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Sunday, June 15, 2008 

Random Beirut thoughts

This is completely subjective and deliberately uncomprehensive. A list of words I wrote, painting a picture of my first impressions of walking back into the city.

Bey: No McDonalds sign (the fast food joint opposite the AUB in Bliss Street is faceless - but the two policemen who used to stand guard outside aren't there anymore).

Roadblocks (they're everywhere now - but the best taxi drivers know how to get through them without slowing down).

Second language (Monot: "bonjour" - heard on street corners, and in shop doorways. Hamra: "hello").

Posters = healthy politics (this was before the recent clashes - the posters are everywhere, you can locate yourself by the words on the walls).

Hariri obsession (Kulna maak posters in Quratem - haven't I seen something similar in Syria?. Men in black at the bomb site, looking solemn, getting ready for the highlight of their day - the daily memorial at 12.55. There is music played at the bomb site, 24 hours a day. Counters all over town, reminding everyone how many days it's been since Hariri was killed).


Gemayzeh (all new, pan-european flavour).

Tribeca (electrobeats).

Downtown (every day is a public holiday).

The Hariri counters part is really sad and disappointing. You know that a country is not healthy when a huge part of the population links their lives to a person instead of an Idea.
Hariri in this example, Mohammad in other societies.

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  • Written by sasa
  • From Damascus, Syria
  • From Damascus to London via Beirut. Based in and out of the central Damascene hamlet of Saroujah. News and feelings from the streets every day. I'm talking rubbish? Leave a comment. Welcome to the information democracy. See below for info about this site.
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