I was born in Lebanon, where I grew up. Later, I emigrated and created a second home away. I am a loving partner to a woman, a friend to wonderful people from all nationalities, religions and sexualities, a young translator, old musician and a doctor to my patients. 13 years ago my kitchen was a leftover pizza box. Today, I am a cook. Grateful to live in freedom, my hope is that others can, too. There are crumbs of other identities that make me complete. Through 'Lesbanese', I hope to represent them.
This is the part where I'm meant to introduce the "team" and sound important. But it's kind of a one person show💃🏽. If you think our worlds can collaborate, get in touch. Instead of bios of 'my team', here are the three famous people I would invite to dinner.
Do I really need to qualify this invite? We first 'met' (from a very long distance as I sat in the back back - keep going - back seat of the O2 arena) at her book tour event. I thought the world was drenched in darkness then, until she spoke of, with, light. Later, I slept like a well cradled baby. There was hope again. Besides, I'm hoping she brings a plus one (ehm Barack).
Would I love to host a Lebanese female director, whose courageous work challenges the status quo? Yes. Her fight for social justice is globally recognised and she's only just begun. She also knows Oprah, for real. I would hope Ms Labaki would invite Oprah, who would invite Ellen, who would invite... sigh. I need more chairs.
An award winning journalist and critic at large at the New York Times, Mr Morris is also the co-host of my favourite podcast: "still processing". He can unearth the cultural history of any topic and I am always enthusiastically gripped. Also, Jenna Wortham. I have no words there, but many, many brain flutters. The dinner is bound to be culturally electric.
I know what you're thinking: I said three people and you've done the maths. Well, my friend, it's a Lebanese dinner. I've already called the neighbours who supplied extra chairs and food. There are now ten people over. Twenty. Thirty. Here, there is room for the world.