Here is a lovely image of old Beirut – one of my favourites. Saw it again courtesy this website
As I digress, Faiz’s immortal poem on Beirut that was recently posted by Mohib on his blog. I am reminded that Faiz in the words of Edward Said “found a welcome of sorts in strife-torn Beirut” and I quote a few lines here:
“Beirut, the world’s beloved,
Beirut, rival to the garden of paradise…
Your children’s eyes, those glistening mirrors,
Smashed in the dust,
Have become the stars that illuminate your nights…
Faces beautified with the rouge called blood
Whose glamorous reflection paints the city’s streets…
The ruin of every house is equal to Xerxes’ palace in splendor
Every fighter is Alexander’s envy,
every girl is as beautiful as Helen…
[Battleground: The True Subject of Love: Selected Poems of Faiz Ahmed Faiz translated by Naomi Lazard. Vanguard Press, Lahore, 1988]
The Urdu version can be found here.
When will peace return to Beirut?