Beyrouth 2

Spent yesterday afternoon with Waleed Akar, the owner of Mojo's Jazz Club here in Beyrouth, and his journalist friend. They took me to the sea for lunch - an opulent meal of fried fish, fresh hummus, taboule, stuffed grape leaves and the thinnest pita bread I have ever seen. AND, very incongruously, French Fries. I saw a guy fishing on the beach and asked the journalist, if it was ok to fish so close to the coast. He told me that you can't really eat that fish, if there is any, because the sea is still polluted from the 2006 war with Israel, when several oil tankers were destroyed. The Lebanese get their fish from Turkey. That made me incredibly sad.
Politics are a huge topic here, especially what is going on in the Gaza strip right now. Protests on the square in front of the international office building downtown have lasted three days, but apparently the protesters have been asked by the government to cease their sit-ins, that they have made their point. The border to Israel is only about 50 miles from here, so the whole drama feels slightly more imminent than when I read about it in New York.
The population here is generally tri-lingual, due to the various occupations over the last couple of centuries (most notably the French and the British), with everybody here speaking Arabic, French and English. So far I have managed to learn one word in Arabic - shoukran, which means "Thank you". (the spelling might be completely off, since this is more or less phonetic). So communicating with the audience during my shows has been fairly easy. Tonight we'll have one more show, and then I will finally have a drink!
My flight back to New York leaves on Sunday morning at 2am. Red eye, here I come! But first, one more show, and, hopefully, a trip to downtown Beyrouth.


  1. this is so exciting and your post is like being there. It's a city I always wanted to visit.


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