Skip to main content

Permission To Voyage...

I was fortunate enough to recently inherit my grandfather’s “permission to voyage” papers when he left his homeland of Lebanon. They are written in French and Arabic and meticulously preserved by being covered in wide plastic tape by my sitto (grandmother). I know enough French to figure out what they say. The papers are dated almost to the day of 99 years ago of when I received them, June 1920. This would have been only a year or two after the Great Lebanese Famine that ravaged the tiny country—depending on which sources you read, killing as many as half a million people—and also just a few years after the borders were finally opened after WWI when the Ottoman Turks occupied the country and did terrible things. I never met my grandfather, who is my namesake, but can only imagine the atrocities he likely witnessed and contributed to his desire to come to America (the descriptions of the famine are incredibly horrible, google it if you are interested). It’s a weird feeling holding the papers knowing they were likely held in my grandfather’s breast pocket on the long voyage. I can only wonder what he would think of his grandchildren, and me—the son of his eldest son. We are likely the reason he came here—so his next generations would have a better life. This is what I think when I see immigrants today risking their lives so their children can have better opportunity and not grow up in the terrible conditions they are fleeing. And I was thinking this today while at work and the TV was on in the next room with near constant coverage of our President’s most recent divisive language. It’s interesting that the more he tries to divide the more I feel connected to my fellow Americans, including future ones. The more he tries to divide the more he has forced me to look for the compassion that i know is there; forces me to tap into that compassion because that is what I choose, rather than hate or fear. Light always overcomes darkness. It’s a simple fact the light can be brought into a darkened room and light the room. Right now our country is going through a dark period and we need to fill it with light. And this is what I was thinking while walking home on a beautiful summer evening.


Popular posts from this blog

Orange Cucumbers

Hello. Likely you have found your way to this page via a link or a search engine. Thank you; I'm glad you're here. Hopefully you'll find the rest of my blog interesting (here's my home page). Urban Simplicity is also on Facebook, please click here. Thanks again for visiting. Peace.

For about a month now I've been wondering what the hell these were hanging off the cucumber vines in my garden. When I googled orange cucumber I found that there are/were multitudes wondering the same thing. It also seems that most, like me, thought they were planting pickling cucumbers. As it turns out (from the best that I can tell) these are a somewhat new crossbred variety designed to be loaded with vitamins. To read short article about them at the website of the USDA click here. To see a photo of them compared to pickling cucumbers (what I thought I was planting) click here. They are interesting looking...and tasty, too...they have an almost acidic, lemony aftertaste to them...I s…

Ezekiel Bread

Hello. Likely you have found your way to this recipe via a link or a search engine. Thank you; I'm glad you're here. Hopefully you'll find the rest of my blog interesting (here's my home page). If you borrow the recipe I only ask that you give me credit and that you link it back to this blog. Since writing this recipe I have updated it a few times and this recipe is my favorite. If you want other healthy and easy to make whole wheat bread recipes please click here. If you want to follow Urban Simplicity on Facebook, please click here. Thanks again for visiting. Peace.

I eat a lot of bread; I always have. I eat bread virtually with every meal, and thus I feel that I am living proof that bread does not make a person fat. I find it odd that humans have been consuming bread in one form or another for something like 6 thousand years...and all of a sudden it is considered fattening. The problem, I think, is lifestyle and the quality of the bread you consume...I'll admit …

Ezekiel interpretation

I've posted recipes for this bread--or variations of it--in the past on numerous occasions, but the two most popular are here and here. Those two posts, in fact, draw the largest amount of visitors to this blog everyday (through search engines, I imagine). Yup, I can carry things on my bike until I'm blue in the face, and talk about quotes and all things spiritual...but the topic that gets the most hits are my recipes for Ezekiel Bread.

This post is a little different in that I made the bread at home (opposed to at work in a commercial kitchen), and I did not use any refined (white) flour; just whole wheat. And for that reason the recipe is slightly different than the others (a printable recipe follows the pictures). This one, I believe, is more true...refined flour was unknown in biblical times. But I'm getting ahead of myself. In this post I also wanted to offer some of my personal views on Ezekiel bread and its recipes in general (I know what you're…