#60
 
 
All Picks posted by 79
#
Emily Dische-Becker
March 11, 2014
Hospitality wars

Syrian nuns apparently now rival Israeli soldiers as the most valuable hostages in the Middle East. Yesterday, in exchange for 13 nuns who had been kidnapped by a local Al-Qaeda franchise, the Syrian regime released 25 to 152 prisoners (according to state- and opposition sources, respectively). Jabhat al [more]

#
Emily Dische-Becker
February 27, 2014
Assimilation

Bassem*, the youngest of six, has an older brother who has been living in Bavaria for some 30 years. He refers to him as “German Brother,” and while I’ve met this brother many times, I can never retain his real name. German Brother, like many Lebanese expatriates in [more]

#
Emily Dische-Becker
February 24, 2014
Lebensraum

According to my mother, I had sworn off all forms of organized religion, and God’s very existence, by the age of four. Initially, the characteristic attributes of the Almighty were transferred to Mary Poppins, who I believed was all-knowing and vengeful. Our babysitter took advantage of this, sending [more]

#
Emily Dische-Becker

A few nights ago, I read a story I wrote for the launch of Block Magazin at a gallery in Berlin. As is customary to disclose, I informed the audience that the story had been translated from English – the language in which I write – into German. [more]

#
Emily Dische-Becker
February 12, 2014
The quibbling patient

I went to the ER this evening because of a pain in my left eye. The eye doctor on duty, a young bespectacled fellow with an extravagant quiff of blonde hair, wanted to test my vision by making me read a series of ascending odd and even numbers. [more]

#
Emily Dische-Becker
February 11, 2014
The asylum hostel

The cafeteria in Building A of the Gesundheits- und Sozialzentrum Moabit (GZSM), where refugees arrive to complete the first stage of the asylum process, knows its clientele. On Monday, the “World Food” lunch option consists of Rinderroulade Hausfrauen Art, Apfelrotkraut, Klösse (beef roulade à  la housewife, apple red [more]

#
Emily Dische-Becker

I grew up just a few hundred meters from the Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church, the most distinctive feature of West Berlin’s silhouette. The church bookends the city’s former main shopping artery, the Ku’damm. It is visible from our street corner, except in summer, when the trees obscure the [more]

#
Emily Dische-Becker
February 3, 2014
If not yesterday, when?

I called the asylum intake center (Asyl-Erstaufnahmestelle) in Berlin-Spandau today, on behalf of an acquaintance who had fled Syria and made his way overland to Germany under grueling circumstances. Locating a number for the place was a feat even for an adept Googler. All I found were protest [more]

#
Emily Dische-Becker

A few years ago, a Norwegian couple – academics, if I recall – attended a dinner party in Beirut. They, eager supporters of the Palestinian cause, were discussing the work of archaeologists in the West Bank, whose excavations aim to uncover evidence of ancient Jewish settlements and hence, [more]

#
Emily Dische-Becker

In Mahmoud Kaabour’s documentary “Being Osama” (2005), which follows six Canadian men who all happen to carry the first name Osama, one of the protagonists describes his undue detention at a Swiss airport (at 1:20 mins): [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpgXeTb3x10#t=79] “In the Swiss airport, they put me in the room [more]

#
Emily Dische-Becker
January 31, 2014
Carry a bomb umbrella

Google-chats with my mother. From Beirut. July 26, 2006 me: bombing beirut like crazy right now pound thud pound thud boom boom boom like an upstairs neighbor having an orgy bam bam bam bambambambambambambam August 9, 2006 me: i have to have to buy a cake and wine [more]

#
Emily Dische-Becker
January 29, 2014
[Insert Gandhi quote]

I drink to make you seem more interesting, Hemingway famously said. At least this is what I think he said. It may have been Orson Welles. Or some other sardonic lush. (I should probably google it.) I blame my brother Leon, not imperfect memory or marijuana, for my [more]