A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

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

Back to Beirut

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on January 29, 2008

Last night my aunt and uncle took me to what turned out to be a five star, no holds barred Moroccan restaurant in Fehaheel (see my aunt’s post for a full review). I didn’t even order a tajine – I wanted to try the entrees, and they were delicious.

Carrots, eggplant, lentils, tomato salad – by the time I finished my stomach hurt from being so full. I was just starting to recover when the waitstaff brought a plate of sweets … and the two cookies I had pushed my stomach right past the tipping point once again.

My very dear friend M, with whom I have had many Arabic language and Arab World adventures, defines two categories of fullness: full to the point of pressure, and full to the point of pain. I was beyond pain last night – and it was worth it, because the food was so good.

When Moroccan food is not good, it is pretty average: oily and tasteless. But when it is good, it is really, really good – and Marrakesh’s food was delicious.

There is a reason why many Moroccans have come to prefer French baguettes to Moroccan bread – but last night even the bread was good:


And now I am back home, blogging in my chilly, coming-back-to-life apartment as the rain falls. Its a wild weather day in Beirut – when H picked me up at the airport, we were nearly blown away by the wind (though to be honest I like the way it gave my hair some much needed extra body).

As I finished booting up my computer and sat down at my desk, the rain turned to hail – rapid-fire balls of ice crashing madly onto my patio. I haven’t seen such weather since … well .. since I was in Jerusalem, almost precisely two years ago. There’s something about this January/February season that lends itself to madness, I think, although the scientific side of me scoffs: “how would you prove that?”

I don’t know. But I do know that bombings, protests and snipers notwithstanding I am very happy to be back home, especially since the electricity was on when I arrived.


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