Tag Archives: Art

“Let’s Go Crazy Tonight!” 30 Seconds to Mars Concert

Place: Byblos – Lebanon

Date: 15-07-11

Event: 30 Seconds to Mars Concert

I got dressed and put on red lipstick. For such events, one needs to. I took the bus with my friend and headed to Byblos. A band whose name I cannot be bothered to remember was playing songs that sounded identical. At 9:30pm, the lights went out, the crowd went quiet, we collectively drew our breath and screamed! The drummer of 30 Seconds to Mars came up, took his place and started playing. In a rush of colors, lights, screams and camera flashes, Jared Leto appeared. He was wearing a jacket with broad, decorated shoulders and sun glasses and a white guitar was between his hands.

He screamed: ‘Let’s go crazy tonight!” and screams filled the air, mostly those of teenage girls.

After the first song, he took off his jacket.

Indeed, he made a very good wardrobe choice

Jared shouted: “I want this to be the best night of your lives!” And it’s definitely in the top 5.

He alternated between singing, jumping and dancing, speaking to the audience and interacting with us all. We were all there, we were entirely there, listening to his every words, watching his every move.

In a typical teenage moment, I told my friend: “He’s SOOOOOO gorgeous!”

But it’s not about the looks, it’s about his ability to make you feel like you’re the only one that matters in a SOLD OUT concert. You can definitely feel his background in acting emerge, he knew how to captivate his audience.

He ordered: "Raise your hands in the air!"

He ordered us: SHOUT! JUMP! DOWN LOW! PUT YOUR HANDS UP! And we listened. Even when he told us to be quiet, we listened. Thousands of people stopped talking.

He said: “Let’s see if we can sing so loud that the rest of the world wishes they were right here in Lebanon!”

At this point, my friend and I agreed: This man is very quotable.

And this is what he said:

“We went swimming in your beautiful ocean and (a band member) got stung by a jelly fish, I was sleeping, Shannon got bit by a shark, and Tim was masturbating in his room.

I have to admit, I think I love your food even more than you. Yes, I’ve been eating… I’ve already had 3 bowls of hummus *audience screams, thinking “he knows the names of the dishes!”*, 2 bowls of tabboule *audience screams, thinking “he has such a cute accent in Arabic!”* and one bowl of baba ghannush *audience screams, women swoon*, whatever that guy’s name is.

Hold on, I just wanna talk to you one second *approaches the edge of the stage*. There are a lot of people around the world that think that Lebanon is this very distant land, it’s too far away, it’s much too dangerous. I gotta say, this is one of the greatest pleasures of my entire life, and I promise you, I am going to tell everybody all over the world what an amazing place this is, and if they are too scared to come and visit you, then we’re gonna come back and see you again!”

Pure Awesomeness

At this point, he had us all eating tabboule right out of his hand.

Singing at the top of his lungs

Towards the end of the concert, he picked people to go up on stage. I was not one of them. Some people caught pics and drum sticks. I was not one of them. I just caught some confetti. But it’s ok, it was still pretty awesome!

Jared Leto and his "chosen crowd"

On our way back home, I was discussing tomorrow’s plans with my friend. She interrupts me: “Is there life after tonight?”

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Art and Beauty in the Little Corners of Beirut

A lot of people complain about living in Beirut, being surrounded by concrete and construction, turmoil and traffic. We live and we expect beauty to come to us, but today, I found beauty and art in the little corners of Beirut.

We expect Beirut to give us grand gestures, we’re hopeless romantics who keep waiting for a big green field and sun-baked orange rooftops. We don’t take the time to realize that Beirut is a shy maiden, leaving little petals and short love notes for us to find.

I found beauty in walking in the rain, safe under my umbrella with my friend, whispering and laughing, clicking our heels in unison and forgetting how old life made us become.

I found beauty in a glass of white wine, warm pink cheeks and a dark wooden table in a small restaurant.

I found beauty in an old Lebanese house with a green door, a lantern and a red wall. In coffee, cupcakes and verses of poetry.

I found beauty in a hand-made lamp with spoons and little coffee cups hanging down, reminding me of the tea party in Alice in Wonderland.

I found beauty in a dimly-lit balcony, with one round paper lamp hung from a tall, arched, white Lebanese ceiling. All seen from a distance, like most beautiful things are.

My city has so much to offer, we just have to be willing to see.


Maybe Feet are the Windows to our Souls

“The eyes are the mirrors of the soul” – Yiddish Proverb

“The eyes indicate the antiquity of the soul” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The eye is the jewel of the body” – Henry David Thoreau

Well, what if they are all wrong? What if the feet are the windows to our souls?

We learn to walk, we walk towards our mothers, later on, we walk away. Our feet go towards the one we love, our foot slides out of our shoe and caresses theirs under the table, whispering. We walk to bed, we walk to war, and sometimes come back with our feet in a wheelchair or in a coffin. We run towards, we run away and we stop. We paint our toenails blue, pink, red, black and sometimes we keep them bare, visible in their nakedness. Our feet grow old, they get blisters, the veins become more visible. They are sometimes insecure or they sometimes take us confidently to a life-altering interview. They grow, the nails on them grow, even after we die, they remain, long after our eyes are gone.

A life in a foot.

Photos 1 to 3 by Sergej Schellen

Photos 4 to 11 by Dima Matta


“Be Italian”

Of course, I should’ve known… I have been so busy studying for my finals and going to drama practice that I forgot how to… be Italian!

I’m sure many people have seen “Nine”, the musical, and if you haven’t; do! The director made sure to include women to satisfy all tastes. Penelope Cruz for those who love voluptuous latin drama and secret affairs gone bad. Marion Cotillard (the wife) for those who are into the vintage French look, very Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”… with a twist. There is of course Kate Hudson for classic American looks and accent. Nicole Kidman… a fine wine that cannot grow old but only mature… and then there’s Fergie to remind us all to… BE ITALIAN!

Women… do not despair, Daniel Day Lewis, the tortured writer is man enough to hold the fort all by his wonderful self!

Back to Fergie, telling us to “be daring and uncaring…. be a singer be a lover
pick the flower now before the chance is past… live today as if it may become your last”

Now, whether this is a “gather ye rosebuds while ye may” song, a tribute to a “Carpe Diem” state of mind, or whether it is a song that is mocking monogamy… it’s none of our concern.

The metaphor here is an unconventional one; the dare is to be Italian, to be someone we are not (except for those who are actually Italian, I’m afraid). It is calling for a certain way of life, a certain je ne sais quoi, a certain… certainty.

It’s the kind of song that makes you regret that you didn’t say hello to that guy in your class, or offer that girl a drink the night before. It’s Fergie telling us to Seize the Day! Sure, it’s weird receiving life lessons from a singer playing a prostitute in a Hollywood musical, but this is a good chance as any.

Uncertainty has been outdated since Hamlet died, lonely internal monologues unfortunately do not fit in a text message… However, being Italian is short, concise, and all in all a good piece of advice.

Italian-ly yours,

Dima M.


Hamlet, Drop the Mirror!

Reporting live from my own bed, it is 4:20am and I… I am not asleep.

I have a Shakespeare class in 5 hours and 40 minutes, I have to start my day in 4 hours and 10 minutes… which approximately gives me 4 hours and 10 minutes… an ample time indeed, to fail to fall asleep.

I have just finished reading a Japanese Manga version of Hamlet (a Japanese-style comic). It is a very convenient way of reading Shakespeare for the comic manages to keep the main lines spoken in the play and rids itself of the rest in favor of drawings. Which leads me to one question: where was this book when I needed a reliable summary while studying for my midterm?

Hamlet concocts (yes, it is the word of the day) an elaborate play that would “catch the conscience of the king.” In other words, he is staging a play that will prove that indeed, it was his uncle that killed his father. Hamlet adds that by doing so, he will be holding up a mirror to nature. The play, this work of art, will “copy” life. Here we have an implied metaphor, in fact, it is so implied that I might be wrong. 😛

Art is a mirror.

If we hold this metaphor to be true, does it mean that we all own melting clocks, we are all waiting next to a tree for a man who never shows up and… are we all Dancing Queens, only seventeen?!!

If art does indeed hold a mirror up to nature… we’ve got ourselves a bit of a situation here. If it truly does, then I’m waiting for my own handsome vampire and werewolf… any minute now.

Why would I need a mirror reflecting what I experience on a daily basis? It’s like having a constant reminder that I’m having a bad hair day! If anything, I’ll pull off a Dorian Gray and cover my portrait until further notice… or a different hairdo.

I’d like to think of art as funhouse mirrors, you know, those mirrors that make you look extremely fat, or make your face as flat as my failed attempts at pancakes, or ideally… they make you look thin. Art is life under a faulty microscope, one that has been invented by a mad scientist. It is a French cook going nuts trying to figure out the perfect recipe for his new “life bourguignon” dish… while drowning it in red wine. It is me trying to finish this blog post.

In a novel, I’d be able to taste Proust’s Madeleine cookie with a cup of Starbucks coffee, convince Madame Bovary not to kill herself and invite her to watch a healthy dose of Oprah. I’d tell Jonathan Swift’s Houyhnhnms (pronounced “Winems”) to change their name and make our lives considerably easier.

Sure, Hamlet’s cause was a noble one… but he ended up dead.