Bambi is proud of her spouse: His Lebanese Easter pastry, called “maamoul”, is to die for!

Bambi thanks you for the “taste” of her childhood :)!

It is Bambi who is supposed to be the Lebanese one here and it is supposedly “her” Easter (# 2). Yet, it is her spouse who is the talented one!

Well, seriously, for the number of times she had watched her aunts doing maamoul over the first 17 years of her life before immigrating to Canada, she should have learned the tricks. As she is not the greatest cook on earth, she has an excuse for not knowing how to bake all this :).

Anyhow, here is the maamoul of her spouse (the king of their kitchen!). Maamoul literally means “done” and it is a Middle Eastern pastry for Easter and also for the Eid (= celebration at the end of Ramadan)!

Filled with walnuts and dates. Some also do it with pistachios

Here is a video featuring Mr. Hanna Mitri and his family preparing their famous maamoul. Bambi was moved to watch this historic store of Beirut where her sister Rania takes her for ice cream during each trip (the latest being in December 2019, just before the pandemic). Bambi misses her two sisters. She prays that Mr. Mitri and his family have survived the Beirut port surrealistic explosion. Is their old building still hanging on? Are they able to produce all this in the financial crisis? Can people afford to purchase it with the hyperinflation?

Now, Bambi will jump in her spirit from Beirut to LA to send her warm regards and love to Marina who also just baked her impressive maamoul. Bravo! Well, when Marina asked Bambi if she helped out her spouse, the latter replied: Mmm… by tasting his production :)!

OK, seriously, it is past midnight now and it is supposed to be the Holy Friday. So, it is too early to be eating the maamoul (meant for Sunday :)!)… but it is OK since Bambi celebrated many festivities with family and friends, from Easter # 1 to Passover to the start of Ramadan. Yes, because of all that, she is allowed to cheat and eat ahead of time :).

Anyhow, to ask for forgiveness, here are two beautiful Byzantine chant prayers from Bambi to her Jesus :). The latter is a joke obviously. She is simply sharing with you all for the fun, period.

The first prayer is called “the lamentations” interpreted by the famous Fairuz (in standard Arabic with some Greek). Bambi cannot listen to this chant without being moved in her heart. Of course, the music and the deep meaning for her. In addition, it makes her think of her family/rest of her relatives who celebrate Easter this weekend (the rest already celebrated or they highlight other religious rituals in their lives). Finally, this music brings back beautiful memories from her childhood and adolescence.

As for the second prayer, it is a song called “Wa habibi” (also by Fairuz). Habibi means beloved or my love. It is meant to be the words of Mary for her son after his death.

To conclude this post, Bambi will thank her spouse again. She loves him beyond words… and no it is not just because of his delicious maamoul :)!

Why don’t we just… smile?

Today’s post is a a follow-up to the beautiful Italian song, called “Aballati Aballati’ , featured in one of Bambi’s earlier posts (as shown further below).

Indeed, Bambi would like to first tease her childhood friend Selim who reached out to her complaining about how he could not stop singing this joyful song all day after reading (or listening to) her post. Well, Selim, perhaps Ms. Hiba Tawaji’s adaptation of “Smile” will make you forget about Mr. Amine Hachem’s earlier song :). If it doesn’t, at least it would perhaps succeed in putting a smile on your face :). Seriously now, Bambi misses you and your family. Please be safe and merry.

Second, why don’t we stop to reflect on smiles?

Is there anything more moving in the world than the first newborn’s “real” smile (after earlier “reflex” smiles)? This is when the whole cute face lights up, melting mom’s and dad’s hearts (and everyone’s heart)!

Is there anything nicer in a day than a friendly (genuine) smile?

And what about our smiles back?

Smiles communicate with each other. No need for words to quickly interpret them.

Of course, we smile more when we are happy.

We can also make ourselves (and others) happier by smiling more.

The beauty of a smile is that we can still choose to smile even when we are grieving a loved one or our hearts are filled with sorrow.

A smile is free of charge. It is easily accessible to all those who want to remember how to be and remain fully human.

Re-smiling is sometimes all what we have left when everything else seems ephemeral.

In Arabic, there is a beautiful saying that goes like that: “Ibtassem tabtassem laka el Dounya“. It literally means: “Smile and life will smile back at you“.

Yes, a smile is a reflection of a mental state. It is an attitude. It is window to the spirit, not just the mind. It is a way of living.

So, why don’t we just become a lasting smile to both others and ourselves?

Why is the city of Hamilton (Ontario) resorting to an apparent Apartheid-style vaccination?

Even Lebanon, which survived a 15-year-long sectarian (+ other) civil war from 1975 to 1990, did not resort to what the City of Hamilton is doing now.

Imagine the Covid-19 vaccines there being prioritized by sectarian groups, such as Shia Muslims, Sunnis, Christians, or whatever else in a Lebanese neighbourhood or village, but not provided to other groups (or vice versa)? Citizens would revolt against such form of apparent “racism” (or “sectarianism”), even if it is presented to them as an “anti-sectarian” public health strategy.

Mind you, there is a word for sectarianism in Arabic, “Al Taifia”, which means loyalty to one’s sect. Thankfully, sectarianism is now rejected by the majority, if not all the people of Lebanon, because it is not only unfair but also a slippery slope with potential tragic outcomes for ALL (i.e., tainted with blood).

To come back to our more peaceful Ontario, which is battling a harsh pandemic-related crisis, why is Hamilton asking its citizens to self-identify as BIPOC to receive the Covid-19 vaccine? Again, BIPOC is the trendy acronym that Bambi is supposed to fit in as a deer of colour ?; BIPOC stands for Black, Indigenous, and people of colour)?  

Why didn’t Hamilton target socio-demographic or medical factors underlying any observed BIPOC health-related data instead (e.g., age, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, other select comorbid health problems, crowded living conditions, or social factors, etc.)?

To conclude this post, does this apparently Apartheid-style vaccination make any sense to you? Anyhow, it does not to Bambi, even if she had been a Hamilton “BIPOC” deer residing “in postal codes L9C, L8W, L8L, L8N and L9K”?

May you have a beautiful holy week, mom and dad…

Bambi already celebrated Easter (with the majority…) but today she wants to send her love to her parents as it is their Greek Orthodox Palm Sunday, along with a prayer she loves dearly.

Bambi’s parents are the most open-minded people she has ever met in her life. Spiritually rooted in their faith yet open to the world, namely to all faiths, non-faith, or whatever else. They even easily forgive those with close-minded ideologies, even when the latter want to kill loved ones. For them and for Bambi, what matters the most in life is: RESPECT (self- and respect for others). Respect is the best antidote to injustice, discrimination, civil conflicts, racism, etc.

Anyhow, to conclude this post, Bambi is happy you survived the pandemic (fully vaccinated for a while) and your Beirut port surrealistic explosion that destroyed your apartment and store… to be able to live this significant week filled with beautiful Byzantine chants. Enjoy :)!

Armenia is part of Bambi’s heart… Today this part is sad on the eve of April 24

Those who know Bambi since childhood recall that her nickname is “Bambine“. Yes, she is an Armenian deer deep in her heart, today/tomorrow more than ever.

Remembrance is a duty, not just to honour the 1 million victims (may their memory be eternal), but to learn from history in order to say and truly mean: Another genocide in our world… never again!

To conclude this post, here are three songs that Bambi would like to offer to all her friends of Armenian heritage, if she may. The first one is by Mr. Ghassan Rahbani (in both Arabic and Armenian). It is about the Armenian genocide that took place from about April 24 (1915) to 1917. The second is by the late Mr. Charles Aznavour (a French song performed by Ms. Nana Mouskouri, along with French artists, to raise funds after the devastating Armenian earthquake of 1988). Finally, the last song is by Mr. Patrick Fiori whose father is French-Armenian (in French).


Believe it or not: UN elected Iran as member of its Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

Bambi posted in the past about Saudi Arabia’s membership in the UN’s Human Rights Council (another similar joke ?, except that it is not funny :(!).

Today, it is the turn of Iran to secure “membership” in the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). If this is a joke, it surely has a bad taste.

These “elections” within the UN tell us something about who controls such international organizations. It tells us also about all the political and business shenanigans in our world.

Does anyone genuinely care for women’s rights abroad?   

To conclude this post, today is a sad day for women all over the world, not just in Iran… This day is an insult to the intelligence of Iran’s women (and all their fellow citizens).  

Bravo to the Jewish Public Library for having a spine against cancel culture

Dr. Gad Saad, from Concordia University (Montreal, Québec), was about to become a target of cancel culture (ie., an attempt to silence him). The Jewish Public Library showed courage when facing the mob. His talk will take place at the end of this month, as scheduled. Bravo.

No one should be silenced in a free society, including Dr. Saad, whether we agree with his ideas or not. Instead, what would be more enriching in life is to debate and exchange ideas. Plus, if someone does not want to listen or debate, an easy solution would be to simply avoid reading his book or attending his talk, etc.

To conclude this post, at 5.36 minutes from the start, Dr. Saad’s wise words resonated with Bambi: “With every loss, every cancelled deplatforming that is instantiated, a small piece of our freedom dies”. Indeed, when freedom dies, the end result can be very ugly, as both Dr. Saad and Bambi happen to know very well…