The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work →
This has been a long time coming.
Sublime feelings are always rendered by the simplest expression. Old Horace says, quite simply: ‘Would that he had died!’ Medee says: ‘I!’ Genesis says: ‘And there was light’ Nothing is more marked than this simplicity: is is the very figure, indeed the perfect obligatory figure, of the sublime. Obligatory and reserved: to use it to express less elevated...
Legal tender for all debts...
I moved into an apartment last night with two AUB students in Hamra (Apartments here are very expensive) Close to Saad Hariri’s Beirut digs in fact. The internet hasn’t been turned on yet, so expect spotty updates until then.
Two men from Mount Lebanon decide to go see a movie in Beirut. Its a French film...– A joke told to me by a taxi driver last night on the wide use of French in Mount Lebanon. It was a cab ride with an East Berliner an American and a Kataeb supporting driver, but I don’t know the punch line to that joke.
Thunderstorms, Beirut, Furn al Chebbek
I went apartment shopping today which took me from Hamra to Furn al Chebbek crossing the city diagonally, and going about as far as you can while still staying in the proper city of Beirut. It was amazing to see how much of the city I haven’t seen, Furn al Chebbeck (a Christian area in the south east of Beirut bordering a Shia neighborhood just south of the Beirut line) is a sprawling and...
Jumblatt hails Saudi Arabia’s role in region– Jumblatt the weathervane, my fave.
State Department’s police training program in Iraq... →
includes this gem: “But a government report set for release Monday found that the department is spending just 12 percent of money allocated for the program on advising Iraqi police officials, with the “vast preponderance” of funds going toward the security, transportation and medical support of the 115 police advisers hired for the program.”
A walk through the city
I took a great walk from Gemmayze in East Beirut to Hamra West Beirut today. The route was my usual way home from work when I was at The Daily Star several years ago and it was fascinating to see how the city has changed. Some observations: Lots of new construction, storefronts and repairs, including a high-end Segway store and several refurbished apartment buildings The rebuilding of the...
Seen in the Sheremetyevo / Moscow Airport
Made it to Moscow after a 8 hour 30 min flight on the former Soviet courier Aeroflot airlines. First lessons learned: a) brush up on current events in Eastern European and former Soviet Republics so you can make more conversation with your attractive Kyrgyzstan seatmate than “oh yes I heard of the revolution you had last year…” b) expect bizarre in-flight entertainment: the...
To Beirut, by way of Moscow
I’m pretty amped for this Aeroflot flight to Moscow. I’m pretty sure I’m the only one onboard who is a) headed to Beirut b) doesn’t speak Russian and c) is under 50 and not wearing skintight jeans. 10 hour flight and then 9 hour layover, here we go. Also my 703 cell number is going dead in 20 mins. But you can still reach me, leave a message text at US rates to:...
I just finished watching Incendies a 2010 Quebec film dealing with a family’s history in the Lebanese Civil War. Drawing inspiration from the complicated Soha Bechara (a Christian would-be assassin of SLA head Antoine Lahad). The film presents a nuanced and non-polarizing picture of the war that focuses not on who to blame, but the terrible impacts on one family. As main characters Jeanne...
We rarely seemed to reach a consensus on any issue, but if there was one thing...– In lieu of actual content (departure is still 5 days away) I offer an except from Qifa Nabki’s post on the importance of Syria Comment
Diversity and flexibility were the essence of Levantine cities. They could be...– Philip Mansel from Levant, where he writes about expat life in Alexandria, Smyrna and Beirut.
How does one talk about ‘Lebanon’? How may it be imagined? How was...– Michael Gilsenan from Lords of then Lebanese Marches in his endnotes reflecting on if work like his in 1971 can shed light on what happened in the Lebanese Civil War.
I think her sense of justice and truth blinded her from the reality of this...– Rachid al-Daif in Learning English