A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

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

let the sun shine

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on July 13, 2007

The other night I decided to walk through downtown after an evening in Gemayze. (No, I hadn’t been drinking – I just think that treating downtown as a normal space is the only way to make it one.)

It was achingly empty. Even Gemmayze, with its third-full restaurants & bars, was more lively.

Last night I played a bit further with the color/contrast/brightness options on my photo editor. This is what a brightened, light-saturated view of upper downtown looks like:

 

al-azarieh-bright.jpg

The sun shines bright and beautiful here during Lebanon’s long summers – a light that can be as deceptive as it is warming.

A year ago today I spent most of a beautiful day indoors, frightened by what chaos might lurk in the streets. A year ago tomorrow I walked around downtown with C and another friend, part of a larger self-guided tour to see for ourselves how different areas were responding to the first day of bombing.

And a year ago Sunday I left, driving up and over the mountains on the most beautiful day yet – a day whose blue skies looked to my eyes just like those of New York nearly six years ago.

After a long dark year, Lebanon needs the sun to shine for real – starting with the south and starting with downtown, those two far-apart regions brought much closer by the protests of last winter. The heart of Beirut should not feel like the set of a play after the production has closed.

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