Lebanon: Beirut and Blogging

This week some of the bloggers of the Lebanese blogosphere flirt with Beirut and with blogging. But you will always find politics, religion and war. Remember that Lebanon is in the Middle East.

Why do you blog? Why do I blog? Why does Maya[at]NYC blog:

Why do people blog, anyway!
Why do the people I know, or have learned to know blog anyway?
Some seem to blog to make their demons public and maybe deal with them better.
Some write for the joy of writing.
Some discuss politics. They debate the why and how, the pro and the con. They get fired up, they worry, they fight and look out for human rights.
Some work their blog like an artist creating a painting. Weaving from threads of words, laces that surround you and keep you warm on a cold exile night.
Some share their outlooks with you, redraw their life, expose their camera lens to your eyes.
Some take you witness to their struggles.
Some write a virtual diary of their real life.
Some share their passion, their interests, their desires.
Some talk about hobbies, about talents. But sometimes about dreams. And maybe about fears.
We blog to connect with others. Or disconnect from our daily life.

Nizar Kabbani, the Syrian poet, wrote once a poem about Beirut calling the city “the Lady of the World”. So it is not strange to find some bloggers expressing their love, in their own way, for the city. EDB returns to beirut and declares:

Upon arrival at Beirut airport, I felt like a kid in a candy store, grinning from ear to ear in anticipation of the sweet smell of garbage boiling in the Meditarranean sun. Visas are still free for European citizens; no questions asked at immigration as to the purpose of my 11th visit in the span of 12 months. Welcome to Jizzini's Lebanon. First stop on the way home from the airport: a kellaj stand in Verdun.
This morning, the rainy season began. A storm erupted, just as Israeli fighter jets flew over Beirut. I couldn't tell if the deafening noise was from sonic boom or thunder. Neither could the neighboring kids who started screaming at the top of their lungs. I turned on the TV. Apparently they violate Lebanese airspace on a daily basis.

Perpetual Refugee expresses his emotions as he anticipates his return to Beirut:

There is something magical about the flight in. The anticipation of going home always seems to bring out the childish qualities hidden beneath the cool, manly exterior. It’s always been that way. No matter how many times I return. Which is very often.

The butterflies in the stomach sending signals via my occupied mind to my anticipating tastebuds. Salvivating profusely while looking forward to that first bite my neighborhood has to offer. (mankoushe zaatar extra or knafafa bi ka3ik with a whole lotta Turkish coffee)

I get edgy. I just want the plane to land. We haven’t taken off yet. We haven’t even boarded. Yet I just want to get there.

It’s the only place on earth that makes me feel that way. It always has.

If Beirut and New York City were in a competition for the better city, then Beirut will win. Not convinced? Then read this post by Jamal at the Lebanese Bloggers Forum

Abu Kais, on the other hand, is in Beirut and gives an account of a close encounter with terrorism that he and his family experienced.

Six were injured last night, in the first attack to target the heavily guarded city center. There was a sense of foreboding throughout the night. At around 6, someone decided to launch loud fireworks into the sky, causing massive explosions that made me think fighting broke out. You think all sorts of things when you are pushing a stroller on unfriendly pavements and among bored soldiers who block every ramp possible. The Italian presence made some uncomfortable, although not some taxi drivers who seem to have overcome the language barrier and are now selling their services in Italian.

Okay, enough of Beirut, let's talk religion now. Do you say Allah or God? What is the difference? Read Bech’s analysis:

And here is the interesting bit: I come from a Christian Lebanese environment meaning that i am born Christian (not born again mind you!), and here among us the Christians of Lebanon we call God: Allah. Oups how come, although we're not Muslim creatures? Because allah simply means god in arabic. Applications to this new discovery: When I say Ya Allah! it means My God! to refer to a common European exclamation. Now for some social science contributions:…

What is the relationship between economics, marijuana, evolution and the war on terror? An answer is at Jeha’s nail:

For many, drugs were the only cash crop. With that option gone, they have little choice but poverty. And they fall into the clutches of whoever has the cash, or whoever can protect them and keep government forces at bay. During their occupation, Syria played a pivotal role in this and became “Hooked on Lebanon”, especially in the Beqaa and many regions of the South.
In the increasingly fragmented Lebanon of today, Hezb is more than able and willing to fill that gap. To some, bombs may be more “glamorous” than beans, but you need a combination of both to “win”.
Hezb understands this. Give and take, and a few hypocritical tears do not hurt…

After an analysis of the current political situation in Lebanon, Hilal, at Lebanese Bloggers Forum, concludes with the following:

For me I would have put all the war princes and politicians in prisons but I know unfortunately that It doesn’t work like that. This is Lebanon. No majority, no minority. It is a country built on “compromises”. Sadly, manytimes, compromises cover corruption.
There's a saying that I heard long ago:
“Dictatorship and corruption inside (any kind of corruption) welcomes foreign intrusion”.

Finally the situation in Gaza, Palestine, is the focus of one of Sophia's posts:

A cloud of civil war is hanging over Palestine. Israel will soon achieve with the help of Fatah, the US and the silent international community, the last stage of its plan, the killing of the Palestinian cause amid international silence on Palestine stemming from the fact that there is international furore channeled and directed elsewhere…
Hamas should resign and not engage in a civil war with Fatah because that's what Israel and the US want, complete chaos in the ME and Palestine to hide the absence of any political will to bring peace and justice to the region. Its members should enter clandestinity, leave the government to the thugs who are accepting the money and the weapons directed at their kins and their children and their people and wait for an awakening of the international community and the international public opinion and the international law, wait for all the fury and the spin to settle, wait for Humanity to rise again…

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