Three Years and Counting: Looking Back and Looking Ahead, in Pictures

It has been three years already: Eye on the East has still not run out of things to say because Lebanon and the Arab World has never been so full of things to talk about. But since 2011, it has been each and every one of you, the readers, followers and supporters that have helped in keeping this going and made it worthwhile…. And for that, I thank you all.

So today, I shall spare you my words. After all this is “Eye” on the East, and although I usually translate what I see into words, I will let the pictures talk for themselves this time (a small brief little comment notwithstanding). These are simple images taken by me throughout the region, most of them way before the 2011 Arab upheavals, an opportunity to look back in order to see ‘what was’ and ‘what has become’…

I write this in the midst of the senseless violence unfolding in and around Beirut once more, although violence and bloodshed has been the daily bread of other areas – especially the Bekaa and North Lebanon – for more than we all care to remember. After a while, it gets tiring to reiterate the same old refrains, condemnations and damnations, all to blame for what’s happening in Lebanon today…so I won’t. Let’s just hope things will calm down soon, so that I can share with you some of my own images from this schizophrenic country we all love to hate but can’t live without…

Tunisian Desert, December 2005: Just like the Red Lizard Train charting its way in the middle of its desert, Tunisia always seemed one step ahead. It proved that once again with Mohamed Bouazizi and in its post-revolution era. Its moving ahead and ahead of us all…
Fez, Morocco, December 2005: All the beauty, sights, sounds and colors of North Africa and the rest of the Arab World will not be able to hide (nor should) the misery, poverty and lack of dignity that still exists behind it all. So long as this prevails, there will be no calm…


Jordan, October 2008: It is a kingdom it’s true and kingdoms are about inheriting power throughout generations. But until when will Jordan and the rest of the Arab World have to hope that power is handed down to the best son instead of the best person?
The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt, November 2009: The unsuspecting over-cautious tourist (with a gun protruding from the side!) or the ubiquitous omnipresent and omnipotent intelligence officer, aka the moukhabarat?! Oh Egypt, that was 2009. Today, you seem to be oh so back to your old ways…what a shame.
Damascus April 2010
Damascus, Syria, April 2010: Three Words: Best Friends Forever, until the end of time, till death do them part and at whatever cost for Syria and Lebanon…


The Code of Hammurabi, as displayed in Istanbul’s Archaeological Museum, September 2010: Well first of all, it is about time the Ottoman Republic give the Arab world all its archaeological treasures back! Then again, this seems to be the closest I will ever get to the land between the two rivers. Oh Iraq, all your rivers do not seem enough to put out your burning flames of hatred and sectarianism….
Milan, July 2013: Sometimes the West does speak up for Palestine, but it isn’t always that the rest of the West or the East listens…
Dubai, November 2013: The Middle East of the future, the only shinning jewel of the Arab World or a mirage in the desert?

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