Author Archives: tannous ghosn

Echappées Belles Travels, Beijos, Music & Books

Carpe diem

I stood in silence



bright & brilliant mind


Nothing I could do. Nothing I could say!

It is dark and cold under those oak trees,

And my heart is always with you.

You will be missed and never forgotten,

We will always miss you beloved Amina.


Watch over us –

I will leave all my windows and doors open


“We never know what awaits us” – I heard it so many times before. But one thing does await us – one final thing – and when the moment comes, it puts everything into perspective. At those solemn and grave moments, you review all the history, even episodes that are off limits. And wonder with cynicism about what you thought were your personal gains. You also search for the reasons of past hostility and scorn; then you realize your dishonesties, stupidities and personal failures.


It would be good to keep only the great and marvelous moments – but only if. I do not know what this anthropic universe holds for us; except the hope!

We will all meet up there!


رحيل ألكاتبة أمينة غصن

جمعت في كتبها بين الغرائز البشرية والقداسة


Happy return / SSH



morning coffee

Sometimes you feel disconnected from time; may be because of the love to share a nice place with an admirable and charming person. Still, you wonder how time flies when you vacation on the deep blue waters!






Echappées Belles / Changwon & Gyeongju

Annyeonghaseyo (Hello in Korean)!

Winter was not really over, but cherry blossoms in southern parts of Korea were almost 90 percent out and so was sunshine! The cherry blossom is usually associated with Japan, where it is known as Sakura. This in part because the cherry blossom is the national flower of Japan. In Korea, it is called beot-kkot (벗꽃) and here are some blossoms from the 2017 season in Changwon 창원시


a good reason to travel!





and more from Gyeongju 보문관광단지 Bomun Hilton lake Resort





People and culture




A country where all women are smiling and all men are not.
In some areas there are more trucks on the road than passenger cars.
The older generation are smaller in size.
Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the streets except in assigned locations.
It’s difficult to find any type of food that does not contain fish.
There are lots of cherry trees and cherry blossoms but no cherries.
When you ask for a coffee, they grind fresh coffee beans for you.
Most tourist attractions have no English signs.
The country has hundreds of mountain road tunnels.
Trash bins are rare which means you carry your trash for a long time.
The country’s technology is a bad copy of Japan.
The country’s culture is a bad copy of China.
There are more coffee shops per SQM that Al-Shaye’a has in Kuwait.
On the whole trip I only saw one cat outside the Hilton main restaurant.
People don’t shake hands, and they just bow.
Buses have fast lanes, and if you are in a hurry, take a bus.
The capital has 10 million people and 10 million registered cars.
Many people wear face masks and you’ll only find out why when you have a shower at the end of the day.


Dinner options @ Myeong-Dong



Myeong-Dong is a well known shopping destination in Seoul where each alley is packed with a variety of shops. The area is at the heart of the cultural, artistic, and economic center of the city. Myeong-Dong’s shops carry the latest fashion trends and it’s streets offer you various menus by street vendors. Here are your dinner options:

Эдуа́рд Аса́дов

Galina Razumovskaya








Introduced by Яна




There are so many I could take to bed,
So few I’d like to wake to all the while…
And parting in the early morning, smile,
And wave my hand farewell, and smile,
And wait for news from them, and fret.

And with so many, I could be just me,
Drink coffee in the morning, talk, debate…
With whom, I could vacation on the sea,
In sickness and in health, – as it should be…
Yet, feel no love at all at any rate…

So few with whom I’d like to share desires!
Gaze at the sky, with clouds drifting slow,
And write the words of love upon first snow,
And always think of only them, and know
No other bliss to which I could aspire.

So few with whom my silence could be shared,
Who’d understand by gazing at my eyes,
To whom I’d give my years without a care,
For whom, I would accept as though prize,
Whatever punishment, whatever pain to bear…

And so it goes, one long and common thread –
First meetings – carefree, break-ups – ever mild…
Because there are so many there to take to bed,
And yet so few to wake to all the while…

There are so many I could take to bed…
So few with whom I’d wake up feeling closer…
And life – it takes and weaves us like a thread…
Throws us together, guessing on a saucer.

We toss and turn: – jobs… daily cares… and din…
He who would like to hear must learn to listen…
While on the run, you’ll only notice skin…
Slow down a bit… and see the soul you’re missing.

We make our choices with both heart and mind…
At times, afraid to smile at a smile,
But we reveal our souls to those we find
Whom we would like to wake to all the while…

by Edward Asadov





Echappées Belles / Baden-Baden

On a recent trip to Germany, I spent a few hours at a local resort where one could see more naked people that they have seen in years. Fortunately, or not, I could only half immerse in the waters due to minimal surgery a few of days earlier. Before you get into the pool, and to prepare your body, a masseuse will ask “hard or soft?” In either case you’ll end up with a “spank”. So be ready!

Located in the magnificent landscape of the North Black Forest, Baden-Baden is a small city with around 50,000 inhabitants. It has a reputation and international flair much larger than its size. Lots of famous people, since the Romans, have been guests or residents here – from Tolstoy to Bill Clinton. Many artists have also found a good home in Baden-Baden: like Berlioz, Brahms, Dostoyevsky, Liszt, Mark Twain and von Weber.

Consider visiting the city in late spring or summer when the roses bloom!


The Roman-Irish Bath

Friedrichsbad Baths


The reluctant lover

How can you explain the reluctant lover? It’s not easy. First you have to unplug and relax. Then you have to tell a story!

Looking back he can see that almost every 10 years his life took a turn, always to the better except the second decade, part of which was very messy. Also a stint with government security in his fifth decade. But most of his life has been a vicious circle to achieve more. No one told him how hard to work and at what. He forgot to rest, take care of his health and enjoy time with people he loved. He thought he had all the time in the world and that his stay on this planet is eternal; while he should have taken care of his mental, physical and spiritual health.  Don’t get me wrong. Being persistent and working hard is the only way to achieve anything. However, we need to be wise enough and know when to accept certain things just the way they are.

So what helps his purpose to go on?

Was the purpose to take care of his heart when it needed a home? Although he has never been an ideal husband or a model lover and he never tried to appear that way. And love came too late. Still at one point and after many missteps, the future looked romantic and somewhere long ago there have been amorous moments and happiness, but also more than one goodbye. (He has aged the nights those happened.) As it turned out, from his experience, one can never really know another human being. He was drawn to people who might destroy him but who can say no to a great love affair. It made him feel alive and free, and this came at a price as he was completely at the mercy of another person!

Or is the purposes just go on living; although he is tired of the news. Tired of negative people; and tired of the violence, selfishness and anger; tired of liars and small spirits.

Or is it friendship which he believes in and sometimes feels is the most important thing of all, and where he does not have a talent for making friends. Because by the end of the day, your job, the money and other things don’t matter so much; and it might only be about your human connections and how much you touched the people around you.

Or should he get involved in religion when some types of meditation are his spiritual alternatives to religion. May be he doesn’t have enough faith, but like many people he is a spiritual person.

Or is it reading where he spends a lot of time, and enjoying his secret love for poetry – or is this lost time as well?

Or the purpose to go on is music? Listening to  Chopin , Tino RossiAna Moura and Nani

Or is it travel! He did his best on this front and will keep doing so. He loves to travel, which leaves him with lots of memories although the camera sometimes blemishes those memories.

He remembers little of being very young. Lots of small pieces that may be traces of the originals. A collage of faint pictures and memories: The walks to church; working in the orchards during the seasons; trying to mount horses without success; his teachers in elementary school and falling in love with one of them; decorating the Christmas tree, which was four times his height, with color bulbs and cotton balls; or sitting on the edge of the garden pool, naked, with friends and playing rough games. He is sometimes overtaken by a surge of gratitude for his former life.

His adult life is however well documented and most of his contemporaries are aware of his life’s chapters.

The journey has been one of unending education. As it turns out, life is not how far you can go. It’s about experiences and any worry about what comes later is pointless. It’s only a few of us who leave anything behind that is memorable to others, let alone permanent. It may be enough that we loved those we could, did no intentional harm and grown old with enough presence to make some people happy – at least those who listened.  Every man, including him, could tell you a beautiful love story about his life, then he smiles a little – and that means it’s a little too late.

A modest man like him retains hope for a future in which he will not participate. He asks himself whether he found joy in his life. Did he bring joy to others? He would like to think a little of both.

When his long time affairs and marriages failed without a chance of recovery, he swam a lot and took long walks; and one day he realized he did not want this life anymore, this divided life. So he questioned whether he was making a difference to anyone or anything. Whether what he did for a living made him happy. Fulfilled.

Of course he does not want to reinvent the past. Rather to take an honest inventory of his life. He sometimes has been extraordinarily lucky with people he met. He looks back and wonders how great some years of his life have been; and he will keep part of those lovely people with him, always. And now, so late in his life, is it the right time to concentrate on new priorities?

And this brings the question of the reluctant lover!

Now imagine amid those recurring thoughts a twist of fate? What if she comes as if in a day dream like a fictional character, and gives him a smile to melt his heart or what’s left of it. Then she looks at him and wins him the way she wants. (When it came to matters of the heart he is seventy going on seventeen). Always gave his trust quickly and without care. Could it be that he is taking leave of everything we call reality? But after all, isn’t the purpose of life individual and based on our dreams and desires; to make life worth living, again. Isn’t life’s purpose simply to be happy? End of argument; and then what!

Will he be the reluctant lover?

against the ugliness of age


long “short” summer

Dear Summer – Always Love You!

It has been a lovely summer with so many good moments, hours and days. Still cannot believe it only ended a couple of weeks ago! With all kinds of people – crazy, funny, lovely, passionate, soulful and always genuine..


dscn7181dscn7224dscn7271dscn7282dscn7292Écris-moi (iTango)

قواعد ألعشق الأربعون

The Forty Rules of Love E+A

I decided to read this book simply because LB found it interesting, and when first picked up my two copies, I read a couple of chapters in English then Arabic and decided on the Arabic version.

I have seen the author on a BBC podcast last year although I did not recall her name when I bought the books. She is Elif Şafak, a Turkish modern author with more than one literary tradition.

Because of the title, I expected the book to be a modern novel of some type – but this was not the case! The book is sort of two novels that somehow mirror each other but at different times and cultures. One story from the twenty first century of an unhappily married woman who leaves a marriage that became stifling for her; and reading the story of Ella I would wonder off sometimes and give Ella another name!

The main story however is set in the thirteenth century. It’s about a mystic Sufi – Shams-i-Tabrīzī – who ends up teaching and motivating Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, a respected Qoranic scholar, and inspires him to become one of the most famous 13th-century Persian poets. For the last years of his life, Rūmī dictated to his scribe a single poem consisting of many volumes – a total of sixty-four thousand lines – called Spiritual Verses or Masnavi-ye Ma’navi

Both stories in this book tell of the ecstasy and heartbreak of love – divine love!

The book is a very good and interesting read. I want to share some of the Forty Rules of Love which the Sufi Shams-i-Tabrīzī taught:

  1. “Every true love and friendship is a story of unexpected transformation. If we are the same person before and after we loved, that means we haven’t loved enough.”
  1. “Where there is love, there is bound to be heartache.”
  1. “You can study God through everything and everyone in the universe, because God is not confined in a mosque, synagogue or church. But if you are still in need of knowing where exactly His abode is, there is only one place to look for Him: in the heart of a true lover.”
  1. “I hunt everywhere for a life worth living and a knowledge worth knowing. Having roots nowhere, I have everywhere to go.”
  1. “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”.
  1. “Fret not where the road will take you. Instead concentrate on the first step. That’s the hardest part and that’s what you are responsible for.”
  1. “No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within.”
  1. “Let us choose one another as companions!
    Let us sit at each other’s feet!
    Inwardly we have many harmonies – think not
    that we are only what we see.”
  1. “Be thankful for every thorn that others might throw at you. It is a sign that you will soon be showered in roses”
  1. “Don’t ever take words at face value. When you step into the zone of love, language as we know it becomes obsolete. That which cannot be put into words can only be grasped through silence.”

“توجد مرحلة تخذلنا اللغة بعدها”

  1. “The quest for Love changes us. There is no seeker among those who search for Love who has not matured on the way. The moment you start looking for Love, you start to change within and without.”
  1. “I slept peacefully that night, feeling exultant and determined. Little did I know that I was making the most common and the most painful mistake women have made all throughout the ages: to naively think that with their love they can change the man they love.”
  1. The real challenge is to love the good and the bad together, not because you need to take the rough with the smooth but because you need to go beyond such descriptions and accept love in its entirety.”
  1. “Quit worrying about hell or dreaming about heaven, as they are both present inside this very moment. Every time we fall in love, we ascend to heaven. Every time we hate, envy, or fight someone, we tumble straight into the fires of hell.”
  1. “The way to a man’s heart can sometimes take a woman far away from herself.”
  1. “You can purify your body through fasting and abstinence, but only love will purify your heart.”
  1. “A life without love is of no account… Don’t ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, Eastern or Western… Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire. The universe turns differently when fire loves water.”


النفاق هو الذي يجعل الناس سعداء. أما الحقيقة فتجعلهم يشعرون بالحزن”

“تعلمت أن أتقبل الشوكة والوردة معاً، مساوئ الحياة ومحاسنها”

“في البداية تلتقي بشخص؛ شخص يختلف اختلافًا تامًا عن جميع من حولك من الأشخاص. شخص يرى كل شيء بمنظار مختلف، ويجعلك تُغيّر منظورك، وتلاحظ كل شيء من جديد، من الداخل ومن الخارج؛ ويُخيّل إليك أن بإمكانك الإبقاء على مسافة آمنة بينك وبينه؛ ويُخيّل إليك أنك تستطيع أن تُبحر وتشق طريقك في خضم هذه العاصفة الجميلة، حتى تدرك بغتةً أنه ألقى بك إلى العراء ولا يمكنك أن تتحكم بذلك

مع الزمن، يتحول الألم الى حزن، والحزن الى صمت، وبعد الحزن يأتي فصل آخر، واد آخر، أنت آخر. وتبدأ برؤية الحبيب الذي لا يمكن أن تجده في أي مكان، تراه في كل مكان


Love cannot be explained. It can only be experienced…

and to LB – Always choose love, for without it, life is a burden!


The Forty Rules of Love

Masnavi i Ma’navi

Spiritual Verses – Audio

always choose love