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”
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…”
Note: This is the third in a series of five 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””
Note: This is the first in a series of five 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””
Today is the day we remember our war (1975-1990), the one we swore not to forget so that it would never happen again (تنذكر وما تنعاد). But just like everything else in Lebanon, the more things change the more they stay the same. Whatever we said about the war, the lessons learned and chances of it happening again, still stand today, as they stood yesterday and will stand for the decade to come. I read through what I wrote last year – April 13: How can we not forget? – (which you are welcome to read today too) and I would not change a single word of it now. Continue reading “40 Years Later…”
We all knew that Daesh was capable of horrible things. However, the death by burning to which Jordanian pilot Moaz al Kasasbeh was subjected to broke through a morbid threshold I believe very few of us, if any, thought would happen. This isn’t to say that the other killing methods (decapitation, execution, drowning, etc..) used by the so-called Islamic State are any less brutal. But we dealt with them by exercising a degree of denial, if only because of the sheer number of times they have and continue to occur and more importantly, as a coping mechanism to deal with the horrors of Daesh at our doorsteps. Continue reading “Time to Re-Evaluate the War against Daesh”
“…resilience might have kept the country from falling apart, but has not helped in truly bringing it together. Resilience is surviving but not coming to terms with the past.”
As part of their World War I centennial issue, University of Warwick’s Lacuna Magazine invited Eye on the East to contribute a piece on Lebanon and we accepted with pleasure. This was the end result:
As you may already know, Eye on the East regularly contributes to a variety of online and print publications, listed in the Featured page here. I thought I’d highlight this latest contribution, especially since it isn’t usually something covered on the blog and especially in such length! I hope you enjoy it…
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 “N for Nasrani”
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 “Lebanon and the Caliphate”