I am Beirut

Egypte, Cent ans de Cinéma, IMA 1995

I used to be a beautiful city…Some people say I’m still as beautiful as I was before…I don’t like me anymore…I scare my kids away…I kill my people unintentionally…I starve them to death…I even turn some of their brightest days to a funeral in a split of a second…

Every day I stand there, waving to all these people, mostly young, leaving on these big things they call airplanes…Jealousy kills me, knowing that they will go and enjoy grocery shopping in a street I’ve never heard of, smiling to a stranger who doesn’t even know where their country is…Working hard and becoming successful…I wish they could be here with me, becoming successful with me…I feel helpless without them, thousands and thousands leave, few come back while I sit waiting and waiting and waiting…

A girl came to me the other day, young and beautiful…Wearing that white dress made her look like an angel. Stood at the « Corniche » with a cup of coffee in her hand…She was staring at the sea with words coming out of her eyes

«  I miss you Beirut
I miss your weather
Miss your sea breeze
Miss staring at you at night from my bedroom balcony…when the world is sleeping and there is only you and I
Miss feeling loved
Miss belonging to you
Miss feeling the security…
You don’t know how hard it is to wake up every morning wondering if your parents or friends are ok, until you read the news and make a few phone calls in case there was an explosion…Try harder Beirut… »

Tears filled my eyes and anger filled my heart…Didn’t know what to say to comfort her!

My body is heavy and scattered, my land enjoys blood and every now and then one of my veins explodes and many of my innocent kids die…I can’t help it…I try…

« I want to come back and live here Beirut, next to my family, next to my dad and brother…I want to raise my kids in Beirut, just the way I was raised…Never knew the difference between a Muslim, a Christian or a Jew…never heard about terrorism…Want my kids to grow up on discipline, respect, beliefs, freedom… and mostly integrity. What happened to you Beirut? You are no longer the same… »

I turned and left didn’t want to heart her anymore…She kept calling me but I never answered…She broke my heart, only because she was telling me the truth!  I’m no longer the Beirut she once enjoyed when she was 4…They took my magic away…

Ashamed I am…I starve my people to death; I have no shelter for them anymore, no security, no love among each other…I’m in pain, I want to endure more, maybe, maybe someday my people will understand the pain I’m going through and help me instead of walking all over me…I don’t blame them; they are hungry and poor…

She left on one of those big things called airplanes a few days later, sad she looked back at me hoping to come back and see me at least in the same conditions, but we both knew it was not the case, I screamed and screamed hoping for her to hear me…

I order you to come back…Yes I can’t promise you security but I promise you that you and me can make it together, come back and bring all those people who once left…because I miss them, miss their face and laughs…Come back and fight for me, clean my body from this rotten creatures, change the world for me help me stand…I can’t do it alone.

I’m your city
I’m your mother
I’m your child
I’am Beirut

(Text received in May 2008 from a beautiful and mysterious woman; she was Beirut, the city always provoking a heart murmur, either viewed from the see or contemplated from the Lebanese mountains, before we inexplicably left her)

Afin de vous faire profiter de la meilleure expérience utilisateur, notre site Internet utilise des cookies. Cliquez sur "J'accepte" pour poursuivre votre navigation.