Archive for November, 2011

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THE WRITING ON THE WALL: BEIRUT

November 10, 2011

There are things those of us who have lived in Beirut can take for somewhat inevitable—electricity will go out when it feels like it, war is always a believable possibility, ignoring fashion is more sinful than religious differences, and as many people are trying to leave as are trying to come back.

In Beirut last week, I was reminded that defining life is happening at every corner, from running into an enfolding pro Assad demonstration, to a flash mob erupting at a staid academic conference on media freedoms, to people gathering at various hip cafes (even ones that have managed to survive more than 50 years are still hip) in search of an Internet connection that could remotely keep up with the speed of their lives, to a young, handsome waiter at a beachside restaurant earnestly telling you he is pinning his hopes on marrying a woman in the Gulf, where jobs are plentiful.

During this new wave of Arab revolutions, Beirutis continue to express themselves everywhere in every mode, some modes good, some not so good.

But on the street, Beirut’s walls allow for some of life’s better advice.