I write this sitting at my terminal at Charles de Gaulle airport, waiting for my connecting flight to Beirut, Lebanon. I will be there for the next 10 weeks, interning with an organization called the Unite Lebanon Youth Project. As such, this site is going to shift and be something more of a travel blog for the next couple months (best of photos, travel highlights, etc).
I’m pre-gaming with this lovely essay by Ahlem Mosteghanemi. Highlights:
What need is there to live in a place that lives within us? It’s there in the voice of Fairuz, the poems of Gibran, the cedars and the debka dance; in the special beauty that Beirut exports to the whole Arab world and in her voracious appetite for life….There is a Beirut for everyone: a truculent city of vices, a city of resistance and reconstruction, a city of piety and of delights where churches and mosques rub shoulders with nightclubs…..Beirut’s generosity isn’t just that she invites you to eat, but she opens your appetite for life. In all she does, she bites the apple of life with infectious voracity. She is always hot. She experiences her delights like an endangered pleasure, so accustomed is she to snatching joy from the jaws of death. So there is no escape. After her, you’ll never be able to live anywhere else.
This song has been echoing for me the last few weeks- I went to the doctor and got to my immunizations. Headed to the mountains of Lebanon, inshallah. My family doc advised me not to drink the local water, so the fountain is TBD, but I can’t wait to learn from the children and adolescents with whom I’ll be working. Beirut is bound to leave me with both questions and answers… wa Allahu ‘alim.