 2010

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Mohammed Ali, London, 2009

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Mohammed Ali, Dubai 2010

Italo Calvino – Invisible Cities

“On the day when Eutropia’s inhabitants feel the grip of weariness and no one can bear any longer his job, his relatives, his house and his life, debts, the people he must greet or who greet him, then the whole citizenry decides to move to the next city, which is there waiting for them, empty and good as new; there each will take up a new job, a different wife, will see another landscape on opening his window, and will spend his time with different pastimes, friends, gossip. So their life is renewed from move to move, among cities whose exposure or declivity or streams or winds make each site somehow different from the others. Since their society is ordered without great distinctions of wealth or authority, the passage from one function to another takes place almost without jolts; variety is guaranteed by the multiple assignments, so that in the span of a lifetime a man rarely returns to a job that has already been his.
Thus the city repeats its life, identical, shifting up and down on its empty chessboard. The inhabitants repeat the same scenes, with the actors changed; they repeat the same speeches with variously combined accents; they open alternate mouths in identical yawns. Alone, among all the cities of the empire, Eutropia remains always the same. Mercury, god of the fickle, to whom the city is sacred, worked this ambiguous miracle.”

“Yes, the empire is sick, and, what is worse, it is trying to become accustomed to its sores. This is the aim of my explorations: examining the traces of happiness still to be glimpsed, I gauge its short supply. If you want to know how much darkness there is around you, you must sharpen your eyes, peering at the faint lights in the distance.”

“The city does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the corners of the streets, the gratings of the windows, the banisters of the steps, the antennae of the lightning rods, the poles of the flags, every segment marked in turn with scratches, indentations, scrolls.”

“The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.”

the passage from one function to another takes place almost without jolts; variety is guaranteed by the multiple assignments, so that in the span of a lifetime a man rarely returns to a job that has already been his. Thus the city repeats its life, identical, shifting up and down on its empty chessboard. The inhabitants repeat the same scenes, with the actors changed; they repeat the same speeches with variously combined accents; they open alternate mouths in identical yawns. Alone, among all the cities of the empire, Eutropia remains always the same.

“Yes, the empire is sick, and, what is worse, it is trying to become accustomed to its sores. This is the aim of my explorations: examining the traces of happiness still to be glimpsed, I gauge its short supply. If you want to know how much darkness there is around you, you must sharpen your eyes, peering at the faint lights in the distance.”

The Forty Rules of Love – Elif Shafak

  • How we see God is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. If God brings to mind mostly fear and blame, it means there is too much fear and blame welled inside us. If we see God as full of love and compassion, so are we.
  • (Talking about Baghdad in the 13th century) “This city is a gem, no doubt”, I said carefully. “But let us not forget that cities are like human beings. They are born, they go through childhood and adolescence, they grow old, and eventually they die. At this moment in time, Baghdad is in its late youth. We are not as wealthy as we used to be at the time of Caliph Harun ar-Rashid, though we can still take a measure of pride in being a center of trade, crafts, and poetry. But who knows what the citywill look like a thousand years from now? Everything might be different.”
  • Whatever happens in your life, no matter how troubling things might seem, do not enter the neighborhood of despair. Even when all doors remain closed, God will open up a new path only for you. Be thankful! It is easy tp be thankful when all is well. A Sufi is thankful not only for what he has been given but also  for all that he has been denied.
  • Each time I say good-bye to a place I like, I feel like I am leaving a part of me behind. I guess whether we choose to travel as much as Marco Polodid or stay in the same spot from cradle to grave, life is a sequence of births and deaths.
  • Moments are born and moments die. For new experiences to come to light, old ones need to wither away. Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?