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”
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.
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””
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.
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””
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. Continue reading ““Politics and Election Nonsense””
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”
Late Lebanese legendary filmmaker Maroun Baghdadi once said, “I come from a world where, strangely enough, the image has difficulty in spreading. It’s a world that has problems with its own image.” He went on to say that in Lebanon and the Arab world, the image can be considered a taboo, complaining that he had been sometimes accused of giving a “bad image” of the region in his movies. “This excites me,” he lashed back, “and encourages me to transmit my message through images even more.” Continue reading “When looking back hurts, really hurts”
This isn’t a rant, it’s just something that has to be said, once and for all.
When Saudi Arabia decided to freeze its $3 billion in military assistance to Lebanon last February, you could criticize its motives for doing so but not the actual act of freezing the assistance. It is their money after all and they decide what to do with it. Continue reading “Better be an April Fools’ joke for a day…”
Head of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea endorses founder of the Free Patriotic Movement Michel Aoun for the Presidency of the Lebanese Republic: This isn’t history in the making, as everyone has kept repeating over and over again. This is yet another history of failure and yet another failure of history…
No year is ever complete without the cliché of the clichés’ “year in review.” Here at Eye on the East, however, we don’t like clichés and there will be no year in review. We are a blog that doesn’t focus on what I like to call “bulk posting” (posting just to boost numbers and those cliché year in review charts) or so-called quantity, but rather hope to be targeting quality instead. Continue reading “Eye on the East Wishes you a Happy New Year (this is not a Year in Review)”
Note: this is the second and long overdue post on the Lebanese disappeared and arbitrarily detained since 1975. The first post, Prisoners to Oblivion I – posted by Eye on the East in 2012 – can be found here. Not surprisingly, no progress in this tragic issue has happened since.
When a 10-year sit-in comes to an end without achieving its main objectives, it doesn’t mean that the sit-in has failed. It simply means that those who were supposed to deliver have failed, terribly, horribly and shamefully. On December 10, the families of Lebanese disappeared and detained since 1975 (many of which are believed to be arbitrarily detained in Syria) decided to end one of the longest, if not the longest, sit-in in Lebanese history. They decided to keep a symbolic tent in place – in Beirut Downtown’s Gebran Khalil Gebran’s garden – where they steadfastly remained for 10 long years, announcing they would continue their struggle through different means. Continue reading “Prisoners to Oblivion II: the never ending tragedy of the Lebanese disappeared and arbitrarily detained in Syria”