Happy New Year to all of you!

Happy 2024 to all!

Are you ready to turn the page on the 2023 chapter to welcome 2024?

Whether you will make a resolution at the end of the year or not, may the forthcoming chapter of your life, called 2024, be one of inner peace.

May your inner peace shine around you and inspire you to be the best friend you can be to your circle of loved ones… just like the ABBA’s beautiful song where we “may all have a vision now and then of a world where every neighbour is a friend“.

Sadly, our troubled world is far from being kind and peaceful, including a doomed Middle East with a neighbourhood that is anything but friendly. Despite this, each one of us has a responsibility to use our inner peace, critical thinking, and an authentic will to accept, and even love, one another despite our conflicts or different tribes.

What keeps us happy? The late Ms. Linda De Suza’s song may be a source of inspiration

This post is a tribute to Southern Portugal- born French singer Ms. Linda De Suza who died a year ago, like today (https://shorturl.at/alV29). The latter has several BEAUTIFUL songs and even published books, including her autobiography which is entitled “La Valise en Carton” (“The Cardboard Suitcase“).

Among her songs is one that rocked Bambi’s childhood and youth during the Lebanese civil war. It is called “Rien n’arrête le bonheur” [Nothing stops Happiness]. Bambi will dedicate it to her dad, if he happens to be reading now 🙂 ❤️. It is sub-titled in English below (and a written translation follows the YouTube video). Of note, Robine, Bambi’s mom in heaven used to love this singer. May her memory as well as Ms. de Suza’s memory both be eternal.

Nothing stops happiness


“Nothing stops happiness.

it will always be the winner.

it plays tricks on the misfortune.

it is strong as a giant.

Nothing stops happiness .

it is crazy and invisible

but those who have it the heart,

we always see them smiling.

You, I bet

That you’ll soon get it by you.

It will change everything, will give you

wings and you’ll fly away.

Nothing stops happiness

and when we see it leaving,

if he goes elsewhere,

it is for a better come back.

Nothing stops happiness.

no nothing will prevent it

to get to your heart

but you have to believe in it.

You, I bet

That you’ll soon get it by you.

It will change everything,

will give you wings

and you’ll fly away.

Nothing stops happiness.

it will always be the winner.

it plays tricks on the misfortune.

it is strong as a giant.

Nothing stops happiness.

it is crazy and invisible

but those who have it the heart,

we always see them smiling.

It brings sunshine

one morning on our tears.

It is he, who chooses

a man, a woman.

Nothing stops happiness.

it will always be the winner.

It plays tricks on the misfortune.

it is strong as a giant.

La la la la…”

Florida’s pretty sunrise and sunset!

Thank you Joëlle for sharing my beauty in Florida with the readers of Bambi’s Afkar!

Bambi echoes the sun’s gratitude by thanking Joëlle for sharing, with you and her, three pretty pictures taken in Florida (i.e., sunrise, sunset, and nighttime). She hopes you will enjoy them as much as she did. Long live our world’s beauty. Long live the old friendship between Joëlle and Bambi. As you can guess, this post will end in music. Jojo, the last two songs are dedicated to you with much love ❤️. Have a good one everyone!

A picture taken by Joëlle in Florida
A picture taken by Joëlle in Florida
A picture taken by Joëlle in Florida

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Milad Majid! Joyeux Noël!

Frohe Weihnachten! Feliz Navidad! Buon Natale!

Yes, all the above expressions happily refer to the birth of Jesus.

May the readers of this blog who celebrate this day, spiritually (if they are Christian believers) and/or traditionally (family, friends, exchange of gifts, meals, etc.) enjoy it.

May we all enjoy the beautiful decoration, the cheerful spirit, and even the cheesy Christmas movies (if we like them year-round, like Bambi this year :)).

Christmas will always be Christmas, even when we are grieving or in physical pain. Christmas is about the birth of baby of hope and of potential for limitless love.

Sadly, Christmas may be lost between a West, which seems increasingly embarrassed by its judeo-Christian heritage (e.g., too politically correct for simple wishes of “Merry Christmas“, not just “Happy Holidays“), and an Orient where some say they may be reluctant to celebrate given the state of war. Some, much more extreme, even indulged in burning a Christmas tree somewhere in Bambi’s birth country. Luckily, common sense prevailed. The decoration was replaced fast and the story is history now.

Of course, over the years, Christmas became too commercial. Despite this, why can’t we reconcile an exchange of gifts among loved ones with our care for others or with the respect (or appreciation, if we wish) of the true meaning of Christmas?

Regardless of Bambi’s thoughts this morning, may you all have a peacefully wonderful day, whether you celebrate Christmas or not!

How about a few Christmas songs now?

For many readers of this blog, including Bambi, Christmas is a magical time of the year. This is why this musical post will be an opportunity for her to offer the first song, sub-titled in English, to all the young and old children. This means to those who are still truly young and to those with an inner little kid, regardless of their chronological age!

As for the second French song, which is featured below, she will dedicate it to all the children of the world, especially those who find themselves caught in the middle of the fighting of older ones.

Finally, the third Arabic Christmas carol is about how war, hate, and revenge would vanish on Christmas eve. The earth would bloom and love would prevail. As the song goes, all this would happen on Christmas eve. Over a 17 year-period,of time, Bambi used to sing this deep song, with her schoolmates or on her own, hoping it will bring everyone a break from civil war. If she may, she will offer it now, along with the following spiritual one, to Achim if he happens to be reading this post (since he is the one who introduced her to the latter in a comment about an older post).

To conclude this post, may music keep making us dream of a better world. May only love have the final word, not just on Christmas eve but also at all times and for all.

Beirut’s sunset through the clouds

Bambi took two pictures yesterday evening before her third airplane landed in Beirut.

The Beirut of her youth and of her loved ones, those on earth and those in heaven.

The Beirut she worries about from very far away is still there, as always, eternal somewhere under the beautiful clouds.

Yes, the same Beirut she will always cherish even through darker moments of love-hate.

May the clouds of instability finally move away to let a sustainable sunshine of healing, love, and prosperity shine on everyone in Beirut and beyond across the entire world.

A picture taken by Bambi above Beirut upon landing (December 21, 2023)
A picture taken by Bambi above Beirut upon landing (December, 2023)

Remembering Ms. Edith Piaf

French singer/actress Ms. Edith Piaf was born in Paris on December 19, 1915. She died in her birth country on October 10, 1963 (https://shorturl.at/duAT2). Bambi will pause for a couple of minutes to honour her memory with one her most beautiful songs, “La foule” [“The Crowd”]. The latter is an adaptation of a Waltz melody, entitled “Que nadie sepa mi sufrir” (composed in 1936 by Argentinian songwriter Ángel Cabral). For your convenience, an English translation of the lyrics appear at the end of this post (https://shorturl.at/efhjZ).

“I see the city in celebration and delirium
Suffocating under the sun and under the joy
And I hear in the music the cries, the laughter
That burst and bounce around me
And lost among these people who jostle me
Stunned, distraught, I stay there
When suddenly I turn around, he pulls back
And the crowd comes to throw me into their arms

Carried away by the crowd that drags us
Train us
Crushed Against Each Other
We are one body
And the flow without effort
Pushes us, chained to each other
And leave us both
Blissful, intoxicated and happy

Carried away by the rushing crowd
And who dances
A crazy farandole
Our two hands remain united
And sometimes raised
Our two entwined bodies fly away
And both fall back
Blissful, intoxicated and happy

And the joy splashed by his smile
Pierces me and springs back deep inside me
But suddenly I cry out among the laughter
When the crowd comes to tear her from my arms

Carried away by the crowd that drags us
Train us
Keeps us apart
I struggle and I struggle
But the sound of her voice
Chokes on the laughter of others
And I scream in pain and fury and rage
And I cry

Carried away by the rushing crowd
And who dances
A crazy farandole
I am carried away
And I clench my fists, cursing the crowd that robs me
The man she gave me
And that I never found”.

On the eve of the “World Arabic Language Day”

All languages are beautiful, especially Arabic!

Did you know that there is an official international day devoted to the Arabic language (https://shorturl.at/chot5)? Bambi was happy to discover the latter because she loves human beings and communicating with them. She also finds all languages fascinating. Some more than others, including the German and French languages. However, Arabic has a meaningful place in her heart or rather mind. Can you take a guess why : )? OK, she can help by giving you a hint… Yes, it is her mother tongue and it is such a RICH Semitic language.

To begin with, when Bambi thinks of Arabic, both the standard (or classical) Arabic and the spoken Lebanese-Arabic come to her mind. Often, both overlap. However, at many other times, these sub-languages seem quite different (https://shorturl.at/chot5).

This being said, it is absolutely incredible if we stop to think about how many people speak this language worldwide: an estimated 390 million individuals (https://shorturl.at/chot5). Indeed, this language is one of the most widely spoken ones on our planet. There is a reason it is “one of the six official languages of the United Nations“… and “although the Arabic language is the language of Islam, it dates back… further than the religion (https://shorturl.at/chot5)”.

Interestingly, “Arabic has its roots in the Semitic languages spoken by people in the Arabian Peninsula around the 1st century CE (Versteegh, 2014). Other Semitic languages, including Aramaic, Akkadian, and Canaanite, influenced the earliest forms of Arabic. Inscriptions dating back to the 4th century CE contain some of the oldest written records of the Arabic language” (https://shorturl.at/pAENU). For those of you who do not know it, Aramaic is the language, which was spoken by Jesus.

Of note, Bambi’s parents, especially her dad, love the Arabic language. They gave all their children, including herself, Arabic names. They precisely selected neutral names, which do not refer to any religion in particular. Indeed, one of Bambi’s sisters, Roula, happens to be named after the leader of an Arabic tribe, which predates Islam, as per the above. If Bambi is not mistaken, this particular tribe may have been even Christian. There is a beautiful poem written by or telling the story of Roula and her lover Issam. When she will see him again [soon “inshallah” as they say in Arabic : )!], Bambi intends to ask her dad to remind her of the full poem. Only the first few words come to her sleepy mind now. Same for Rania, her sister. She has a poem too. Believe it or not, herself as a little deer has an Arabic poem expressed by a hunter who did not have the heart to kill this animal.

To conclude this post in music, as a tribute to the beauty of the Arabic language, Bambi will leave you with a few songs in Standard, Lebanese-, and Egyptian-Arabic (some sub-titled in English). Long live efficient interpersonal communication, along with enriching cultural exchanges, among people and nations. Even if she loves languages such as Arabic, and including the one of music, what matters the most for Bambi is the language of love and shared humanity.

Thank you, Mr. Mario Pelchat, for your moving version of “Minuit Chrétiens”!

Québec and Canada, and with them the entire world of music, are lucky to have many highly talented singers. Mr. Mario Pelchat is one of them and Bambi adores his voice.

If you are interested, in the YouTube video below, you can listen to him singing one of the most beautiful Christmas carols or hymns of the French language [OK according to Bambi and you have the right to disagree with her taste :)].

Whether you like Mr. Pelchat’s voice or not, or Christmas songs or not, have a good one everyone!