2017:  another anniversary.  It is also the anniversary of the murder of Fakhr ad-Din Ma’n (my “Renaissance Emir”); all in all, not a propitious day for Lebanon.  Now the Deputies in the Majlis have voted themselves an undemocratic extension of their term, mainly because there is no agreement on a new electoral law, given that Hisbullah (Hizbollah or Hezbollah or Hizb Allah) have effective control of the levers of power in the country.

 

2015: forty years ago today, a bus full of Palestinians was shot up in Ain ar-Rummaneh, a working-class Christian suburb of Beirut.  I remember it so clearly: a beautiful spring day.  Not for those involved, and not for poor Lebanon, which found itself torn to shreds by millennial hatreds, the triumph of the worst, man’s stupidity, and other people’s wars.  That Beirut is no more, and is not likely ever to be.  So sad!

one small souvenir of what was: my book A Beirut Anthology: Travel Writing through the Centuries was published this week by the American University in Cairo Press.

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