Monday, March 8, 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I’m pretty sure I walked most of Beirut today. I walked Downtown to get more photos of the stuff I missed. I got a good shot of the former cinema, which was bombarded in 2006, still standing. I went inside the Mohammed al-Amin mosque and revisited the burial site of Rafiq Hariri.

Inside the Mohammed al-Amin mosque

I went to the Virgin Megastore, then headed back toward Hamra. I walked by the Holiday Inn, which opened shortly before the civil war and was used as a sniper hideaway. Covered in firearm holes, it is apparently still structurally sound but stands the same as it did for the past few decades, as a shell of a building.

The Holiday Inn

From the Holiday Inn, walked down to the Corniche, where I hung out until sunset.

Corniche at sunset

It was a lot livelier than the first time I visited (no rain, and a Saturday night instead of Sunday). For a while I noticed some kid was always around me. Annoying kid. He walked up to me and said, “You have beautiful eyes. Can I take your picture?” “No.” “Please? It’s not for the internet, but for school.” “No.” He kept on talking, and asked me why I was taking pictures (because there’s pretty scenery, a-hole). He said his name was Hassan, but I probably met a lot of Hassans. And his last name was Mubarak, like the Egyptian president. Wow. He asked me where I was from, and I said the States. About Lebanon, he said, “Oh, I bet it’s not like in the news.” I told him it was exactly what I was expecting. Then he said he had a friend from America who hated the United States. I told him I loved my country. He then said it wasn’t the country she hated, but the politics. George Bush.

That’s when I got pretty annoyed. I told him I loved politics, and that I wasn’t a fan of Dubya. Honestly, he’s been out of office for over a year. I get that he fucked up, and if any region deserves to complain, it’s the Middle East. But just as Lebanon isn’t just the country of Hezbollah, the United States isn’t just the country of George W. Bush. There’s a lot more to the United States, and there’s a huge difference of opinions on everything. All comments like his show ignorance. Probably not the best way to hit on me.

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