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Emergency message:

lebanon Barbie,

I cannot reach you, i heard it recently, before i felt like calling you but you know why i don't, i remember all you said "there will be war". I can imagine how scared you are with all these bombs falling and i cried --very effective, as you know, duh--praying you are okay and all your family, parents and all and the other little girl who came with us that night you took me out and your housekeeper an her kid, and your own little girl, this is nothing a kid should go through,  I hope you can make it like asome adventure for her. And how frantic you must be trying to get out, runnign this way, trying that, believe me i remember similar emergencies, but with family, that is different. I pray that you got out before they bombed the airport, i could not believe, it got worse everytimt i heard news, and hope you are now sitting where you so like to be, or after the horrible long huge car convoy stuck at the border in all that heat--where did you get drinking  water now, i remember i coudn't drink the salty stuff in the apartment, and I remember how worried you were about passing the border before, with the boys--but I want you to be safe in my favorite city. Go to the Hammadiye or to kassioun and hear thr Azaan from all the jamas call at the same time, it is beautiful and in the end all comes out even, and noboy is bigger than eternal knowledge, just don't tell me about the killed kids.

 If you need anything, remember that i am not a just a blablafriend and where there is a will there is a way, and I know some. Don't worry, take everything step by step. You know you are smart. I contacted the new store guy who said he would tell your friend, in case you lost my e-mail, ask him, and i will keep mailing to yours until you reopen it. Remember that a lot of things happen and you don't understand them now, I know some and realy, some things look bad but  are a blessing in disguise, only God knows, don't curse, one day it's all of our turn, and remember Harriri who said "Thank you" when people insulted him, as you told me. Please don't hate your neighbors who did this, i know many good people from there, not everybody is a terrorist or political or military maniac who is so hardened or desparate or both they put the bodies and lives of other people over their respective goals and cause on and ongoing revenge.

I know you are strong, barbie, and you will not rant and talk hateful rubbish that the kids will hear and remember, s i can tell people about the great strong women from Lebanon who are the reason why war is bad. my mom hates it when i have been doing  that recently, and i just did this passed week and look what happens, you thnk you have a bad situation, no it's good enough still when some are still alive. i think hatred from people infects everybody around them, and if you are saying  this crazy aggressive nuts who only want to kill no matter whom really will hear and feel justified and encouraged like those that killed my loved one. Remember, I came to Lebanon , too, and one of the murderers came from there, and look what happened, jsut in time to meet you and your family so i get to know the other side which you only do when you care about people. Please don't hate all the israelis, i know some very good people, peaceful people, and they are scared of the hisbollah bombings of course, trying to ignore their fear, what can you do, and some a little crazy from that, too. If that violence doesn't stop nobody will stop turning more crazy and hardened. Please don't become hardened, stay gold. My love to all your family and let me know I am so worried I don't care about anything else until i know. If


July 2006

My friend from Lebanon and her family  from the "Lebanon close-up" have been  missing since the onset of the Israeli attacks, and she lives very close to if not exactly where they have been dropping bombs. Nobody is answering the home or cell phone. Shaking me back inside is the old hot cold no-no-no fear of 9-11 as I am searching and calling all i can think of who might know and at the end of wits am asking all who read here to pray (or argue, if you can) for her safety and also to remember that on the other side of either country there are civilians just like her and just like you, who have no influence on what some hardened or desparate military and terrorist maniacs decide to do with the bodies and lives of people in the way of their respective "goals".

February 2006

I apologize to all who made the effort to check in the meantime, but I was pretty ill for a long time and I'm still not too well physically. The elections were quite a shock for me and some other more personal events didn't exactly fuel my motivation or my health. There are others that did, and I put some of them up here!

Thank you for all the feedback! Please  include or confirm my request regarding your okay to have it posted here. There have been problems with the mail, so if you don't hear from me your mail didn't come through.



what why who how


Be my guest and thank you for making the effort and taking the time to visit. Howdy and Salaam, shukran w ahlan, sois bienvenue, bienvenido, grazie, zekuye, toda raba nahimeod, G´day etc etc,

This site was established in November 2004 and is about my (and other people's) peace-promoting personal encounters in parts of the world that are often perceived as obscure by the general public. It's about friendship and unexpected kindness and facts, not superstitions.

The following is just explanatory text--to go straight to the pictures click on "lookatme", for stories, click on "close-up".


What: I’ve been to Iraq as a private civilian shortly after the war and here is a bit of my own personal experience.

 Why: Someone very dear to me was murdered in the World Trade Center.  I’ve worked for the media in New York which taught me factual caution: There are always things that are voted as not of general interest compared to other news on the same day, not enough footage to wrap it up nicely or events that they are not told, or not told officially, so it doesn’t become part of “official” history.  I’m only a mediocre photographer with a mediocre camera, but here are some of many glimpses, of what and  more importantly, whom I came across in Iraq. This is of course, what I perceived as noteworthy: As Einie always put it: Everything is relative. He also realized this:

 There is no peace by means of violence. There is only peace by means of understanding.

 Saint Exupery however said “language is the basis for all misunderstandings”…

 I believe that there is no better basis for peace than friendship, which leads to understanding as it is cemented and backed by deeds, not just empty words. A  kind person who substantially helped a young stranger in a big city many years ago with his actions taught me how to trust and hope and what really counts in life. Losing that person to a death that was anything but kind is something that can make you run your head into walls with mucho gusto, and I know there are good people everywhere on earth  that I wouldn’t want murdered or to suffer like me because of what happened to this person. I went to tell people that, to explain, see for myself, ask all parties involved what they thought about the attacks.


Who: Among the many things in my bio that continue to puzzle me, I’m an honorary citizen of Dallas/Texas. I’m a human being and female. I've had many different jobs, have an advanced degree from a renown university (that was so costly I felt I should mention it here if only just for that reason...) and I have lived in different parts of the world. However, my friends and family, the people I meet, their kindness and my precious time with them, what I learnt from them and their wellbeing are the only aspects of my life that shaped me and that I truly care about and I would like them to remain unharmed, wherever they may be. I would like you to remain unharmed. I would feel the same way about you, if you were in a country under attack because of something that relates to me.


How: I spent several months working in an Arab country--initially went to see for myself what the people affected by this mess thought, felt the need to explain about my own standing and the peace action of many other people even in the US, because of further war threats (NO!), and to meet all the great people still alive before they were irreparably collaterally damaged. Loved it and came back to stay loooonger. The journey to Iraq—well planned, don’t try this at home right now —was my one-week-off endeavor. I knew the risk very well-I am not immune to physical violence or abductions--and left instructions with someone in case anything should happen to me. I didn't tell my parents until after I saw them again. The one thing I was rally scare about was that someone would blab in case my mom called them, and I know very well how it feels to be frantic and worried sick about someone in danger. The person I lost is not the only person since 9-11 who I know has been or whom I worried about to be in mortal danger because of war, terrorism etc. I want people to just cut it out and help stop those who keep putting their potential higher goals over the life of other people, at home or elsewhere.