Her name is Marina, but I call her Mena. She's about 20 months younger than me and ever since March of 1981, she's been my BFF (not counting that 2-3 years somewhere around junior high where we preferred punching each other after school instead of being friends).
When she was really little she had a super short haircut that made her look like a monkey. She's wicked smart and when she was in high school her Quiz Bowl team went to nationals (true story).
Nobody in the world can make me laugh like she can. Once, we were at a genocide symposium and hadn't seen each other in a few weeks and fell into hysterics over something really silly - I can't remember what it was, but I think it had something to do with chairs - and anyway, we were laughing so hard we were crying but trying so hard to not be loud so nobody would realize how completely inappropriate we were being, but all we had to do was catch the other's eye and burst back into laughter again.
If you ask her a question about the Middle East, she could practically recite a textbook for you (or two or ten) - and the answer would probably be over your head. Because of her smartness and activism and her taking to the saxophone when she was in band and then subsequently becoming a vegetarian (which she's not anymore) she was often compared (by me) to Lisa Simpson. Also when she was in college she took a hip hop class and had to freestyle in front of everyone (did I even use the right terminology there?)
Even though I'm the big sister, she's really good at taking care of me. She lives in Washington D.C., which is much closer than Beirut but I still miss her all the time. But luckily for all of us, she is going to be our next guest blogger here at Gabel and Gabel! I know you all have been holding your breath ... but don't worry, just three more days!