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A country I could call home

Galway, Ireland On the 4th of August, in Beirut, something horribly horrific happened.My heart didn’t break on this fatidic day.It crushed and pulverized in a million pieces. My heart was already breaking for over a decade; the fist tear happened when I was born, in the mid 80s, from the ashes of the civil war.  GrowingContinue reading “A country I could call home”

The morning after

Beirut, Lebanon It is the morning after. What we hoped to be a nightmare, turned out not to be. I mean it is, but it happened for real.People are still missing. The search continues. The capital is in rubbles.It’s OK to feel vulnerable and weak, but we must not panic. We did that yesterday. TodayContinue reading “The morning after”

Wild foods for wild times

Glasgow, Scotland Living in this part of the world, when good weather comes you know to make the most of it. Usually, this means scanning the seven-day forecast and plotting trips to the mountains or coast as soon as a chance of sunshine reveals itself. Currently, the geographic boundaries of opportunity are somewhat smaller- anContinue reading “Wild foods for wild times”

Loss

United Kingdom Please note this post contains content that may be distressing to some readers. Approximately four weeks before the UK government announced that we were to go into lockdown due to a worldwide pandemic, my husband and I found out that I was expecting our second child. Our daughter is almost four years old;Continue reading “Loss”

Hillside Refuge

Nepal Which day of the lockdown is it today? I’m not too sure, where I am, it’s easy to lose track of time. My partner and I have been staying at our house, which is located in a hilly rural area of Nepal, approximately one hour away from Kathmandu. It’s a quiet place, surrounded byContinue reading “Hillside Refuge”

Lockdown: A journey in emotions

Ottawa, Canada OptimismWhen my partner and I went on lockdown on March 13, I had just come back from a work trip to Toronto one week earlier. I was attending a large conference hosted by the Canadian food service industry. Thousands of participants were in attendance, including large numbers of food producers, restaurants, and bars.Continue reading “Lockdown: A journey in emotions”

Houston, we have a problem

Houston, United States By Ansam Sinjab Entering week six of work-from-home, week 10-ish of social distancing (depends when you started to take things seriously in this country), week four of my Nike Training Club fitness program, day six of my guided mediation program (last one was two weeks ago), day 20 of not watching Trump’sContinue reading “Houston, we have a problem”

The Blackbird Show

Madrid, Spain A concrete planter next to the subway is no decent home compared to the coniferous forest, the blackbird’s natural habitat. But these are the kind of situations you have to deal with when you grow up in a city like Madrid, where housing price is absolutely nuts. March is the month in whichContinue reading “The Blackbird Show”

Go Home, Stay Home

From Maine to London Days before the quarantine became mandatory, Nils, my British fiancé, spotted the homemade sign taped to a second floor window in the block of brick flats across the lane. “Go Home, Stay Home” it read, in colored pencil. We could see it from our kitchen. I’d caught glimpses of a womanContinue reading “Go Home, Stay Home”

Them changes in Minneapolis

Minneapolis, United States In the brief moment that Thanos snapped his fingers to bring the demise of the Avengers in Endgame, is how quickly the social activities dissolved.  Many of us hoped this year would be the year; a year for expansion of travelling and seeing different sights. A year which might have seen usContinue reading “Them changes in Minneapolis”

Confinamiento

Mexico City, Mexico Here we are in May 2020, in Mexico City, living the same confinement as everyone else. It has been six weeks already and I anticipate another eight weeks to start resuming activities. I am experiencing this pandemic with my family – my husband and three children – Luisa, 5 years old, Simone,Continue reading “Confinamiento”

Frontline to Backline

From the UK to the Persian Gulf I’ve spent 14 years working for the NHS. Spent a variety of years tasting many specialities spending days and nights walking along various hospital corridors. After this I decided to become a general practitioner and for the last nine years this is what I did until 14th FebruaryContinue reading “Frontline to Backline”

Lahore in Lockdown

Lahore, PakistanSpring brings out the best in Lahore, the city of gardens, of ancient architecture, of culture and heritage. In the last decade especially, the academic scene in Lahore has boomed manifold. Spring has been an usherer of all things creative and positive, like Lahore’s first biennale in 2018. Come spring and Lahore hosts itsContinue reading “Lahore in Lockdown”

Freetown

Freetown, Sierra Leone April 2020 Sierra Leone had been the only country in the West and Central Africa region without a case of COVID-19 – that’s out of 24 countries and something to be proud of. But on March 31, things rapidly changed when the President, in a nationwide broadcast, made an announcement that theContinue reading “Freetown”

Colorado to California

California, United States This ‘break’ was never expected nor called for. I was busy with my schoolwork – graduate school has been nothing but all work – when we got an email that there was a suspected case on campus and students would be taking their classes online until further notice. Until then I hadContinue reading “Colorado to California”

Running away

London, England You come from behind and swoosh past me at great speed, nearly brushing my side, oblivious of me. One moment you are there, another and you are gone, in your world, running at pace and lost in your earphones. I shout at the receding back of your head, “Give me two meters!” butContinue reading “Running away”

Art in a time of Corona

Beirut, Lebanon I’m an artist from Britain, and have lived in Beirut, Lebanon for the past ten years. My home is in Gemmayzeh, a neighbourhood near ‘The Ring’ bridge at Tabaris and Martyrs Square, the central square of Beirut. Just three months ago, these locations were the epicenter of the Lebanese protest movement which beganContinue reading “Art in a time of Corona”

The shower dilemma

Paris, France I would have never imagined that the number one topic of discussion with my friends would one day be about how often we are showering. Two weekends ago, I started this discussion with some friends on a group video call. Ever since, we have been keeping each other updated of our shower time,Continue reading “The shower dilemma”

Fables

Toronto, Canada  There was this village, a farming village. It was not so big, not too small. Farmers there grew all sorts of crops: rice, wheat, maize, eggplant, lentils. And there was always plenty of food to go around. One day the rains did not come. Then another day, then a week. The farmers beganContinue reading “Fables”

Shock, Humour, Acceptance

Lahore, Pakistan The shock: It started as a dreadful email, informing us about the closure of university. It came as a shock to final year students who were busy planning their last two months at university. The awaited delights like the grad-trip, photoshoots and the final goodbyes.We were too oblivious of what was happening aroundContinue reading “Shock, Humour, Acceptance”

One step beyond

Pisa, Italy “When in April the sweet showers fallThat pierce March’s drought to the root and allAnd bathed every vein in liquor that has powerTo generate therein and sire the flower;When Zephyr also has with his sweet breath,Filled again, in every holt and heath,The tender shoots and leaves, and the young sunHis half-course in theContinue reading “One step beyond”

Accidental pandemic mini-break that should have never have happened

Aberdeen, Scotland & Colombo, Sri Lanka My feelings are mixed about what is probably the last “adventure” I will have for a long time. (When I say adventure, I am not including whatever spiritual and mental journeys we are all supposed to be making during the lockdown, according to the online influencers and self-righteous lifeContinue reading “Accidental pandemic mini-break that should have never have happened”

Free flow, in lockdown

Kigali, Rwanda Monday, Tuesday, W, T, F, S, Sunday, #Stay home #GumaMurugo. Genocide against Tutsi commemoration starts, I can’t support friends who lost their families during 1994. Lockdown reasons. We start trying the virtual support. They are being hunted by past events. Wounds are feeling fresh again. I can’t do more than the virtual. It’sContinue reading “Free flow, in lockdown”

Day 33

Washington DC, United States As I write this, it’s day 33.  Day 33 of what originally started as me self-isolating out of an abundance of caution (due to potential exposure and potentially exhibiting symptoms) but has turned into a mandatory city lockdown along the way.  I know it’s day 33 from the strike marks onContinue reading “Day 33”

A mild case of Covid

London, England Last week, I overheard my husband telling someone on the phone that I was ill. Within a couple of hours, that person’s partner, in another continent, messaged to see how I was as they’d heard I wasn’t well. Covid has given the term viral a whole new meaning. I’ve been thinking about theContinue reading “A mild case of Covid”

Springtime in Iraq

Duhok, Iraq Despite the grim news of coronavirus gripping all of the world’s media, spring has arrived in northern Iraq! This is usually the prime season for family picnics and hikes on the beautiful mountains and trails surrounding the small city of Duhok, but even one of the biggest Persian New Year (Nowruz) celebration weekendsContinue reading “Springtime in Iraq”

Fica em casa

Lisbon – Portugal, April 2020 I am a roadie……catering department. I have toured for 12 years supporting artists and crew, from tiny theatres all the way up to stadiums and festivals. Mainly the UK but also throughout Europe and the US. In recent years, I have been working nine months out of 12. My partner is Portuguese andContinue reading “Fica em casa”

Let me entertain you

Coulsdon, England Entertaining a little human during lockdown is my new job. I work from home as a copywriter, and I’m also a part time SEN key worker at a local school, so I’m a bit busy with that. But nothing fills my days more than my nutty little toddler and his many daily discoveries.Continue reading “Let me entertain you”

Clapping time

Malaga, Spain Every day at 8pm, people in Spain go out to their windows, balconies, and terraces to applaud for healthcare workers and all the essential personnel (cleaners, supermarket sellers, pharmacists, etc.) as a way of thanking them for their courageous work during the COVID-19 outbreak. Since the beginning of the lockdown, which started aroundContinue reading “Clapping time”

Making the best out of COVID

London, England My heart goes out to all those personally and collectively affected by the COVID situation, there is a great deal of suffering out there… but right now, I feel it’s important to make the best of whatever situation we find ourselves in so here are my appreciations…. This deliberately goes back to basics…. Continue reading “Making the best out of COVID”

Lockdown in a Refugee Camp

Dzaleka Refugee Camp, Malawi The news of the moment is a disaster that’s putting our mind into the world of wonder and despair. Questions pending in the minds of Dzaleka residents are: What is the future of Dzaleka Refugee Camp –the home to 45,000 people who survive on donations and aid from the world? What wouldContinue reading “Lockdown in a Refugee Camp”

Palm Sunday 2020

Sunday 5th April 2020, Mauritius – Lockdown Day #17 It’s a beautiful morning with the sun shining brightly through my window and a gentle breeze moving the curtains. A perfect day to go to the beach. If only….. Today is the 17th day of lockdown. Only the 17th day. My memories of pre-lockdown life are hazy. It feelsContinue reading “Palm Sunday 2020”

Adjustments and Silver Linings

Biggin Hill, England Ever since schools shut, life has been completely different.  The first two weeks were incredibly stressful. Trying to comprehend what was happening to us, and restrictions on our lives building by what seemed like every 24 hours.  Luckily, we still have some freedom. Up to an hour exercise each day. We doubt, however, thisContinue reading “Adjustments and Silver Linings”

Holding out an olive jar

Buckinghamshire, England I live in a small block of flats, over a couple of floors, and get on very well with two of my neighbours in particular. Each of us live alone, so it’s nice to have kind and reliable people so close by. In normal times we’ll quite often go for an evening walkContinue reading “Holding out an olive jar”

Lockdown in Rhyme

London, England I wish I could turn off the world and have a real lockdownWhere no one was bothering meWhere no child made a soundJust snuggled up to meWhile we watched the TVWhere the Tesco Man delivered everythingIncluding Beer, Chocolates and some proper Tea


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