Benedict XVI through our Camera Lens

Yes – he was that close… We were in the perfect spot, right along the rail, as Benedict XVI slowly rolled by in his pope mobile, lifting his hands in greeting to the people as he made his way to the center platform that had been set up and decorated in preparation for his coming.…

Lebanese Traditions: Meghle

A sprinkle of dried coconut, raisins and crushed nuts (walnuts and almonds), and voila! The meghle is ready to be served. Meghle is a Lebanese form of rice pudding, made of boiled rice flour, sweetened with cane sugar and flavored with anise, cinnamon and caraway. This dessert carries with it a special meaning: honor for…

Chocolate Creations

When my sister-in-law first told me that the Nativity Scene in the middle of the Beirut City Mall was made of chocolate, I imagined dark brown, drab, and somewhat featureless hunks of chocolate, molded into figurines loosely resembling Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and perhaps some of the other characters and animals present at the manger…

Charbel’s First Christmas

Ever since we first got engaged, Eddy and I began looking forward with delightful anticipation, to the first time we would celebrate Christmas together with our first son or daughter. Christmas this year, with our little Charbel, fulfilled and surpassed our expectations. It wasn’t quite as we had planned it… after a busy year and…

Lebanon: Land of Traditions (Part 1)

Most nations have some appreciation of traditions. The United States, for example, has traditions for celebrating popular holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. It also has some traditions for other occasions, such as wearing white to weddings and black to funerals, or throwing bachelor/bachelorette parties and baby showers. The word “tradition,” which came into the English…

Liturgical Glimpses: Maronite Liturgy

  A few people have asked me to describe the Maronite Catholic Mass, and how the Maronite liturgical traditions, traced back to St. Maron, differ from those of Latin Catholics, for example. Like all Catholic Eucharistic Celebrations, be they Latin Catholic, Byzantine Catholic, or any other Catholic rite, the Maronite rite Mass follows the basic…

Fall Favorites

While it might be too early for chestnuts and candy canes, it’s not too soon to welcome autumn, and the little delights that accompany it. Granted, here in Jordan, fall is a little later, a little shorter, and a little warmer than in other places, but it is still a well-appreciated break from the summer.…

A Taste of the East… and West

It’s a tradition in Lebanon, as well as Jordan and many other countries over here, to get together with your extended family for the main meal each Sunday. With Eddy’s family in Lebanon and mine in Iraq, we can’t completely carry out that tradition. We can, however, enjoy the good food that accompanies it! After…