Tanya Dernaika

  • More than just a pretty face 

    Lebanese women are apparently so good-looking people should travel here according to U.Cityguide’s: “Top Ten Countries With The Most Beautiful Women In The...

  • The complicated world of customer service in Lebanon 

    If you enjoy a quiet life then here’s a tip: Never initiate a conversation about customer service standards in Lebanon. Once you get people started, chances...

  • How to stay warm, the Lebanese way 

    This winter has been unbearably harsh. Admittedly it’s not quite a Boston whiteout scenario, but dramatic enough by poorly infrastructured, underresourced...

  • Where the wild ones go 

    I am listening to a song by Lebanese folk-rock band Postcards. Their song “Where the Wild Ones” is about the search for a place to channel the...

  • Driven, confident and delusional 

    I’d like to discuss humility – or to be more precise, the lack of it. I’d like to say the Lebanese are a humble understated lot, who never...

  • Lebanon’s blurred lines 

    “Do not talk to strangers.” I was haunted by these words growing up where I did. The warning signified unimaginable danger so I lived by that rule...

  • Homegrown 

    Here’s a small exercise to start the day: If I say the word Lebanon, what are the very first images and words that spring to mind? (Try and focus on the...

  • Why the Lebanese can’t queue 

    Have you ever wondered why the Lebanese abroad can stand patiently in line whenever they’re required to do so, but suddenly lose that ability – and all notion...

  • Back to school for life lessons 

    Today to the utter delight of mothers and dismay of children, schools finally opened the doors that had been closed by Zina. What a relief. One more day...

  • The bright side of holiday traffic 

    There is nothing more frustrating than sitting in holiday traffic, but now that the congestion has eased up, I’ve got to admit, I’m sort of...

  • Bouncing into 2015 

    Three more days to go before we get to say bye to the mother of all anni horribiles and hopefully have it fade into distant memory. In all evidence, 2014 is...

  • Life gets better 

    I want to grow old in Lebanon. Yes, you heard me right and before you accuse me of blind patriotism, allow me to explain. I’m as sane as they come and...

  • Take it to the street 

    Beirut’s streets have seen a lot of action over the past few decades, but very little of that action has involved walking. To say walking isn’t...

  • Boxing the bling 

    If there’s one thing that unites Lebanese of all denominations almost as much as a shared love of tabbouleh, it’s the childish delight in all that sparkles...

  • Exiled and exotic 

    I get a warm fuzzy feeling when there’s an international book fair in town and the book part is only the half of it. What heartens me about such events...

  • Party animals 

    The Lebanese are famous for partying, but this year’s washout Independence Day celebrations – canceled reluctantly – could not be blamed on...

  • Make yourself uncomfortable 

    I am just Lebanese enough to be ushered into the “Lebanese Nationals” queue at airport arrivals, but I somehow fail to make the grade as soon as I...

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