Massoud and Shireen visit to Bazbina


In November 2005, Adib Nassar came over to visit Lebanon and Bazbina after a long stay in San Francisco. As Adib thinks of his village as a jewel on earth, likewise, he talks about it a lot to an extent that all his friends wanted to discover what this Bazbina is really like.

Joining him from San Francisco was his friends Dr. Massoud Moshrefi and his wife Shireen Amirhosseini, both Americans from Iranian roots. We all had fun especially in Bazbina and in Tripoli souks where it happened that it was the month of Ramadan and people never sleep.

Riad, Adib's senior brother, arrived from Valencia, Spain and he added a lot of humor and flavor to our stay.

After their return to the States, Adib wrote a poem on the occasion and sent to Shireen. His letter and poem as quoted below:

"Hi Shireen,
Hope all is well with you, and you are missing us a lot. I am so
glad that you and Massood had the opportunity to visit Lebanon. More
so I am very impressed how much both liked the place. This is very
vivid from the pictures and the way both talked about the visit. I
personally have enjoyed it tremendously.

Of interest, was the 24 hours visit to the famous place: Bazbina. I am thinking about the anxious moments in Manuel's car, the caravan, trying to spot Bazbina
from far away, the arrival there, the rain and sunshine, the visit
to the Hazim's quarters where the stones of the old house came to
live. Also the visit to Wadi Al Deir, the wild violet flowers on the way,
the running waters and the lighting of the candles.

In Bazbina people offered to you the flowers, the man'oush (thyme bread) and
figs. There were Manuel, Ward, Hanna, Marwan and so on... Anyway,
all this came together in the attached intricate poem dedicated to
your trip to Bazbina....Please don't get too conceited for having a
better Spectacle than is only a poem. However you can
claim the poem and enjoy it:

Bazbina… at last

At last, the caravan has spotted that promised garden

That hanging paradise, between earth and heaven

Marked by red brick roof tops and verdant mountains

There were thunders, lightings, clouds and flooding

Followed by calm, sunny skies and shepherd singings

In the manner of Beethoven pastoral symphony’s movements

Counselors Manuel and Massood rolled the red carpets

Sentinels Hanna, Ward and Saad sounded the trumpets

Marwan and other citizens lined up on both side for the spectacle

The procession trail was carpeted with violet flowers

More elegant than queen Sheeba’s arrival to Jerusalem

And more majestic than Cleopatra’s entrance to Rome

Running waters and candle lights led the way to the alter

Roses, thyme breads and figs offered during the pageant

The stones of the deserted homes were euphoric and jubilant

It was as if the princess of the Caspian Sea* descended from heaven

She dominated the hearts and the minds of the peasants

After that day, Shireen and Bazbina will have lots in common


*Shireen's father is from Salman Shahr, Iran, near the Caspian Sea.


Picture 1: From left: Dr. Massoud Moshrefi, his wife Shireen Amirhosseini, Adib Nassar and Manuel Hazim enjoying coffee in the early crispy morning of a November day in Bazbina.


Picture 2 - Dr. Massoud Moshrefi and wife Shireen Amirhosseini with Bazbina village and mountains in the background.


From: Shireen Amirhosseini
To: Adib Nassar
Sent: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 22:11:08 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: last

Hello Adib,
Bravo, Ahsaant,
What a beautiful way describing our journey to Lebanon and the
famous and much talked about, Bazbina. Your poetry describes it all
and as usual, you did great. I am doing OK and trying my best not
to miss you people! Just kidding. However, I have to tell you
something, I do miss Beirut, Tripoli & Bazbina a lot. Thanks to
you and your invitation, we had the opportunity to travel to your
beloved country, which you always talk about it so fondly and now I
know the reason behind your love & obsession for this land. I truly
enjoyed every moment of our journey, from beautiful Beirut with it’s
breathtaking view of the sea & the mountains, especially from that
spot on the Corniche were we could see the Roucheh, to Jounieh and
of course Harrissa. I enjoyed our venture in to the caves of Je’ita
and was awestricken by the beauty of its majestic nature made sculptures.
Byblos & Tripoli were as equally wonderful as Beirut and I
especially enjoyed our walk in Souk Haraj in Tripoli. And of course
Bazbina was the loveliest of all. The fresh air and the rain, the
hike on it’s mountain along the stream and the evening breeze, the
raw beauty of that spot was absolutely out of this world. I was
truly amazed & taken by the kindness & hospitality of everyone I met
there; it was as if I was a native and not a stranger. Moreover,
in all fairness I have to mention the food, which was delicious. I
can still taste the Kibbeh, mankoush and all the great dishes I had
at your mom & Manuel’s house & let’s not forget the fig from your
mom’s yard. “Anna Jouaa’aneh” for all the Mezzeh I had there! (How
did I do?). Well, my friend, thank you again for this memorable
trip and I shall see you soon, well, as soon as possible!

Queen of Sheeba!! Princess of Caspian? (Since I am claustrophobic,
Cleopatra is not an option & I don’t like to be rolled up in a
scratchy carpet!!) Actually, princess of Caspian has a better ring
to it.



Manuel Hazim wrote:

Dear Shireen,
I am very happy to have met with you and Massoud. Your coming to
Bazbina and staying with us was most enjoyable. I never had fun
like the few days we stayed together.
Adib is now getting to write endlessly. And that is a great reward
you are having from your trip to Leb and to Bazbina.
Regards to you and to Massoud.



From: Shireen Amirhosseini  
To: Manuel Hazim

Sent: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 23:23:34 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: last

Dear Manuel,
It is so good to hear from you. I am so glad we had the
opportunity to make the trip to Lebanon and visit all the beautiful
places & above all meet so many of Adib’s wonderful & hospitable
family especially you. Meeting you was such a pleasure and you made
our journey so much more pleasant & memorable. I had a great time at
your place in Bazbina, I loved everything about the village; the
weather, our hike, the scenery from above the mountain, the people
and all that great food was just wonderful.  Now I understand why
Adib is so taken by Lebanon & more so by Bazbina.   I hope that
there will be more chances for us to come over & see more of Lebanon,

but you have to promise to come both to Iran & United States for
visit. One of these days, you & Adib should come to Iran so Massood
& I could take you to see our country. I am quite sure you would
enjoy Iran.
Best wishes to you and your lovely family.   
Happy Holidays



Dear Shireen,

Thanks for your flattering words. I am fascinated by Iran and the Persian
history, culture and philosophy. And as expressed to you and to Massoud, I

am really much interested to pay a visit to Iran.

Best regards,