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Articles tagged "Beirut"

The City and the Writer: In Beirut with Hala Alyan

Image: Hala Alyan. Photographed by Luc Kordas. If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains. —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Can you describe the mood of Beirut as you feel/see it? Beirut is a place trying to escape its past. A decade and a half of civil war (and years of sectarian conflict since) has left the city scarred—from the...

from “A Game for Swallows”

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Zeina Abirached dodges bullets in the Beirut of her childhood


Texterminators

Introduction: War and Literature Two years ago I asked a carpenter who had done a good job for a friend to come to my home and build a bookcase that would house the many volumes scattered on the floor and under my bed for lack of space. The carpenter was a young, jovial man who enjoyed chatting when taking a break and sipping my Lebanese-Turkish coffee. Coffee encourages conversation, and each time we sipped coffee together, we'd get to know a bit more about each other. He was from...

from Yalo

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: "Yalo" is the story of an interrogation, by a nameless officer, of Daniel Habil Abyad, a young man of Assyrian Christian background who is accused, among other crimes, of raping women and robbing their lovers in a pine forest on the edge of Beirut close to the house where he is employed as a guard. From the start, however, it is Yalo, Daniel's alter ego, who asserts himself as the story's true protagonist. In part, perhaps, because of his upbringing in a...

from “White Masks”

Chapter IV: The Dog -1- There's the clatter of the ancient truck lumbering through the hazy Beirut morning, the sea, and the mingled smell of salt and fish. Sky, gray clouds and waves. Engine clacking, its wheels pitching the ruts, the truck rumbles along. Zayn Alloul is sitting next to the driver up front. Mohammad al-Kharoobi and Saleh Ahmad are suspended on two small fenders at the back-end of the vehicle. The aroma of Virginia blend tobacco suffuses the front cabin: the...

from Gate of the Sun

What should I say about Umm Hassan? Should I mention the tears, or the memories, or say nothing? Seated in the backseat of the little blue Volkswagen, she was looking out the window and seeing nothing. "We're here," said Fawzi. Her brother got out of the car and held out his hand to help her out. Umm Hassan moved her stout body forward but couldn't raise her head. She seemed unable to do so, as though her breasts were pulling her down toward the ground. She was bent over...

from Maryam of the Stories

The whole city gave up on sleep that night. Explosions sealed up ears and filled the city sky, turning the anticipated weekend into a nightmare. Then Monday came and the shelling calmed, so I goaded my body out of the apartment and down to the empty street. I headed in the direction of the office, not because I was expected there, but to pretend that there was still life not far beyond my reach. As I drove through deserted streets, I felt as though I was descending into a vast cavern...

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