Ruins and Residences

This post is intended to highlight one of the great tensions and debates in contemporary Lebanon, and Beirut in particular. The question of historic preservation and architectural value haunts the city, and is a source of lively and constant debate which unfolds most prominently in Downtown and Central Beirut, where a company by the name of Solidere is tasked with re-developing Beirut post-war. Their controversial authority and ritzy ‘Disneyland’ style leave a sour taste in the mouths of some Lebanese. Their efforts are met with resistance by organizations like Save Beirut Heritage which deplore the rapidly dwindling number of historic buildings in the city.

Some beautifully restored homes in a historically preserved area of Mar Mikael, Beirut.

The entrance to the Baccus temple in the city of Baalbeck, where I attended a concert by Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila on the last night of the Baalbeck International Music Festival.

Morning in a residential section near Hamra, Beirut. Photo taken around 6 am at a farewell gathering before a friend’s early morning flight back to the States.

I was lucky enough to catch this shot on my way through the mountains en route to (near) Farayeh to have dinner at the home of Melek al Nimer. These roadside Roman ruins are totally abandoned and unmarked, but in amazing condition!

A lovely old residential building in the Mar Mikhail/ Mar Nicolas sector of Beirut.

The sun sets over the ruins of Baalbeck as I arrive for a concert.


Hip Hop Love

Beautiful new video out by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, feat. Mary Lambert.

Same Love is a cry for GLBTQQ equality, and calls to task those who use religious justifications for bigotry. (More on that re: policy making from my friend Jared, here.) The song also calls out the hip hop community for it’s stagnation and persistent use of derogatory language. Rapper Brother Ali on homophobia in the hip hop community here.


What I’m saying is,

No law is going to change us. We have to change us.

Love is patient, love is kind.