I love Beirut because she is the underdog and manages always to win. Through the rubble she emerges again and again every time more beautiful than before.
I love Beirut because I can read the “Agenda Culturel” (1) while eating “Fatteh bi Laban” (2) at Abou André (3)
I love Beirut because of the American saxophonist who plays twelve variations on “Bint Al Chalabiya” (4) as if he just finished a music course with Assi El Rahbani.(5)
I love Beirut because of the oud (6) player who makes Ravel quiver of excitement in his grave hearing the oriental rendition of Boléro.
I love Beirut because the bigger its temples of worship get the more secular its population becomes.
I love Beirut because at Masrah Al Madina a group of recently high school graduate females acted out a play about female masturbation called “The Secret Life of a Woman” (Hayat el Mar’a al Sirriya) and at the end of the play they distributed flyers about the subject to all the audience, male and female.
In any other Arab country, running such a play would bring the dictator down.
I love Beirut because you see the “frenchy-coocoo” chick, along with the pierced nose left winger WOUMAAAN, the veiled religious one with a ton of makeup on, and the slut who is two inches short of wearing a fig leaf as a business suit.
I love Beirut because of the BMW driving, cigar smoking, gel wearing prick who thinks he makes the New York Stock Exchange tick.
I love Beirut because of the bearded, pony-tailed artist/journalist who writes for left wing publications.
I love Beirut because of the guys who claim they are Lebanese university students and try to sell you scented trees for your car during traffic stops. These guys wouldn’t know a book if it drops on their head.
I love Beirut because of the nerdy types Engineer/Software developer dudes who are working on the first water fueled engine or the next Google search engine.
I love Beirut because of the “full-of-shit” politicians who make watching the news hilarious.
I love Beirut because of the sunsets at Raouche. The People on Corniche.
I love Beirut because they have delivery service for practically anything. Anything.
I love Beirut because in my neighborhood everybody knows my name.
(1) a bi-weekly cultural events agenda that never ceases to increase in volume making Beirut “The” cultural capital of the Arab world.
(2) A Chick peas, toasted pita bread and yoghurt dish
(3) A Cult restaurant serving low cost vegetarian dishes
(4) A very old folklore tune
(5) A very famous and very prolific music composer and theater playwright who died in 1986.
(6) Middle Eastern equivalent of the luth.