There was a time in Beirut when, what seemed like a mammoth structure, black and white stripes ascending up to the skies, played a major role in this city. Built on a little hill facing the Mediterranean Sea, the tallest one in the land, it stood still, proud, and useful. Now it stands there suffocating for air minisculed by the huge buildings around it. It stands there although still perceptible, yet useless in all its might.
As the stillness and splendor of the sea glints,
I casually walk down the open skies facing it. The warm morning sun, wind bearing taste of waves, calming sapphire waters, creases upon the shore,
bringing mild currents,
crashing onto the rocks, carrying with it the crisp salty Mediterranean sea breeze that hum a tune that is forever Ras Beirut.
Scanning the landscape with its
breathtaking aerial view, they
Dreams are made of this
flight of fancy soaring higher,
dodging the clouds,
and kissing the blue
formations so exquisite
across the ether. They fly in circle in a chanting meditative manner. Dancing in loops, till they all seem like they are merging into one. The progression of their dance rhythm reminds me of the whirling Sufis.
There’s something beautiful about the way people drink their coffee in the morning. In their gaze are slow long sips of determination, routine, hope, and caffeine. I can’t help but wonder what daily battles they’re preparing for.
Hamra Street runs parallel to the Mediterranean coast. It is one of the main streets of Beirut. Due to the numerous sidewalk cafes and theaters that used to be around it, Hamra used to be the center of intellectual activity in Beirut during the 1960s and 1970s. It remains one of the last authentic bastions of liberalism and tolerance in the Middle East and the only cosmopolitan street in all of Lebanon. It’s the one place where sectarian, religious, and political differences don’t matter much for the people who live there. Streets have a life of their own, a life that they claim. They don’t just document the walk of history, the sound of wars and victories; they also go a long way to establish the culture of a city.