Wednesday, 14 April 2010


Some cities have an aura of warmth; an ancient prayer that echos against their walls as time passes, possessing you as it repossesses its reign over your sense of being, as you become an extra in their big show of eternal pre-existence.

I just got back from Beirut, or Beyrouth as she's known to her offspring, and despite my overt confession of the superiority of Amman to all other cities, despite her intellectual drought and barren lineage, Beirut takes over you, with her ancient post modern charm and subtle madness. There was a fresh juice vendor outside where I stayed in Hamra, with his humble cart and incredible resemblance to Iraq's Tariq Aziz, and for the few mornings I was there, he got me used to a cool cup of fresh orange juice, and despite our short lived acquaintance; I got a sense of his noble poverty, one of pride, without prejudice.

Cities have souls, and they remain young and playful like two lovers exchanging glances across a room full of strangers, even if their faces show signs of aging; Beirut has a mysterious charm, one I don't long for, but whenever I experience, I miss, like a love I've not yet experienced but know of its hypnotic effect.