A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

Lebanon, or how I learned to love the bomb

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on February 13, 2007

The streets of Beirut are filled with graffiti. Over the weekend, this image began appearing on a little side street in Hamra.

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I haven’t seen it anywhere else, and nor had Charles, with whom I just finished a very nice afternoon coffee.

Here it is in situ:

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In some ways it seems the perfect image for this day, and for tomorrow: Happy Valentine’s Day from Lebanon, with love and bombs.

On the way to lunch with my friend C (not Charles – today was a day for seeing friends named C), my taxi got stuck behind one of the Hariri-mobiles.

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Cars (or, as in this case, mini-vans) plastered with posters of Hariri (this one shows him with his son Saad, in a not entirely flattering photo-shopped-in image of the latter. not that this influences his leadership abilities, but he’s much better looking than he appears here.) and the Lebanese flag drive around Hariri-friendly parts of the city.

Loudspeakers mounted on the roof play a constant stream of speeches, songs, and other Hariri-related auditory memorabilia. The one that has been patrolling my neighborhood has a beautiful, haunting collection of songs; this mini-van favored the heavily orchestrated, “popular” type songs.

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I find the expressions of politics here fascinating. Seeing (and hearing) cars draped in flags, playing music and exhorting citizens to support particular candidates, is something one only rarely sees in the United States. I doubt it would do more than raise a few eyebrows in Iowa, but I imagine it has played a role in Chicago elections.

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2 Responses to “Lebanon, or how I learned to love the bomb”

  1. madmouser said

    Interesting…

  2. […] see that in the meantime it has been tagged by the heart-bomb graffiti artist, who has been peppering Hamra with a new crop of February’s romantically […]

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