Thoughts on Lebanese Security

We don’t live in a country where there is any form of positive myth-making in popular culture around security forces. And with good reason a lot of the time, as anyone who has set foot in a Lebanese police station or been arbitrarily harassed at a checkpoint will understand. There is no show called ‘CSI:… Continue reading

Thursday Night in Beirut

As we’re standing outside Torino last night three guys approach us. Two of them are colossal with long blonde ponytails, and the third is shorter and stocky with an emo punk haircut and a broken nose. All three are wearing metal band tees. In what sounds like a thick Scandinavian accent, they ask us what… Continue reading

We Can Get Better

Here’s a sentence for you. Today Lebanon celebrates 70 years of Independence. It’s a tricky sentence, isn’t it? Every single word of it feels wrong. None of those letters feel like they should be aligned to form this particular idea. Lebanon? Celebrate? Independence? What is Lebanon? How can we celebrate days after 23 people were killed in yet another… Continue reading

The Week of Talking Dangerously

What an absurd set of miscalculations this week has seen. Ostensibly, the US threatens the Assad regime with imminent strikes to weaken it, giving much-needed – if we presuppose a successful mission- much-belated respite to the millions of innocent civilians stuck between a rock and an Al Nusra fighter. They forget to factor in the… Continue reading

Miley Cyrus and Chemical Warfare

I don’t get why there is this form of self-righteous anger over people are discussing Miley Cyrus rather than important world events. Surely discussions of Miley Cyrus and Syria aren’t mutually exclusive. No two discussions are mutually exclusive. We should discuss everything. Also, I think it is essential to discuss Miley Cyrus. Because beyond the… Continue reading

Quote While You’re Ahead

“The thing about quotes on the Internet is that you can never confirm their validity.” – Abraham Lincoln Quotes are notoriously tricky in the digital age, as the one above illustrates. They end up on websites that make little to no effort to ensure correct attribution, and then they spread quicker than an STD in… Continue reading

Balkan Break: Hipsters, Tito and Crazy Bus Drivers.

I haven’t really been on an actual holiday in about a year (mainly because right around then I started a job I actually enjoy, that allows me to travel a lot and forget that holidays can useful from time to time). So in early November, in a bid to disconnect from all my routines, I headed off to a place I’d always been fascinated by, the Balkans. Over the previous couple of months I’d met a whole bunch of crazy Serbs in Beirut who were organizing a conference (where my company, Keeward, was a partner and I was lucky enough to be a speaker), and I also happened to make some Bosnian friends at the same time. So it all made a lot of sense.