Ungrateful, Beirut

Beirut never asks you to come back to it. It entices you to and makes you come back out of your own volition. If Beirut were a person, it would be irresistibly charming, more than anybody you would ever meet. Someone you would keep falling hopelessly in love with, even though you’d always know it would be a tumultuous, love and hate relationship with no future whatsoever. If Beirut were a force of nature, it would be a glorious sunset after a furious storm, though you’d always be left guessing when the next storm will hit, because it always does and stronger than the one before. Continue reading “Ungrateful, Beirut”

“Godless in the Land of Gods”

Note: This is the last in a series of four thematic Lebanon-related posts, based on a conversation between the author and a Lebanese citizen who preferred to remain anonymous. The first three posts (on politics and the parliamentary elections, the economy and the environment) were published last year.  

Eye on the East (EOTE): Happy Easter.

Lebanese Citizen (LC): Thanks, I guess.

EOTE: Not much of an Easter person yourself? Continue reading ““Godless in the Land of Gods””

In Just Six Words…

There are few other things that bring me as much happiness and fulfillment than as writing. The happiness it brings is both from how it allows me to express myself in all elegance, freedom and simplicity, as well as from the joy it brings to others readers and the bond that it invariably cements between us, writer and reader. No matter what the topic, no matter when and how and for who, writing is a mission, a cause, a means and an end in and of itself. Make of it what you want, interpret it as you wish, but never underestimate its power. Continue reading “In Just Six Words…”

“Land of the Cedar”

Note: This is the third in a series of four thematic Lebanon-related posts, based on a conversation between the author and a Lebanese citizen who preferred to remain anonymous. The first post was on politics and the parliamentary elections and the second on the economy.

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Eye on the East (EOTE): I never thought it would take so much time to reconvene.

Lebanese Citizen (LC): Well, you know that I’ve been here. You’re the one that’s always so busy. I hope you’re not going to end up like one of those people who is always soooo busy, but you really wonder what they’re soooo busy with. Continue reading ““Land of the Cedar””

“Resilience”

This is the second in a series of four thematic Lebanon-related posts, based on a conversation between the author and a Lebanese citizen who preferred to remain anonymous. The first post was on politics and the parliamentary elections and the third on the environment.

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Eye on the East (EOTE): So where were we?

Lebanese Citizen (LC): I had started talking about garbage and the economy, but you stopped me because you wanted to grab a drink.  Continue reading ““Resilience””

“Politics and Election Nonsense”

Note: This is the first in a series of four thematic Lebanon-related posts, based on a conversation between the author and a Lebanese citizen who preferred to remain anonymous. The second post covers the economy and the third deals with the environment.   

What’s the best – or laziest – way to reconnect with a subject that you haven’t dealt with in a long time? Talk to someone who does. That’s exactly what I did, as I thought of the best way to write my first post after what turned out to be an unintended and unannounced break from the blog.[1] Continue reading ““Politics and Election Nonsense””

So They’re Gonna Raise Some Taxes

They said people would take to the streets because parliamentary elections would be cancelled. “We are a democracy,” they said, “people won’t let that happen.” But people did let elections be cancelled, twice.

They said people would not let the garbage crisis go without a fight. “People may not care about democracy and holding politicians accountable,” they said, “but this is about garbage and their health.” But people also gave up, protesters couldn’t keep the demonstrations together, and the garbage crisis continued and a sustainable solution has yet to be found. Continue reading “So They’re Gonna Raise Some Taxes”

Farewell Ghazi Aad

There are those whose passing makes them heroes, because some wrongfully believe that in respecting death, there is a duty to bury all that was shameful and negative and remember only what was good and virtuous about them, no matter how deceitful this memory made be. But there are others whose passing cements their status as heroes, not only because we have no choice but to remember and appreciate the genuine heroism they displayed during their lifetime, but because in their passing, we lament how few of them are left, to carry on the fight as they did. Continue reading “Farewell Ghazi Aad”