Tuesday, August 18, 2009

خليك بعد شوي

مش مطلوب منّي صدّق كل شي بتقول
ولا مطلوب منّك تفهم كل شي عم قول

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Having feelings for an ex-flame seems to be much more self-serving and egotistical than people might think... or else how would you explain this nostalgia that comes back only when you have been let down by present events or you've just found some empty time alone. Why is it only then that you think of a love that is no more? What about the times when they needed you and you held back for lack of interest, lack of compassion? But all what you said then and there was that it just didn't feel right. Why now?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chronicles From Between The Sheets.

It's almost 8 and I am sleepy already. Score! Ka-ching! And Wow For Now!
I got a Feeling that Tonight's gonna be a good Night!
As I look more into my REM cycle episodes I start to understand that my problem relates more to anxiety and less to insomnia per se.
And so I decide to look less.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Of Fragrance And Ventilation.

As I turn on the A.C. in my car, I breathe in your scent from the night before. And you put a smile on my face...

Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Ooh, but I still smell her.
[inhales deeply through nose]
--Scent Of A Woman.

How To Count Sheep Or My Blogging Comeback.

I can't sleep.
I even dread not being able to sleep.
It seems it could be a sign of latent anxiety that I just can't decipher. Everything seems to be going just fine, and yet I can't sleep... Yes there are things that I decided to ignore for a while, but I don't really seem bothered by them, and yet I can't sleep...
It starts around 8pm, on days where I am not overworked or particularly busy. I start thinking to myself as to how I am going to fall asleep at the appropriate time that society and my parents have put in place (around 11 pm) when everyone else in the house goes to bed.
And so on days like today, I end up taking one dose of anti-histamines for prophylaxis. To skip the anxiety episode and go straight to unconscious. And yet, it seems it's not helping anymore. I will not increase the dosage. Instead maybe I'll whine more about it here. Just enough to feel sleepy again.
Welcome World, Welcome Back.
--What's YOUR idea of a comeback?...

Sunday, August 02, 2009

W benNesbeh La Boukra Shou?

A round up of Cultural Events Sur Mesure:

These are some events during the month of August, not taking into consideration the known Festivals (aka Byblos, Baalbeck...) rather some underground concerts, some oddball exhibitions and some true Lebanese productions Baladi 2aseel.

I. Badguèr I Un événement autour de l'image/An image event:

Open Air Exhibition in Araman Factory, Bourj Hammoud (July 26 - August 12), by now you've missed the Open Air Screenings but you can still catch the Exhibition itself, and a concert on August 12 Closing Night. Don't forget to catch a bite at Mano's for authentic Soujouk. (They even have Soujouk Shawarma!)

Initiative created by a team of artists: from musicians, photographers, visual artists to film directors... throughout Amman, Beirut and Cairo.
The Beirut Schedule:
When: Sunday 2nd of August, 9:30pm
Who: Mashrou3 Leila (My personal choice, my Manly Burly Ballerinas)
Where: Jounieh Festival, Facing Jounieh Municipality
Free of Charge
When: Thursday 6th of August, 10:00pm
Who: Ressala, Aziz Maraka (Alternative Artist, Founder of Razz, Jordan), Mashrou3 Leila with Joelle Khoury (Composer-Pianist)
Where: Snatch, Gemmayze
Ticket Price: 20 000LL Cover Charge
When: Friday 7th of August, 9:30pm
Who: Ressala (One of the oldest and most established Egyptian indie bands)
Where: Jounieh Festival, Facing Jounieh Municipality
Free of Charge
When: Sunday 9th of August, 8:30 pm
Who: Mashrou3 Leila, Aziz Maraka, Ressala, feat. Ivoice
Where: Pierre Abou Khater Theatre, USJ – Damascus Road
Ticket Price: 15 000 LL
When: Monday 10th of August, 8:30 pm
Who: Ressala
Where: Shams Theatre, Tayouneh Roundabout
Ticket Price: 15 000 LL

III. Horror is Universal (The End)

A Video and Music Performance by Raed Yassin
Beirut Art Center, August 5th at 8pm. Entrance 15000 LL

This is Yassin's latest multimedia saga involving the deconstruction of Arab popular culture. The performance the 5th of August will be followed by the release party of the label Annihaya Records' very first album "The New Album".

Interestingly enough, the performance is on the background of an Exhibition by Akram Zaatari and Bernard Khoury (July 23-October 3).

Earth of Endless Secrets
Writing for a Posterior Time
A solo exhibition by
Akram Zaatari
This is about correspondence between a former Lebanese prisoner in Israel and his family)
Prisoner of War
A solo exhibition by
Bernard Khoury
This is a collection of some memorable war pictures and the proposal of a design for a contraption that can be used in war time)

This exhibition will also feature screenings by Akram Zaatari on August 12 and 26, at 8pm. Entrance 3000 LL

Wednesday August 12, 8pm:
Red Chewing Gum
Baalbeck: The Drift
How I Love You
Bathroom Naughtiness
Crazy Of You
(All screenings in Arabic)

Wednesday August 26, 8pm:
Video in Five Movements
With Rachad El Jisr
Her + Him Van Leo

IV. Sphere in an acoustic live performance for 3 nights:

August 5,6,7 at 9pm, at the Zico House. Entrance 10000 LL
Sphere is a Classic Rock Band
Line up:
- Daya Kay : Lead Vocals.
- Amadeus Awad : Lead Guitars.
- Patrick Stephan : Drums & Percussions.
- Marcelino Said : Bass Guitars.
- Charles Sawma : Keyboards

V. A L'Ombre Des Sources:

Theatrical Performance in Arabic by Mounir Abou Debs, Freikeh Festival. August 5, at 8.30 pm. Entrance 15000 LL
The setting is in a Silk Factory 10 min from Antelias.

VI. Beirut Rocks on the Moon:
Deir Al Qamar Festival, Saturday August 8 at 7pm. Entrance 10000 LL

Musical trajectory of performances in the city with Scrambled Eggs joined by Mazen Kerbaj - Sharif Sehnaoui - Abdallah Ko - Raed Yassin, Youmna Saba ft. Fadi Tabbal, The Incompetents and Mashrou3 Leila! NOT TO MISS!

VII. Saif 840:
Theatrical Perfomance paying homage to Mansour Rahbani at Byblos. August 8 to 12, 8.30pm.
Line Up: Antoine Kerbaj, Hiba Tawaji, Ghassan Saliba.

VIII. Poetry Night:
Open Poetry Night. Snatch, Gemmayzeh. August 10, 7pm.

IX. Tribute to Mahmoud Darwish:

Marcel Khalifé
& The Palestinian Youth Orchestra, August 12, Beiteddine Festival.
Pullman leaves from Starco at 7pm.

X. Momentary Flights:
Theatrical Performance, Art Lounge, August 20, 21, 22 at 8.30 pm. Entrance 15000 LL
Featuring Tamara Zeenny & Carla Dib.
It's a story that has no beginning nor end
It's a story that is suspended in time
It's you, me, and everyone in between
It's Momentary Flights
Synopsis: "It is an audio visual theatrical performance about the power of imagination"

XI. Lebanese Film Festival:
8th Edition, Empire Sofil, August 20 - August 24.
Program to Follow.
Check here.

Some Random Favorites:
-Zeina Tatbukh Prix Fixe (20000 LL) Menu, with a different eclectic cuisine, every Thursday Night at Zico House. 9pm.
-Torino Express, Gemmayzeh at around 7pm.
-Barometre, Hamra. Dinner.
-Cafe Younes, Hamra. Coffee and Betty Crocker Cakes.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Doctor Butcher. Doctor Play Nice.

I've been busy.

The General Surgery rotation is now over, and I decided to venture into a Cardio-Thoracic Surgery Elective, not because I'm Wonder Woman and I want to save the lives of those who probably need it the most but because it's about time I take my mini summer vacation, and being the planktons that we are as Med III students, the Attendings would rather excuse us from watching all the operations than having extras bothering them with their useless presence in delicate procedures. Understandable and most Welcome I say!

Looking back at the rotation I spent 6 Weeks on, I must say it's been almost perfect. True I have nothing to compare it to, but being the overzealous medical student who just started her Clinical Years and who wants to learn everything and anything I really enjoyed shadowing our Interns and Residents, learning the ins and outs of the hospital, getting special attention from the Physicians who found our group of students "cute" and worthy of bestowing information upon... Note that we are deemed "cute" because we are about 10 Girls and 2 Guys, a rarity in the medical field and especially in the Surgery Department at AUH where only one Resident is Female (although questionable) and none of the Attendings. So as one other Resident put it: you girls are gonna miss the Surgery Rotation. And if you wonder why, if you wonder how, well because we're probably going to seek that extra attention, never to find it again...

So the Surgery Department was our mini oyster, and we indulged. Does it really matter if on the last day we were dismissed in a hurry? Without the farewells and the waterworks? Does it really matter that it dawned on us that we weren't the first "cute" group to roam the 10th floor at AUH, all smiles and heels? It was good while it lasted. It was about time to move on. Yes it was...

And now you wonder, what kind of a Physician am I growing into? Is the Hospital merely a playground for this unethical, unmotivated Blogger? No. The medical and clinical practices have never felt as gratifying for me as these past few weeks. I was the student who got to the Hospital 15 minutes early to look at the chart and find out what happened overnight, I was the student who took extra shifts to admit new and interesting cases, I was the student who prepared extra talks to learn more about the Child-Pugh scale or IV bags... And I wasn't the only one. Which brings me to the eagerness of Medical Students to become Doctors, we want to learn, we want to be proactive, we want to make a difference... And so enough self gratification, there is something more important on this blogger's mind...

When do you lose this eagerness towards making a difference and replace it with a feeling of extreme and ultimate superiority, even superior to human kind? When do you start overworking yourself not for the greater good but to show off your new techniques (whether followed by complications or not) and to break your own records in the amount and speed of the operations you perform? I see it everyday: Certain Physicians using their unequivocal power to operate on patients, merely for the extra Admission to the Hospital, or the Case Report if the Operation is too risky, or the fact that another Surgeon refused to Operate and they want to prove a Point. This is what Surgery has come down to in certain clinics (and I stress not all), an Abuse of Power and Human Lives without an ounce of Regret or Conscientiousness.

Should I mention the patient whose Ejection Fraction was under 20 percent, meaning he was near a Heart Failure, who Dr. (and I'm even pondering whether I should be mentioning his name here, because he is that powerful, which makes me reflect as to how ideal of a Physician I am being here, getting sucked into the hierarchy to watch my own back...) so who Dr. X (no I will not mention his name for the time being), Dr. X admitted the patient for a symptomatic gallbladder, risking having him never come out of the operating room just because another physician refused to admit him and if the patient were to make it through, it will be recognized that Dr. X has done it again and not that it's merely the poor patient's good fortune. Not that it's become purely a game of luck and statistics with said Dr. X whose many failures are not even properly documented, and a few out of thousands of risky operations are bound to yield a favorable outcome...

So you think the barbarity would end here, that it's already unethical enough. Well you're mistaken. Because Dr. X's Obsessions do not only relate to how many Operations he can do, or how many terminal cases he can get into the Operating Room, but also and maybe even more importantly: How Fast he can finish said Operation. Yes, Dr. X is obsessed. He will never fail to mention that he can operate on a patient in Seven Minutes, and you listen in awe thinking to yourself, Wow this guy must be good, but then you go into the Operating Room, you see the amount of stress under which he puts everybody around him, and you see him at work. He does have skills I admit, but he is brutal to say the least. And taking that same operation as an example, that critical case that must have been handled with care, I can't help but re-picture him trying to get the Gallbladder out of the incision he had made, and the gallbladder, having stones in it was found to be a bit tricky to pull out, so he kept pulling and pulling and screaming, he managed to move the table and the patient towards him, having the patient at an almost 45 Degrees with the table just by pulling the gallbladder from inside his body... Can you picture the savageness? The trauma? What makes the difference between a surgeon and a cattleman?

And yet it doesn't end here, said Physician managed to have intra-op bleeding because he was in such a hurry to finish the operation, an operation that should have no complications whatsoever, and so to achieve hemostasis he decided (as it has been the norm with him) to carbonize the bleeding part and then some, ending up with a burnt liver. Because as he says anything carbonized doesn't bleed, and yes the liver can regenerate to an extent, but what about the prolonged and sub-optimal healing process post extensive burning? He just does not care because his mission ends on the Operating Table, that is where the Medical Records end too.

I'm done, this was one Case Report from a Medical Student's point of view, from a more humane point of view. I will not mention the extra operations that he convinces patients of, although they don't seem to need it necessarily, like removing the gallbladder to get heartburn relief... This might not be as risky, but it's just as immoral. And so, sometimes I wonder, being the silent observer that I am, maybe, since I am not there when patients discuss their medical issues with the physician before being admitted to the hospital, maybe they tell him things he can pick up on and then they fail to mention them to me on admission, or I am just not as experienced to notice and interpret them. Maybe he is taking the right decision after all... Maybe I am just turning a blind eye like everybody else around me, before me and coming after me. Who knows?