Category Archives: Reviews

Mona Karaoui – A diary in Peru – Travel Junkie DiaryTravel Junkie Diary

“…Peru is a wake-up call, a reminder of “real” things that matter, of the beauty of a universe that we should strive to preserve. No matter what you expect, Peru will give you more: more nature, more beauty, more art, more food, but mostly more modesty, more simplicity, more love and more goodness.”

Mona Karaoui – A diary in Peru

Source: Mona Karaoui – A diary in Peru – Travel Junkie DiaryTravel Junkie Diary


Fields of Green

I’ve always been a bit “stingy” when it comes to my readings. I tend to dedicate more of my time for works of Arab authors, because naturally, I take part in their cause, relate to their uncertainties, share their sense of belonging, and then every once in a while (just when I’m about to overdo it), my very wise cultural Guru (and dear friend Georges) gently pushes me to indulge in books of different nature. His latest was “The Lowland” by British-born, Indian-American and Pulitzer Award winner Jumpha Lahiri.

A trip back in time to India in the 1960s, the book depicts a poignant story of two inseparable brothers who grow up happily in Calcutta but part ways years later, due to political affiliations, insecurity, and immigration- only to remain bound by an epic tragedy of love and loss and broken family ties,  across four generations and two geographies.

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I do not wish to divulge further details of the book here today, for I strongly recommend you read it (it was shortlisted for the Man Booker award of the year but The Luminaries just nailed it). I just woke up itching to give credit to authors of the world this morning, and to also give a major shoutout to all Arab and non- Arab immigrants and families away from their homeland this Christmas.

May you live to see your children running happily, and freely, in their homeland’s fields of green.

May you live to see them starting a family- in their homeland- showered with flowers of jasmine, rice, and zaghareet (to each his own)

May you live to see them standing tall- in their homeland-  in times of peace, stability, and goodness, as responsible and compassionate citizens of the world.

Meet Jumpha below- she’s definitely a keeper!


For the love of land

Mahmoud Darwish has been serenading me to sleep almost every night for the past year or so. I just came across this heartbreakingly beautiful masterpiece he recited as he bid Tunisia goodbye in 1994. He cried, for the love of Tunisia, Palestine, and the Arab world. He cried for the love of land.

When Darwish cries, the whole world cries. No one compares.


American Loving

I’m a Simon Cowell girl all the way (gross? but true!!), but I’ve got to give American Idol’s judges some credit this year. I am compelled to pay tribute to this harmony they display on the big screen, and the sense of responsibility they commit to. 2012 is definitely going to be one of American Idol’s Golden seasons..for many years to come. The combination of multitalented contestants on board this year is just mind-blowing (as Steve Tyler clearly had excellent judgment from day 1).

The Top 8 episode (80s night) aired last night, and I’ve got to say there is some fierce competition going on there! Those aspiring performers rocked the stage and I’ve quite frankly been tortured a little all season, as 5 of the Top 8 contestants have won my heart from the beginning, and I just can’t get myself to cheer FULLY for ONLY one- just yet! In order of preference though (that’s as close as it gets), I thought I’d share this week’s performances here – Happy Weekend!

Phillip Phillips

Elise Testone 

Joshua Ledet 

Colton Dixon

Jessica Sanchez 


Movie Review: Eat, Pray, Love

In a plethora of natural disasters, economic downturns, elevated divorce rates and more elevated unemployment rates, shows up the always so delightful Julia Roberts (yet sadly) in one of her least delightful appearances.

What was exactly the point of the torturous 2.5 hour long movie which shed excessive light on the vitality of living for one’s wellbeing first, I am not quite sure: she ate (plenty of Spaghetti), discovered “faith” in the time of need (don’t we all?!), and loved (or broke hearts- whichever you want to call it) until she finally  discovered her happiest self in Bali! With Javier Bardem (and isn’t that the dream of every woman on earth today?)

What stunned me most is how smoothly she pulled herself out of an 8-year marriage and determined to go on a year sabbatical and tour the globe on a self discovery mission. Call me traditional but I do not consider leaving a marriage behind, getting into a brisk intense relationship (even if it were with James Franco) and then flying out to Italy followed by India and Bali “self discovery”, it’s rather “narcissism”, the love of the I- kindly add to that the fact that it is nearly impossible for any of us, modest citizens of the world, to disconnect  for an entire year, and live leisurely on love, yoga, wine and Spaghetti (well, unless we’re Julia Roberts or the rather unlucky movie  producer – Brad Pitt that is) due to all the practical limitations the economy and society imply on both men and women today (amongst many other things).

I have not read the book so I am not one to judge Ms. Gilbert’s writing or her personal choices but I can undoubtedly say I am one (of many) disappointed spectators . The lone thing that I have deduced at the treasured end of the overdosed session of dullness (and handsome-ness, I must add) is that one should not make lifetime commitments (may it be marriage or else) before discovering “oneself”!  Engaging in a long term relationship  (with a partner/ a job/ a fitness club) merely suggests you’re in it for the good and the bad (I am not implying until death do you two apart, but why not if you can stand in love for as long as it is doable- Thank you Fromm).

Well, I just packed my bags and am now on the quest for “self discovery” – en route to Chtaura (oh, who needs you Bardem!)