Curbside Dining in Beirut
I am very proud of this post, but the real reason I’m re-posting it from 2010 is because the latter part is about the destruction and rebuilding of Beirut, about big boys and guns and how they play in their big world sandboxes with their tanks and bulldozers. I am just very pissed because of the destruction of the beautiful cities of Damascus and now they’re moving into Odessa and it just never ends. Anyway that’s all for another post, but you’ll definitely get the idea from this post.
In the spring of 2009, I traveled to the Middle East, starting in Jordan, then to the West Bank and Israel, then Syria and finally by taxi! up to Beirut. Before traveling I had become quite fascinated with the history of Lebanon, starting years ago with Thomas Friedman’s “From Beirut to Jerusalem”, then Robert Fisk and “Pity the Nation” along with a few shorter pieces and film (especially “Waltz with Bashir”). I have been working on a dense but brilliant book, “Constructing Lebanon: A Century of Literary Narratives” published by the University of Florida–a book I may–or may not–get through it in this lifetime.
I am sitting on a curb in Beirut in the working class neighborhood at the very start of the Green Line, that famous division the Christians and Muslims of this city used for so many years as their bloody ‘line in the sand.’ I am a
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