A walk along the Berlin Wall

Note: This is the first of two posts recounting Eye on the East’s recent visit to Berlin.

I hate to admit it, but until very recently, I still associated Berlin almost exclusively with the Berlin Wall.  Even after 25 years since the wall crumbled to pieces, stories of successful and failed escapes from East to West Berlin, neighborhoods divided by a simple concrete structure and tales of how a Cold War of worldwide proportions was also played out in the alleys of a single city, have never failed to intrigue me. It is mostly due to this socio-political curiosity – and not my love of sausages – that finally led me to visit Berlin. The fact that the visit coincided with the 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall, made the sightseeing a bit more crowded, but surely not less emotive. Continue reading

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This is Tripoli

Last week, Tripoli was a war zone. Today, it is a city like any other.

Last week, Tripoli seemed a world apart from the rest of Lebanon. Today, some decided to bring it a bit closer to where it belongs, back to rest of Lebanon…

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“Fighting for the Right to Party in Beirut”: Fighting for the Right to Stop this about Beirut

Just because we are a bit of a hot-blooded bunch and have been through more wars than we care to admit; and just because Lebanon is in a region that is usually not associated with hedonistic tendencies (mostly because of people’s ignorance) and pictured as an inherently threatening place (mostly because of media-fueled misconceptions) doesn’t mean we can’t have a good party. In fact we do. And the best. Now deal with it and please, please get over it. Continue reading

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Operation X

Almost two months since the U.S. started bombing Islamic State (IS) targets in Iraq, less than a week since the U.S.-led offensive in Syria for the same purpose, and the operation appears to be nameless.

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N for Nasrani

During a trip to Jordan in 2008, I visited the site where it is believed that Jesus Christ was baptized. As I headed to the banks of the Jordan River, a group of women solemnly made their way back from the pilgrimage. They were clearly Christian, given the particular headscarf they wore and prayers they whispered. They prayed in silence but with a passion and fervor that was hard not to notice. Continue reading

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This is Gaza

After the pain from the heartbreaking pictures coming out of Gaza and the frustration towards a world seemingly unwilling to stop the bloodshed, what is left for you and me to do, for Gaza? If you ask me, I say what is left is for us to keep giving it a voice… Continue reading

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Lebanon and the Caliphate

There is a slightly deranged rooster in my neighborhood. For over three weeks now, the bird has been crowing at every hour except dawn. At first, we thought it was joking or suffering from a severe case of jet-lag, cock-a-doodle-dooing to a different time zone. Or maybe it was trying, still trying, to tell us something loud and clear…that the Caliphate was here. Continue reading

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