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Dec. 4th, 2005 @ 12:37 pm
I don't know how to explain what I feel every time a mass grave is discovered in Lebanon.

I don't know.

The past was not on my mind for a while because I had no time to think about it. I still don't have the time but I can't help but think about it now.

I hate Christmas. I hate Christmas movies. They make me feel so bad about my loneliness.

I've been having daily nosebleeds that are very difficult to stop. I can't stand seeing blood. It makes me dizzy and nauseous. I'm having nightmares about blood and bones and flesh every day. Even during the day images pop into my mind. It's like I can see it as if it's in front of me for real. Yuck. I think I might be hallucinating or something. I hate getting out of bed.

I wish my mom were here. I guess I am destined to feel lonely regardless of whether or not I'm alone. I can't notice the people around me. I walk in a crowd, I feel like a zombie. Their voices sound like the annoying vibrations of a fly's wings. I feel like I'm living in another dimension.

I can't write anymore.

Work Sep. 15th, 2005 @ 08:47 pm
I don't know if anyone can survive on $400 / month in Lebanon, but I won't be wearing any suits to work, that's for sure!

Photos Sep. 4th, 2005 @ 08:30 pm
Some of my photos from Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh here.

I will be signing my job contract tomorrow. Hurray to that!

It seems that grad school won't work out after all, since they've decided that I need to take "remedial" courses in undergrad polisci, which doesn't work out for me since I work in the mornings and undergrad courses are in the mornings (and the latest starts at 2 pm)... I told the director of the program that unless they remove that requirement, I won't be able to attend LAU even if I wanted to (I'm not too impressed with their tuition fees to tell you the truth)....

Update Jul. 14th, 2005 @ 12:14 pm
I am alive and well. I'm still tired from my 3-day trip to Artsakh (Karabakh)... Just wanted to update here to remove the possibility of having my blog deleted due to inactivity...

How's everyone?

Armenia Jun. 15th, 2005 @ 07:43 pm
I'm leaving for Armenia in a few hour's time. I will be posting as much as I can from there (might not update LJ, but will definitely post here), most probably less about the situation in Lebanon and more about the situation in the Caucasus (and of course "Israel's" latest violations of human rights). On the good side, the interview went so great that I was given the job immediately (of course, I will be starting upon my arrival). So I will have a steady income which can help me pay for my grad studies - that's if I am accepted to LAU (which I have my doubts about, as it doesn't seem to be any different from AUB).

Alright - I'm off.

Update May. 19th, 2005 @ 09:30 pm
I'm almost done with packing up. I've shipped my books, packed my luggages, sold my desk (for some pocket money), and I'm ready to go! :-D Oh yes, and I've also reserved my ticket to Armenia for June 16. :o) Those are the good news.

Now for the bad news: The shipment cost me a lot of $$$$, and my luggages and carry-on are heavy, and I also have to carry my laptop, which is also heavy. Add to that the fact that I have less than an hour and 25 minutes to make it from one gate to another at Charles de Gaulle Airport. I guess that's not a big deal, but if my plane encounters any delays or something happens (i.e. getting lost, having to wait in line for some document if any is required) then I will miss my flight and that's a major headache. I'm hoping that won't happen. More bad news: I have toothache. Now of course I have a dentist in Lebanon, but, that costs a lot of $$$ and to make it worse, I have dentist-phobia. Even worse news: They've renamed Beirut Int'l Airport to Rafik Hariri Airport. WTF. I mean, oh no I don't mean anything. Never mind. I guess I shouldn't start. Anyway, I will continue calling it Beirut Int'l Airport. So whatever. And then there's the issue of how my mom will be dealing with my sudden departure (without her knowledge). Who cares what that witch thinks. Hrm.. I think the only other thing that's worrying me is ... my political books. Some of them are banned in Lebanon, I believe, and I have them in my handbag. I figured that they wouldn't think that I'd take the risk and put such things in my handbag, and wouldn't check it. But if they do, that's not a problem. As long as they don't take Robert Fisk's book away, it's cool. They'll have to wrestle with me to take that book away. So they better not try. The last bit of bad news (I think this is the worst yet): I had e-mailed the Admissions Office at AUB and am yet to receive a reply from them. Well, if they don't accept me, fuck them, I'll move to Armenia if I can't find a job in Lebanon with my degree.

What else - oh yes, I almost forgot - tomorrow I will be visiting York U for the last time (for now at least). I'll be taking my digicam with me (unless I forget); I'll take lots of photos and post them. I'll also post TONS of photos of Beirut and other places in Lebanon once I get there; although the problem with that is that I'm there for only 20 days at most before I leave for Armenia. So I'll have to stick with digicam rather than my dad's pro manual cam; which is fine with me (in fact, it saves a lot of time, as scanning does take a lot of time, relatively speaking). I will also post tons of pics of Armenia. I'll be taking my laptop, my digicam, and my cameras and lenses with me (minus the tripod :-( ). I'll be there for 2 months. I'll get to visit tons of places, including Nagorno Karabakh or Artsakh as we call it. I'm excited about visiting Yerevan. I've been there once (when I was 1.5 years old), and I have pics, and I want to go to ALL the places in those pics. I wonder if it's changed. In the pics it's so beautiful. I hope it's remained the same. Wow, this is going to be an exciting summer. Although I won't be getting much done with regards to getting a car, continuing with German, etc., but that's fine. Also, the trip and stay itself will cost me next to nothing ($180 + other expenses). I'll also get to meet a lot of people, get a lot of experience (good for resume and Curriculum Vitae), visit lots of places, take a lot of pics. I believe I will also be teaching conversational English in schools, and that's pretty exciting too! Hell, maybe if I like it there, I might get a decent job and move to Armenia. But then again, there's always the question of loyalty (which one to choose, Lebanon or Armenia - obviously I can't be in two places at the same time, although I wish I could), and I don't think I've found an answer to it. :-( Obviously Lebanon has more of a personal value for me than Armenia, but there's also the issue of "what have I done for Armenia?" I guess that's why I'm going there this summer. Maybe I will finally find a solution to this state of confusion. Here's hoping. :-) Oh and I also ordered 2 transcripts and my diploma from York U (no, the goddamn grades haven't been released YET).

In other news (I don't really know whether to put this in the good or bad news, but you can decide for yourselves), Lebanese Interior Ministry declared Thursday that nine opposition candidates had already won uncontested parliamentary seats without a vote being cast. Ha-ha! Don't we love democracy!

I will try to post again before leaving the country.

Good news May. 13th, 2005 @ 11:05 pm
It was a marathon run, but I made it. I got the position. What position? A 'work abroad' position. Where? In Yerevan, Armenia. The deadline for one application (I had to apply to two locations for that one position) was May 15, while the other application had no deadlines. I mailed the first one (i.e. the one with the deadline on May 15) on May 5, but the other one (which had no deadlines) I couldn't fax until May 11 as I was waiting (without success) for a response from someone I wanted to get a reference from. In the end I had to fax the application with only one reference (but provided the contact info for the other person). The May 15-deadline people had to wait for a response from the no-deadline people, so that they could process my application before May 15. I had previously thought that the deadline to APPLY was May 15, rather than the deadline to be ACCEPTED. What the hell. At any rate, today I received notification from both places that "[my] talents and skills [would] be very useful". I am also receiving a travel subsidy, so that's even better. I just have to pay for living expenses.

It's a bit early for me to reserve/book a flight, but I will do that when I get back home. It's going to be one crazy summer. I have tons of stuff to take care of. I need to get through my recommended reading list, sort out everything at AUB (no reply on acceptance yet.. grr), get a driving license, and on top of that I was planning on continuing with German. Well there's no way I can do that AND stay in Armenia for 2 months, so German's gotta go for now, which is a shame. I guess I could always fit it into my fall/winter schedule. Or maybe that's not such a good idea, given that I will also be taking Hebrew and Persian. Whoa.

I'm also planning on taking with me my dad's professional camera and telephoto lens, and practising some pro photography there. My laptop has to go with me too. But taking all that means that I will have to worry about them all the time, which might take away from some of the fun I could've had. I was told that I should guard my stuff at home real well since 'wealthy-looking' visitors are sometimes targeted by theft. I really don't want to have my dad's camera stolen. :-(

2 month's stay will cost me about $600 including food (but no transportation). The ticket costs $220 but is, as I said above, subsidised. I think it's a really good deal. So tomorrow I need to go and get my doctor to sign a medical clearance form. The good thing is, I have a valid insurance until Sept 2005, so I don't need to pay $$ for that (it's mandatory to have it).

Anyway, that's about it for now. I'm happy. :)
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

Grr May. 7th, 2005 @ 04:58 pm
I just received an e-mail from one of my profs. Apparently he's "misplaced" my last essay, but he says he knows I submitted it. What a moron. He should give me an A just for that. Professors are so disorganised it's not even funny. And then they whine about students. Anyway, I make a habit of keeping all my essays, so I sent it to him by e-mail. I still think I deserve an A just because he lost my essay. What if I didn't have it or was on vacation and had no access to e-mail???!! I mean, I don't HAVE TO under university regulations. After I submit my essay, the prof is responsible for it. How lame. And apparently Monday is the last day to submit the grades, and he e-mailed me guess when... today. At 3 pm. Yup. And I'm supposed to feel great about this.

Ատանայի Կոտորածը Apr. 27th, 2005 @ 03:44 pm
Կոտորածն անգութ, հայերը թող լան,
Անապատ դարձաւ շքեղ Ատանան,
Կրակն ու սուրը եւ անխիղճ թալան
Ռուբէնի տունը ա~խ ըրաւ վերան:

Րոպէ մը չանցաւ, ու հայոց խեղճեր,
Ինկած սուրին տակ խուժանին ահեղ,
Ժամեր ու դպրոցք բոցի մէջ կորան,
Բիւրաւոր հայեր անխնայ մեռան:

Պարապ էր աւա~ղ, հարուստ Ատանան,
Մոխիր է դարձեր ամբողջ Կիլիկիան,
Միայն ապրեցաւ Հաճընը սիրուն,
Ինչու չի շարժիր ապառաժ Զէյթուն:

Mar. 28th, 2005 @ 07:50 pm
I remember we (myself, somuchforhope and montreality) were having a discussion on Damascus a couple of weeks ago. Well, here's an interesting blog with pics of/from Damascus.

I will be done with school next week. But before I'm done, I have a very evil week ahead. I have a test tomorrow, a written test and an oral test in German on Wednesday and I also have to add a couple of pages to the paper that was supposed to have been 3000 words long (but which the prof changed to 4000 words and expects us to adjust miraculously), and two 15-page essays due on April 4 and 5th. But after I'm done with school, I have a good month and a half. 'Til what you will ask me? Well, I leave Canada for good on May the 25th. I picked up my ticket today. I leave at 7:20 pm (Toronto time) on May 25 from Pearson Airport and arrive in Beirut Int'l Airport on May 26, at 3:45 pm (Beirut time). Hurray! I'm flying with Air France, so I'll be making my connection flight at Charles de Gaulle Airport. I wish I could fly with Lufthansa, then I'd speak in German with the flight attendants. ;-) Alas..

My gramma (she's 82) has smoked an entire packet of cigs today. I swear I'm gonna kill her. I hate the fucking smell. It's giving me headaches and my asthma is acting up. I hate inconsiderate people. I'm gonna cry now. I hate this smell. It's like living in a goddamn $#@#@# ultra-polluted factory zone.
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