A Note on Climate

It’s been three birthdays since my last in Beirut. I’ve been away before—to and fro, on and off—but never for this long of a stretch. This dislocation was heightened this week as rising heat mimicked foreign climates and a dearth of AC units recalled a life of daily power cuts back home. What’s new over there, since I left, is the bottom seemingly falling out from under our national resilience, with crisis after crisis accumulating on the backs of my friends and family. The latest indignity is the now regular scene of lines of cars waiting to fill up on … Continue reading “A Note on Climate”

#BusLineHeroes: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 18

Part 1: Becoming the Change This week, I’m stripping it all back to the bare tacks: I’m grateful for the stories I’m able to tell. @BusMapProject was a bit of tactical urbanism, a modest gambit to capture a global moment when participatory data and collective mapping were becoming en vogue, in the service of a sociotechnical artifact that was very much not—and in doing so, it was a lot more than that. It was an attempt at re-writing a story that Lebanese people told themselves about themselves. In place of chaos, we wrote of everyday ordering; instead of lawlessness, we … Continue reading “#BusLineHeroes: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 18”

Storytelling Strategies: Quote & By-Line

I’d like to interrupt this storytelling exercise I’ve been engaging in for the last few weeks to share an interesting convergence of narrative arcs in my life. This, here’s an article by @sarahngu, who graciously found space for my oddball story in her long-read on Christians who turned to socialism; if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know my arc was more of a loop-the-loop. I connected with Sarah through the DSA’s Religious Socialism mailing-list, and though I’ve found myself much less involved with that organization than I’d hoped, way back, two Advents ago, I really appreciated our … Continue reading “Storytelling Strategies: Quote & By-Line”

In Transit: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 1

Part 1: NYE with TRU “And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere! and gie’s a hand o’ thine! And we’ll tak’ a right gude-willie waught, for auld lang syne.” I am grateful for this community of misfits and oddballs, for transit riders worldwide—dismissed, denigrated, devalued—yet rising, rising, organizing; a multitude in motion; one big union against the techno-fix. In Lebanon, I dreamt of working on new internationalisms, to give my migration some meaning. But I couldn’t imagine that two hours over coffee was enough to help turn that dream into reality. That was months ago; yesterday we had wine, whiskey, … Continue reading “In Transit: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 1”


“Third proposal.” By number two, I suppress a groan, my muscles aching from the unforgiving pew and long hours.  “Third proposal: Welcome our gifts and our limitations too.” There’d been a death in our building. Across the hall, a neglected toothache took a troubled life away. No judgement. “God welcomes everything in us; in our turn, we can accept ourselves just as we are. That is the beginning of a healing that is so necessary for us all.” That morning, the bus was crawling up Pill Hill, like it did every morning. There was a stop for the Good Vibes hat, … Continue reading “Pantograph”

Riders’ Rights: Registered!

In July of 2015, @farajchadi and I started something in Lebanon that we called @BusMapProject. We wanted to ask a simple question: “Do you know that there are buses in this country?” For four years, we came up with new ways of asking that same question; making friends, building alliances, pushing forward, falling behind—but always, always supported by so many companions along the way. We’ve finally managed to register our NGO in the National Gazette, after several attempts. This means that we can finally build a sustainable platform for our rider-led transit advocacy. We almost stopped believing that this would … Continue reading “Riders’ Rights: Registered!”

Union: Yes!

If parliamentary procedure can be fun, then tonight was that. Wrote up, put forward and got approved on my very first Robert’s Rules-style resolution for anything ever at the Seattle Transit Riders Union members meeting this eve. Stoked to be finally connecting these dots stretched out across a decade’s worth of stuff and nonsense.

New Year’s Morning, 2019

“Vibratory atmospheric atoms of the life-principle…Look at the silly men…Where go? What for?—sleep. But this foolish gang was bending on-ward…The rhythm and the IT of our final excited joy in talking and living to the blank tranced end of all innumerable riotous angelic particulars that had been lurking in our souls all our lives…What’s your road, man?” Jack Kerouac, On The Road I start this New Year with lines taken out of pages 152 through 251 of Jack Kerouac’s ‘On The Road.’ I’d scribbled these into the upper-right corner of a page that was otherwise taken up by an anarchist … Continue reading “New Year’s Morning, 2019”

Bus Map Project: “Shared Transport is a Shared Responsibility”

2018 has been very busy for Bus Map Project, a grassroots pro-transit initiative I co-founded in 2015, and it’s already almost May! It’s time for a catch-up post; we have a lot to tell you… On January 6th, we held our very first #BusCommunity event in Hamra and had a lively discussion with friends and peers from YallaBus, H2 Eco Design and others from our network of collaborators and supporters. Later that month, we did a mini-collective map action in Tripoli, to familiarize ourselves with the city and plan for more mapping in North Lebanon. This was followed by our … Continue reading “Bus Map Project: “Shared Transport is a Shared Responsibility””