Bourdain went beyond the facile clichés of my hometown—that it is the Paris of the Middle East; that it rose like a phoenix after its civil war; that it is treasured for its clubbing and beach parties, its effervescent art and design scene, its food and general joie de vivre. He put his finger on something deeper: “Everything wrong with the world is here.”Lessons From Beirut, Where the Center Ground Is Gone – The Atlantic
Never has this felt truer than now, when Beirut, like much of the world, feels unmoored and broken, on hold but also changing rapidly, squeezed between the coronavirus, populism, and economic unraveling. Because it is Beirut, we experience all this with a crushing intensity. And because we are in Beirut, we’ve already been here. We know that waiting for the end of something, anything, does not truly provide a fresh start, and certainly not a return to the way things were before.