Never has that statement been so morbidly disturbing.
What happened last night in France is a horrendous tragedy.
I know that Paris has been a stop for travelers from all ends of the earth. I know it’s been romanticized and dreamed about in media, film, and poetry. Writers and artists consider the city a muse, the one they connect with and pour their souls out to. I know that residents adore it and visitors are enamored with its elegance and effortless sophistication.
But that’s what my Beirut is too.
I won’t paint illusions. We’ve been going through a bit of a rough patch but Beirut has also been the breeding grounds for creative minds and has captured the hearts of globetrotters who want to return for a second round. Maybe even a third and fourth. We’re just as sexy as Paris.
This isn’t jealousy, it’s sadness as Joey says. This post is in no way said with anger or bitterness towards the suffering people in France or its sympathizers. I type this because I wonder why Beirut has been forgotten or put on the list of places where death is just a number and it’s normal for the city’s name to be on the ticker at the bottom of your TV screen. You know which cities I mean. They’re the ones that have casualties and increasing death tolls as you pour almond milk onto your Cinnamon Toast without flinching.
And yet, when Paris is attacked, the world is shaken. Towers are lit with red, white, and blue. Don’t we deserve the same prayers? Doesn’t every city on that list mentioned above deserve them? Last night, Paris was the Beirut of Europe. These comparisons are unfair. “Beirut” equals carnage and chaos while “Paris” equals savoir faire and luxury.
Beirut, you have always wanted to be like Paris, the mother that left you when you were young. But dear Beirut, Paris never wanted to be like you because being like you would mean she doesn’t matter to the rest of the world and we all know that’s not true.
It’s an ugly world these days.
Stay strong and stay safe.