When looking back hurts, really hurts

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”

April 13: The War isn’t Over

Whether you believe it should be called the Lebanese War or the Lebanese Civil War. Whether you believe it was fundamentally a confessional conflict or a proxy war fought on Lebanese soil. Whether you were in East Beirut or West Beirut. Whether you refused to leave during the country’s darkest hours or regret not having immigrated sooner than you did. Whether you believe the country has learned its lessons the hard way and will never let it happen again or believe war is just around the corner, waiting for the right spark to tear the country apart once and for all…there is one fact that remains:

Continue reading “April 13: The War isn’t Over”

Eye on the East Wishes you a Happy New Year (this is not a Year in Review)

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)”

Prisoners to Oblivion II: the never ending tragedy of the Lebanese disappeared and arbitrarily detained in Syria

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”

Going Further East: Cambodia and Vietnam

It was my first time in Asia ever since my Japan days over 15 years ago. Of course every country in Asia is different and Japan’s uniqueness within Asia goes without saying. However, there is something that is present throughout the continent that all countries share: the seamless blend of old and new, the subtle pervasiveness of religion that isn’t suffocating, the ritual of experiencing the local cuisine and the language barrier, which may limit the travel experience but pushes travelers to use all their senses to uncover the adventure, along with that of the spoken word. Continue reading “Going Further East: Cambodia and Vietnam”

From Beirut to Santiago: memories, democracy and about never going back

Note: This is a translated and abridged version of Eye on the East’s post about Chile in Spanish. The original version can be found here.

21 years have passed since I left Chile, but the wave of memories that hits me at the sight or sound of anything that relates to it is still hard to resist. Maybe it’s the nostalgia of simpler days or the longing for a mischievous adolescence. The fact of the matter is that my appreciation for a land often described as being ‘at the end of the world’ has only grown with time. Continue reading “From Beirut to Santiago: memories, democracy and about never going back”

“Your Time is Now”

“I’m here to get your blessings,” I began, delicately raising my voice to grab the attention of the man lying on the hospital bed in front of me. “How many kilos would you like?” he asked in a rather serious tone, which lasted as long as it took a smile to appear through the sparkling of his eyes. “As much as you can give me,” I replied, hardly able to contain my smile in return. Continue reading ““Your Time is Now””