Candide's Notebooks/March 14, 2006
To a foreigner this scene might seem, for Lebanon, incongruous--kind of like Dick Cheney smoking a Gitane on the Left Bank in Paris and reading Le Monde. To a Lebanese, it's as typical as it gets: a woman flaunting her mutual funds while sipping on a narghile, the St. Georges Hotel in back (scenes of a legendary battle during the civil war, scene of legendary trysts, between spies, diplomats, billionaires and the usual adulterers before the war but not since, because unlike the rest of Beirut, the St. Georges remains un-rebuilt) , and a damaged building to its left, evidence of the 2005 bombing assassination of Rafik Hariri, the on-again, off-again prime minister and Donald Trumpish re-developer of Downtown Beirut. In Lebanon, every picture is an Ali Baba cave of fugitive histories. Our thanks to Ahmad, our Beirut photographer.
Click here for Ahmad's full gallery, and here for his blog, Cold Desert.