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.
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”
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”
You may think this is fiction, but it’s not. You may wish this were fiction, but you know better….especially if you have any sense of what the Middle East and Arab World has been, is as we speak and seems adamant on remaining – on the same course of hopelessness and injustice – for years to come. Continue reading ““Gaza: I saw the tunnel, he saw the darkness at the end of it””
As mentioned in Eye on the East’s last post (A different kind of Eye…on the turbulent East) I’ve been hard at work on my first piece of fiction. You read (and hopefully enjoyed) one short story already – “Nothing but Alexandria” – so here comes the second. Continue reading ““Waiting for George””
You may have noticed that activity on the blog has been slow lately. That doesn’t mean, however, that our “eye” hasn’t been looking, observing, analyzing or despairing at all the hopelessness and bloodshed around us and for once, rather speechless about it all. But speechlessness about the real world has diverted into an ocean of ideas and an outburst of imagination about a fictional world, which owes much to the real world for initial inspiration, but takes off to limitless heights thereafter… Continue reading “A different kind of Eye….on the turbulent East”
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”
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”
Beirut is anything but a stranger to violence, yet the world (and even some Lebanese) have gotten used to Beirut being a synonym for bombs and destruction. However, when the violence hits other parts of the world, the world listens more closely, condemns more strongly and pledges to fight the source of this terror with even greater resolve. Continue reading “Light a Candle for Beirut…. and the World”
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”