A Note on Regeneration

I am writing this as shadows of fallen leaves have been gradually replaced with bright green sprouts, poking their beaks out into the world and ushering in the new. 

Qais Malhas A Note on Regeneration Welcome to Spring

Almond and cherry blossoms have been turning heads the world over and before we know it the fragrance of Jasmine will once again waft through the streets. Green almonds have also become reasonably priced sooner than we imagined, and will wiz out of season far too quickly just like every other year.  

This fifth act is also very importantly a first. It is our first time back around the block, for once we can navigate this crisis with a frame of reference. We have been here before. The sprouts begin to look a little more like leaves, tiny buds color once lifeless trees and mark our entry into glorious spring. 

Wild poppies will populate the landscape and overgrown weeds will finally conceal the mounds of litter, cases rise and fall, we shut down again to re-open gradually, and don’t forget to wash, rinse and repeat. It’s not as somber as it may sound, and depending on what type of believer you are there is some hope for a surprisingly expedient return to “normalcy”. 

For many, myself included, the prospect of this new world leaves us both tantalized and trepidatious. It might be the stockholm syndrome talking, but I have grown very fond of certain parts of our current state of affairs. Financial ruin and ceaseless government ineptitude aside, there is value in the rhythm we have been forced to adopt. 

Never have we collectively endured such a taxing physical, mental and emotional strain, and never have we been so able to empathize and communicate across languages and geographies. Our challenge as we begin to unravel this new reality is to mindfully maneuver into the future. As individuals, communities, countries and as a whole, any failure to adjust course is at our own peril. 

The pathetic fallacy of this spring cannot be lost on anyone as we begin to poke our heads back out into the world after such a long forced hiatus. We’ve been cooking up our new direction for a while now, and this is the season we plan to bear first fruit. Our updated model will allow us to continue exploring the issues we care about with the audience we love in whole new ways that can best serve our team. 

Clearly, the new world will not be the same. Even if we manage to sweep this virus aside with science, the weight of this experience is one we will carry and share together moving forward. It is us who shape the new world, and there is no doubt that we have all been reshaped this past year.


Qais Malhas is the Chef and general manager at Shams El Balad. 

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