Thursday, December 11, 2008

A trip to Beirute

My impressions of Lebanon (to be continued)
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Tyre, one of the Phoenician cities whose names we learned by heart at high school, offered apparently some resistance to the great army of Alexander...

Rafik Hariri

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One can show their patriotic pride in quite fashionable accessorizing...

Desirée Sadek

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The New Orientalism is everywhere in smart Beirut... People there know t the secret of blending East and West with the daring that it's needed but without falling into the kitsch caricature one tends to find -unfortunately - in other azimuths... A new Byzance indeed...

Shatilla 2

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Palestine refugee camp of Shatilla (November 2008)

Michel Suleiman

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The Lebanese army, on the eve of Independence Day, was very on the edge... These innocent photos almost derailed a smoothly planned trip aboard a UN-marked bus...

Yvonne Sursock

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Imagine the structure of an Andalusian grand house with a central patio as big as a pracieta and then convert the patio into the the floor of the central room and put a proper ceiling above everything... A Palace that counters years of bad press on the subject of Beirut... The "chatelaine" talks charmingly about Chomski amidst all the fluffy evidence of the discrete charm of the haute lebanese bourgeoisie ...

Leila Barakat

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An evening out in Beirute...


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A Muslim female friend first told me about this book... Frank self-awareness of sexuality in an autobiographical book by a Muslim female author must be rather difficult to swallow in some a-tolerant quarters...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ron Pundak

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The new HQ of the Peres Centre for Peace at the beach in Jaffa this blogger of yours used to consider his. The modern building, although beautiful in itself, invades the traditional architectural features of the decaying houses surrounding the beach like a Barbarian who nobody has invited for dinner. Reminds one of the Carlos V Palace in the Alhambra. Heavy-boots subtlety, if The Right Honourable Reader understands what I mean...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Constantin Cavafy

Che fece… il gran rifiuto

Pour certains hommes, il vient un jour
où il faut dire le grand OUI ou le grand
Celui qui l’a prêt en soi, ce OUI,
se manifeste tout de suite ; en le disant,
il progresse dans l’estime d’autrui
et selon ses propres lois.

Celui qui a refusé ne regrette rien : si on
l’interrogeait de nouveau, il répéterait
-et cependant ce NON, ce juste NON,
l’accable pendant toute sa vie.

Constantin Cavafy
Poèmes traduits par Marguerite Yourcenar
Poésie / Gallimard