MOUNA MOUNAYER I WRITER I DIRECTOR I PRODUCER I WIFE and not necessarily in that order…

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24 Jul 2011 4 Comments


I bought a statue today.  Yes you heard me right folks a statue.  A big one.  Couldn’t help myself, none of the other therapies were working so I thought a little retail therapy might help.  It did – until I got the bill.  Then I had a heart attack.  It is a very lovely statue though.  Called ‘La Dame Au Fleur’ it was created by a French artist, Lilly Platzer, who is married to one of the Doctors working in Buchinger.  They have an exhibition of her work in the clinic’s foyer and the guests were all invited to a viewing and meeting with the artist.  Her style is whimsical and brings a smile to the face.  I really needed a smile.  And I haven’t been shopping since my disc incident – two and half months ago.  So there.  That’s my excuse and I am sticking to it.  But I am wondering how the hell I’m going to carry it, when I can hardly carry myself home? (more…)



24 Jul 2011


What a day today has been.  Limped up stairs at the crack of dawn to see the lovely Helga for weighing-in and blood pressure.  While waiting, I was sitting next to a rather elegant woman reading a whodunit.  We started to chat, I told her about my problem and that I think I am going to have surgery.  Oh no, you can’t do that she said. Look my dear you young’uns know how to get onto the internet – investigate before you operate. Ooohhh – kay! Yes, yes she said enthusiastically American newspapers and magazines are full of ads about lasers for the back. Magazines you say.  Yes she says.  A woman in her early thirties should not be operated on twice!  Otherwise you’ll have a blockage, she said seriously.  Helga managed to get me away from her before I could ask her what blockage. But then brain pinged – hey she thinks I’m a woman in her early thirties.  What a beautiful morning it is Helga… (more…)


23 Jul 2011 1 Comment


I heard yesterday that an Indian politician fasted for one day in protest of the corruption in the Indian government.  FASTED FOR ONE DAY – sorry I can’t help shouting – THE WIMP.  After nine days of fasting, let me tell you a one day fast ain’t going to do it.  I know that Fasting for protest is an Indian tradition – Gandhi moved a nation with his fasting.  So it begs the question, what I can move with mine.  I know I can remove weight but can I get people to do things for me?  What an interesting thought.  Now I am not comparing myself to Gandhi by any means, more like Bobby Sands.  Though I haven’t reached the stage where I am going to paint my cell with shit.  I wonder if fasting for political change would work in the middle east?  And is fasting the same as a hunger strike? (more…)


23 Jul 2011


I’ve been thinking about sloth, greed and pain these past couple of days and what part they have played in my life.  These internal musings came about as I was having my feet massaged by Mrs H – a giant German reflexologist.  Mrs H pinned me with her baby blues, pressed into my arch and said ‘make pain your friend ya’(more…)


23 Jul 2011


It’s official I am losing my mind.  Sunday morning and the sun is shining, Annie Lennox is singing about ‘diving into your ocean and talking like lover’s do’ and long, tall Stephanie is looming over me, asking me to hold it in, while holding a warm water bag at the right angle. I close my eyes, maybe this is happening to someone else.  Stomach starts gurgling and rumbling.  Oh God it is me, I am here and there is a tall, blond woman standing over me asking me intimate details about bowel movements.  Oh God there are two more weeks of this.  Suddenly I remember, my brother-in-law sending me escape plans via twitter. (more…)


23 Jul 2011 1 Comment


The weather brightened up today with sail boats gliding on a peaceful lake.  It is not easy to face the whys, ifs, buts, probablys, maybes, wishes, dreams, fantasies and realities of one’s life on an empty stomach with the sun shining.  Day three and four at Buchinger were a garbled mess.  Could not focus, nor think, nor write, nor feel much.  Drooling I did aplenty though.

Today, is in sharp focus.  Everything hurts.  Inside and out. (more…)


23 Jul 2011


Woke up this morning and took hot steaming cup of pee to the lovely Helga.  ‘Aaaah Zzzooo Mrs Moooounayerrrrrr, ve zlip aulright’ crooned the lovely Helga.  ‘Noooo veee did not zplip aulright.  Ve tossed und turned all night long’ I replied.  ‘AAAAAAA vell, you vill zlip better tonight’.  End of conversation.  Achtung!  Please to disrobe and get weight.  OH…MY…GOD…it’s a bloody miracle Helga I’ve lost three (count them 3) kilos since Monday.  It is VAAATER, only VAAATER Mrs Moooounaaayeeerrrr, no need to get eggzited! (more…)


23 Jul 2011


The sun shone down on a green and pleasant land as my taxi driver, Reiner and I drove around a blue blue lake ringed by distant blue blue peaks.  Destination, Lindau, a medieval walled town nestled on a small pedestrian-only island.  Fluffy clouds ringed the lake and for a moment an overwhelming sadness came over me.  I thought of the marred beauty of Lebanon.  We could have these vistas if it were not for the concrete fortresses built shoulder to shoulder from one end of the country to the other.  Neon lights and garbage littered roads.  (more…)


23 Jul 2011

In late spring 2011 I spent three weeks at the Buchinger Klinik in Southern Germany.  I went primarily to lose weight and get therapeutic treatments for the herniated disk in my back which my doctors wanted to treat conservatively.  It was a little scary going alone when I couldn’t walk very well because of my disc and I was in constant agony.


Preparations for a day of fasting day.  I woke up this morning with peeing instructions – in a cup and straight to the nurse on my floor.  The lovely Helga gave me a present in return – a liquid laxative with the instructions to take it at bedtime (10 pm).  I will be cleansed tomorrow several times over – she promised.  After which there will be an enema every two days – oooohhhhh can’t wait for that joy! (more…)

The Face Of Egypt

23 Jul 2011

While walking through crowds coming out from Friday prayer in Cairo a few years ago, my cameraman and I spotted this beauty playing with her son and pointing and smiling at us.  In person she was breath-taking with eyes the colour of dark moss.  Finding such a face in the crowd are some of my favourite moments as a film-maker.Egypt


22 Jul 2011 6 Comments

I am neither a mad dog nor a man and only half English at that but sometimes I feel like I have tarried too long in the midday sun.  Beirut in the midday sun in July is hot, humid and divine – if you’re looking from a distance.
Close up the city is awash with sweat, noise, pollution,  bleating car horns, angry drivers and harried film-makers.  Harried, grumpy and bad-tempered.  I’ve been sitting in the traffic for two hours after having my stitches removed.  I have been at home for over three months with a herniated disk pressing on my the sciatic nerve of my right leg.  This is the second herniation I have had in less than a year – in the same disk.  Long story short, had the operation, bought the t-shirt, re-wrote the book (on how I must live the rest of my life) and decided to give blogging a go.  The herniated disk actually got me blogging to family and friends when I went off to a clinic in southern Germany for three weeks to lose weight and do some therapy on my back in the hope that I could avoid a second operation. You can read the Buchinger Klinik Diaries in a separate post.

So here I am creating my first blog with nary a clue about tags, posts, pages, categories, links stats, dashboards et al.  It’s not that I haven’t read blogs or love some bloggers but I have never stopped to think how it is all created and what an effort people put into their blogs.  It is not just the writing which is hard enough – to come up with topics everyday or week that people will like reading and following – but the behind scenes, the creation of the blog framework, if you will,  is a story in itself.  So I did what any producer worth his or her salt would do I called up the people who I thought would know how to do it and got them to explain it to me.  Oh yeah, that worked – not.  Yes I pride myself at being quite technically advance as I deal with new fangled technology everyday as a film-maker; cameras, peripherals, sound kits, editing equipment – you name it I’m up on it.  Ok, ok I know its name and what it can do but I don’t know its inner workings.  Setting up a blog got me a lot closer to the inner workings of idiot proof interfaces.  I really didn’t want to know what went on behind the scenes but it has become a challenge.

In that spirit, The Mad Dogs And Englishmen post will be an update on the behind the scenes creation of this blog and all other technical machinations I may encounter in the future.

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