Posts Tagged ‘Carolena Sabah’

Kindness is Contagious

April 16, 2011

Carolena Sabah at Paulo Coelho's St Joseph's Day Party in Istanbul

Carolena Sabah

So I’m driving up a canyon with a good friend of mine, and we see a car blocking the lane with a lady all by herself trying to push her car off the street and into a driveway. My friend, God bless his soul, he pulls over to help. We both get out of the car and help her push the truck into a driveway. It was traffic hour and the street had no sidewalk with cars rushing by. And here we are, trying to push the car uphill into someone’s driveway but to no avail.

I was pushing with all my might and wondering why is this car not moving, then I walked up to the driver’s window where the other lady was sitting behind the wheel, and noticed the gear was not in neutral, and kindly asked her to Please, put it in neutral. Still to no avail…

So here I am, in my lace tights and pumps, (today I was in the mood to dress 80’s/Madonna style) in the middle of the street, trying with all my might, to get this car into the driveway and off the danger zone.

A few minutes go by and a car stops, two young men get off and walk to the back of the truck and force the car uphill… STILL to no avail… since the driveway was Uphill.. a minute or so goes by, another van stops, a man walks up to help us, and lo and behold… we finally got the truck up into the driveway, safe and sound.

We all moved quickly to get off the busy street. Irregardless of the semi tragic situation, there was an air of goodness and joy between us all. The only thing I was fretting about were the dust and dirt on my hands… Just as soon, the lady walks up to us saying ‘there is a baby in the car, I have wet wipes, it’s the least I can do for helping us’

I was So Glad! she also said how cool or awesome we are (can’t remember her exact words) saying that just as soon as we stopped, two other cars stopped to help.

We didn’t get to chat, but got me wondering… how long had she been stuck there, before she got help.

Kindness is Contagious!

From a facebook note by Carolena Sabah.

As Carolena says Kindness is Contagious! What a better world it would be if we all like Carolena carried out a random act of kindness every day!

Synchronicity: At the time Carolena posted this story, I happened upon a very similar story called Good Samaritans.


April 15, 2011

I have no solution for Learned Helplessness (check the post and the moving comments). But I know one thing:

Everything moves. And everything moves to a rhythm.

And everything that moves produces a sound; that is happening here and all over the world at this very moment.

Our ancestors noticed the same thing when they tried to escape from the cold in their caves: things moved and made noise.

The first human beings perhaps looked on this with awe, and then with devotion: they understood that this was the way that a Superior Being communicated with them.

They began to imitate the noises and movements around them, hoping to communicate with this Being: and dancing and music were born.

When we dance, we are free.

To put it better, our spirit can travel through the universe, while our body follows a rhythm that is not part of the routine.

In this way, we can laugh at our sufferings large or small, and deliver ourselves to a new experience without any fear.

While prayer and meditation take us to the sacred through silence and inner pondering, in dance we celebrate with others a kind of collective trance.

They can write whatever they want about dancing, but it is no use: you have to dance to find out what they are talking about.

Dance to the point of exhaustion, like mountain-climbers scaling some sacred peak.

Dance until, out of breath, our organism can receive oxygen in a way that it is not used to, and this ends up making us lose our identity, our relation with space and time.


An extract from The Witch of Portobello posted by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

Paulo Coelho posted a different video on his blog, but I could only watch the video for less than a minute as I could not stomach watching the anorexic dancers. It made me feel ill looking at them.

The Bolereo performance, which I have used, is the breathtaking routine by Torvill and Dean at the 1984 Winter Olympics for which they were awarded a Gold Medal. They were awarded perfect 6 by all the judges. Something that had never been achieved before and has never been achieved since. Watching one loses all sense of time and space, it seems to go on for all eternity, one is spellbound. It is one of those performances that sends shivers down the spine.

To quote William Blake

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

I agree with Paulo Coelho, there is something about dance, and to that I would add music, that lifts the spirit.

What is underlying is rhythm.


Maybe, and I am guessing, it is rhythm that underlies the very foundation of life.

Visit any culture, be it in time and space, and music and dance are at the heart of that culture.

I can be in Puerto de la Cruz during La Carnaval. The people do not walk, they move to the rhythm of the music.

That is why it is sad and depressing that music has been hijacked by big business and lousy programmes like X Factor to the detriment of music. I can find better music on the streets of Brighton. And why is it better, because the people enjoy playing it, they are communicating with the Soul of the World.

Dance has been degraded to clubbing.

Clubbing: go out, get drunk, throw up in the street and pick a fight.

A friend is a Street Angel. Street Angels are volunteers who patrol the streets at night looking out for the vulnerable and defusing trouble. In essence picking up the pieces of a broken society. [see Talking with a Street Angel]

I love where in the film of The Witch of Portobello Carolena Sabah who plays the part of Athena does her dance routine.

Hildegard von Bingen talked of herself being ‘a feather on the breath of God.’

Handel’s Messiah was an inspiration from angels and an attempt to capture their voices. On completing the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ Handel is reported to have exclaimed ‘I think I did see all Heaven open before me and the great God Himself.’

If there is one thing that makes us difference from the rest of God’s creatures it is not what we arrogantly claim to be our superior intelligence, it is music. Yes, other creatures may sing, but they do not make use of musical instruments.

For my lovely Hungarian friend who likes dance, skating and Paulo Coelho.

And for my lovely friend Sian who loves to dance.

Synhronicity: I was in a bookshop today. I let a lady go before me as she was laden down with books. There is one book you have missed I said, and you are very lucky I have not taken it, The Witch of Portobello. Her eyes opened wide. That was the one book that caught me eye she told me, but I did not get it as I did not know the author. Well now is your chance I told her, and she added it to her purchase. I then told her the story of the stone as told by Ken Crane at the end of Paulo’s St Joseph’s Day party. His wife Yumi picked a stone. When he was asked to pick a stone, Ken picked the same stone. The stone was called The Alchemist Stone! I knew Paul had posted this story about dance, but it was only when I got home this evening I saw it was taken from The Witch of Portobello! [see The Witch of Portobello in a bookshop]

Synchronicty: I knew Paulo had written on dance, but my thoughts on dance were before I had read what he had written. I then read what he had written and found he had written similar to myself! All I had noticed was the anorexic dancers and decided Torvill and Dean gave a far better performance of Ravel’s Bolero.

Synchronicty: I am currently reading The Eight (highly recommended) and if there is one underlying theme it is that of rhythm.

Deadly Kiss

August 6, 2010

A fatal kiss embraced me,
Disconnected I was
In thought
& mind,
and once again

The misty air felt a bit of pain
and a whole lot of confusion.

Your shivering shadow
promised me understanding,
an inner secret
which reality could not deny
nor perceive.

The life of a poet is an illusion,
And you were my muse,
The spirit of my inspiration.

There we were,
playing hide & seek,
to seek to please,
I, my mind
and you, your soul.

Your beingness so teasing
made me covet you

you, who saw nothing in the darkness of my mind
you, who put forth an impotency,
yet withdrew it so powerfully.

I must have charmed you,
Or maybe harmed you.

The sound of your voice spoke of no feelings,
it just wanted,
that one deadly kiss.

The search for great minds is obsessing
and your mystery was so provoking,

Yet, I slipped away.

— Carolena Sabah

Carolena Sabah starred as Athena in The Witch of Portobello based on the book of the same name by Paulo Coelho.


August 3, 2010

are the Most amazing creatures.

Come about to explore,
to play the game,


so free and playful
are still children when they die.

In old age
they are still young
still the same beings
going back to where they came from
for another beginning,
another chance
to quest for the eternal freedom
from bondage of the cycles of life and death.

— Carolena Sabah

Carolena Sabah starred as Athena in The Witch of Portobello based on the book of the same name by Paulo Coelho.

Life’s Journey

August 2, 2010

My mind has become boggled of itself.

It has been thinking for many years now.

Encountered so many others, in 22 years, it has lost itself through the journey.

It has traveled many roads.

Many times been pulled into another’s world.
It’s alright,
I rationalized.

the clouds darkened.
they blackened.
The sun was gone, happiness was nowhere to be found.

The dead arose,
the wolves howled, looking for the light of the moon.
The world had caved me in.


Who put the distance between me and my world?

There is a price to pay
for the lessons we learn
and who we become.
which one is more expensive?

here you see it with your eyes,
through your mind.

It passes you by everyday,
still waiting for something,
yet not knowing what.

And after life,
what you have left is

The essence.

— Carolena Sabah

Carolena Sabah starred as Athena in The Witch of Portobello based on the book of the same name by Paulo Coelho.


August 2, 2010

Somewhere in the midst of madness lays the truth
Tangled up with matter
Perhaps nonexistent.

Through the first seconds of time
The unexpected evil arises with magical spells,
Binding us in unholy land,
Suspended in traveling time
Light is thrown upon our eyes,
Perception changes itself
To cast yet a new dilemma.

Transformation craves to be believed,
It growls and yearns to be wanted
To occupy us
Helpless creatures.

Thunder rolls inside us,
Darkening the shadows in our believing souls,
Nourishing them with feverish bolts.

We helplessly wait and wait
Crawl around deepen our wounds
Our hunger keeps filling our sorrow
Like a drug,
While innocent crystallized tears are
Imposed in a lifeless life…
And we wait
Expect to be taken
Who knows where?
With our wrongly classified sins
Unaware of true existence
To be freed forever.

— Carolena Sabah

Carolena Sabah starred as Athena in The Witch of Portobello based on the book of the same name by Paulo Coelho.

In the Forest

July 30, 2010


All she can do is smile, looking at his face. A smile so sweet, would melt the devils heart.

There they stand, out in the forest, dark and vast, with glimpses of the moonlight.

Misty, and magical is the night. She stands in a trance.

Entranced by his presence and power.

Poised in solitude and serenity, connecting to all the life around them, feeling the soul of the world. She backs into and leans against the tree with a sigh. He moves in closer without a moments waste. He leans in to her face and gives her a kiss, on the lips and backs away. Their faces lit by the moonlight, he smiles at her smiling face, sending her smile deeper and further.

She grabs his hands and pulls him in, kisses him and smiles again, he kisses her back with a smile. She presses him against her chest suddenly, ‘oh Magus, I want you, I want you so bad, take me, take me right now, right here, I want you’. He touches her lips in a passionate kiss, slowly. Caressing her soul he leans his hips into hers, taking her hands above her head against the tree and kisses her domineeringly. Pinned back and trapped, she surrenders, submits her body into his releasing herself to him, releasing her kiss, her body, her mind and her soul. He grinds against her turning her deep breaths into moans. she lifts her leg wraps it around him and pushes her body deeper into his, kissing moaning and rubbing herself on him. Oh, this is so good, she says in between kisses.

He lets go of her hands, touches her breasts caressing them slowly feeling her nipples poking through her blouse, and violently and with one jerk, he pulls and rips her blouse open. Breathless, she gasps for air. He looks at her breasts at her nipples, barely touching her skin, he runs his fingers on and around them. Her body quivers her moans become louder.

He grabs her breasts and leans in for a lick. She puts her hands around him, pulls him to her saying, ‘take me now i can’t wait any longer’ He pushes her back against the tree, puts one hand on her heart, and runs the other one slowly down her neck and her breast over her nipple down her stomach, he kisses her stomach, pulls her skirt and panties off dropping them to the ground.

He runs his hands up her legs, inside her thighs, opening them apart. She moans in ecstatic pleasure while he’s looking at between her legs. He runs his tongue up her clitoris, her moans echo through the forest. He teases it and plays with it as a wolf begins to howl.

He smells her, becoming more and more excited, attacking her pussy with his mouth like a wild beast feasting, his violent noises paralyzes her in disbelief and fear. He pushes up, unzips his pants, takes her hands up against the tree again, and with a violent and forceful push thrusts himself inside of her. He bangs her against the tree, waits a moment, looks at her, and bangs her again, and again, and again and again getting a little faster with every blow as she looses a little more of herself with every stroke.

He fucks her with a hard passion, she spreads her legs wider so he can fuck her deeper and harder rubbing on her clitoris getting her closer to orgasm. She is in complete submission, submitted to him completely, her animal instinct coming through. As she’s about to come she makes violent loud noises with him. They fuck like two animals getting faster and faster and wilder and louder and louder until their savage screams scare even the wildest creatures of the forest. They come together, shooting his cum wetting her insides, she comes dripping all over him.

From a facebook note by Carolena Sabah, inspired by Brida by Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho.

Carolena Sabah starred as Athena in The Witch of Portobello based on the book of the same name by Paulo Coelho.

Lover’s Den

July 29, 2010


A bright sun radiates and shines warming their skin as they walk on the sand, hand in hand.

Bare feet, rhythmic steps, in tune with each other watching the waves dance and sing a melodic tune that plays God’s symphony.

Eros looks at Amora as she looks at the horizon, the endless tranquil horizon.Curious thoughts pass through his mind. ‘what is she thinking about so deep into her thoughts, what is so important to her, is she not happy with all the love I give her, what more could anybody want, besides the full devotion from a loved one?’

Amora smiles, sensing his attention on her, turns around and looks at him. He smiles at her beautiful face, their hearts smile along. Enamored by his beauty, she kisses the lips, decorating his entire face in her loving kisses. Eros grabs her pulling her closer, quizzing her body into his and giving her the longest kiss. In love they smile, and continue walking down the ocean shore.

Amora looks at Eros who’s looking out into the distance, curious thoughts pass through her head, ‘what is my love thinking about? is there anyone else in his heart besides me? why is he so distant sometimes, can’t he see how much I love him’? He looks at her before she finishes her thought, grabs her, lifts her up spinning in the music in the air. She runs to the water as he puts her down, looking back at Eros, beckoning his call.

The water caresses her feet, sending cold chills to her spine. Eros runs after Amora in a chase, splashing through the water in desperate anticipation. Running and playing, so free and wild, smiling and laughing, in each other’s hearts. Lost in a space without limits or walls, recreating the dream in their souls of that first time of their encounter. Without hesitation, he charges to her, capturing her in a frenzy, forcing her to the ground, pinning her down.

The waves wash over them, bathing their clothes and skin in cool caresses. the sand sets into her hair, shimmering rays reflect off her face. he kisses her neck, her chest, hearing the pounding of her heart screaming the sounds of her love that resonate through his lips into his heart.

Engulfed in warmth and wetness, they’re bodies vibrating to each other’s sounds. He glimpses at her dreamy face, off in a distant place. He wonders why she’s in a daze, what mazes her face, just as she looks at his face, I love you she says. I love You, he says, embracing each other as the earth embraces them in their love.

The sounds of those three magical words sets their bodies in motions of love, of massages and caresses, drifting them into God’s aria, harmonizing endless musical masterpieces.

From a facebook note by Carolena Sabah.

Carolena Sabah starred as Athena in The Witch of Portobello based on the book of the same name by Paulo Coelho.

Carolena’s Quest for the Sword

July 2, 2010
The Cathars martyrs of pure Christian love 16 March 1244

The Cathars martyrs of pure Christian love 16 March 1244

‘We are all pilgrims in search of the unknown.’ — Paulo Coelho

Two decades ago Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho was set a penance for his arrogance by his Master J. He had to walk the Way of St James (el Camino de Santiago), a medieval pilgrim’s route that had fallen into disuse and was by the mid-1980s little walked. An account of which he gives in The Pilgrimage.

Two decades on as 2009 drew to an end, Paulo Coelho pondered on whether in this age of computer games and general inactivity, anyone could be persuaded to embark on a real life adventure. Early 2010, he set a quest, clues were posted on his blog and all anyone had to do was to solve the clues, then visit all the places that the clues pointed to. The first person to reach the final destination would find and receive a sword deposited there by Paulo Coelho.

One of those who successfully completed the quest, but sadly not in time to recover the sword, was Carolena Sabah. She has kindly published with illustrations her account of her quest.

One of the places she visited or passed by was Montsegur, the final stronghold of the Cathars. The Cathars were closest to the life of Jesus which no doubt explains why the Church launched its first Crusade against the Cathars, that and the greed of the northern French Barons who wanted their lands in what is now the South of France.

Eric Levi commemorates the Cathars in his Era trilogy. Paulo Coelho mentions them in his novel Brida. The Cathars form the major element of the plot in Labyrinth by Kate Mosse.

The account by Carolena Sabah, especially her photos, compliments Paulo’s account of his trip in The Pilgrimage. Which has given me an idea. Why not a special illustrated 25th anniversary limited edition coffee table size of The Pilgrimage with sidebars on the various places, cf the special limited edition of The Da Vinci Code?

Carolena Sabah stars in and co-produced The Witch of Portobello based on the novel by Paulo Coelho of the same name.

The closest I have been on a pilgrimage was a trip to Aylesford Priory with the Knights of St Columba!

Synchronicity: At the weekend I walked to the Celebrating Surrey Festival along the River Wey, then along the North Downs Way, dropping down to Loseley Park. On my way there the lovely scent of elderflower, on my way back in the gathering dusk the lovely scent of honeysuckle. As I passed St Nicholas Church I saw they were to have two talks on the Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela (7-30pm in the evening on Tuesday 6 and 13 of July 2010), a medieval pilgrims route. A route that had fallen into disuse until Paulo Coelho wrote of his pilgrimage in The Pilgrimage.


The Quest of the Sword is over!

Carolena’s Pilgrimage

Carolena’s Quest

The Pilgrimage


The Quest

Conversation with the master – The journey

Pilgrimage to Aylesford Priory with the Knights of St Columba

The Witch of Portobello

The Witch of Portobello

October 9, 2009
Paulo Coelho's World Premier of 'The Witch of Portobello'

Paulo Coelho's World Premier of 'The Witch of Portobello'

‘The unifying trait of all Tadeh’s projects is the fact that they make the audience think and to look deeper into the meaning of the philosophical and humanitarian questions posed by their creator.’ — Lianna Zakharian of YEREVAN magazine

‘Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.’ — Tadeh Daschi

‘I relate to her quest for truth and spirituality. At a young age, my story was similar to hers. She was interested in God and had these powers to see things. I had a lot of interest in God and why we’re here and questions that can’t be answered. But I wanted to search for it and find a meaning in life.’ — Carolena Sabah

‘I’m learning to combine two things, movement and stillness, joy and concentration.’ — Athena

‘I believe @keithpp explains better than my page “The Experimental Witch”.’ — Paulo Coelho on twitter 24 hours before Rome premier

The Witch of Portobello is a novel by Paulo Coelho. It is not like his earlier works, it is not like The Alchemist. For that reason many did not like it.

Maybe that was the intention, to jolt one out of ones complacency, to create a different reality as Athena does with her dance and music.

I could not get into The Witch of Portobello when I first tried, mainly because of this difference. I have since read it twice. I enjoyed it even more at the second reading.

The Witch of Portobello is a film based upon an idea by Paulo Coelho. Instead of handing over the film rights to a film company who completely mangle your work and what comes out the other end bears no resemblance to your original work which begs the question why they acquired the film rights in the first place, Paulo Coelho took a completely different approach. He invited via his blog, to each film the story from the perspective of one of the characters. Not as difficult as it sounds as each character has a different voice and  we piece together the story of Athena from the perspective of these different characters. This was whittled down to a shortlist who were to produce the final feature length film.

The Witch of Portobello has its world premier at the Rome International Film Festival 9pm Tuesday 20 October 2009. But do not go rushing to the film festival because as I write, tickets were all sold out a couple of days ago.

As I write I have just received a copy of the first chapter. I thought it was the entire film, but Carolena Sabah who plays Athena has kindly corrected me, first chapter, Athena only, others have produced other characters, other chapters, to have its first international showing at the Rome premier.

The sound track with music by Visa is amazing! I am intrigued to see how the following characters capture the soul of the book as well as  Carolena Sabah and her co-stars have done under the direction of Tadeh Daschi who also composed the haunting music performed by Visa. The haunting music by Visa blows your mind away. Soonest an album release. 

Visa lead singer K’noup makes a cameo appearance in the The Witch of Portobello together with Soseh Keshishyan lead singer from the band Element whose vocals are on the film soundtrack.

Athena’s world is a world of ritual, trance, magic. I cannot now read The Witch of Portobello without the image of Athena portrayed by Carolena Sabah. Strange, when I read a novel I rarely have an image of any of the characters, and yet when I see them portrayed on screen they are not as I imagined. I did not have this problem with the portrayal of Athena.

It is rare for filmmakers to capture the essence of a book and yet Carolena Sabah and Tedeh Daschi have somehow managed that impossible feat.

The DVD needs a mini-documentary. Not the usual sugar-coated gush that makes the stomach churn. Five to ten minutes of Carolena Sabah and  Tadeh Daschi explaining how the film came about, where it was filmed, with an introduction by Paulo Coelho. Maybe this can be added after the Rome premier, maybe with the address by Paulo Coelho, plus question and answer session with the audience.

Scribes had an important role in early Judaism, theirs was the task to copy out ancient scriptures. They had to be in the correct frame of mind. The same was true for illustrators of early Muslim texts. It does matter what you do, be it write a book, paint, draw, compose music or carve a piece of wood. Robert Pirsig captured the essence of this in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Only then do you cross the transition zone.

The Witch of Portobello, aka Athena, is on a spiritual quest, a quest for love, a quest for truth. But was the world ready for her revelations?

Two other Paulo Coelho novels have been turned into films: Veronika Decides to Die and The Alchemist.

The Winner Stands Alone, the latest novel by Paulo Coelho, is a damning indictment of the film and fashion industry and the cult of celebrity.

Mango has launched a second range of exclusive, Paulo Coelho limited edition solidarity t-shirts. Monies raised goes to support needy children at the Paulo Coelho Institute in Brazil.

Paulo Coelho was part of the Rio 2016 team in Copenhagen.

Tadeh Daschi is featured in YEREVAN magazine (Fall 2009), an English language quarterly Armenian magazine.

The 28-minute film by Carolena Sabah and Tedeh Daschi was first shown at the Arpa International Film Festival in Hollywood October 2008. The film festival was sponsored by the Arpa Foundation for Film Music and Art, Arpa is named after the river of the same name in Armenia. Founded in 1995, the foundation promotes the arts.

The 28-minute film cost $7,000 to produce, loose change to Hollywood.

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