A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

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

poster boys for a new Beirut

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 9, 2008

The city looked beautiful from afar this morning – beautiful, but deceptive. I don’t imagine that most people there currently find it beautiful, although the sun is shining and last night’s rain has freshened the air and the streets. (We hoped for a hurricane, but although it hailed up here, in Beirut the rain seems to have been a gentle spring drizzle.)

I’m tired of taking photographs from the hills, I’m tired of seeing my area on satellite television, and I’m tired of hearing the sounds of male personalities and female newscasters – and its been less than a day. Patience is not one of my virtues.

What I am thinking about (aside from tea, and the soon-to-be pressing question of why I packed three outfits but no underwear) is the Civil War posters exhibit that H and I saw last month.

This one was my favorite – its by the “National Lebanese Resistance (Ministry of the South)”, but I like to think of it as “speaking truth to power”:

But that wasn’t what the Civil War was about. It was about speaking small bits of power to other small bits of power, and pretending that holding a corner or a street was the most important thing in the world.

The poster exhibit that we saw had many posters, but the biggest number by far was the posters commemorating those who died for a corner, a street, or – if they were lucky – a hotel or government building.

A whole wall of pointless martyrdoms, in service of a war that ended with no victor:

This country has enough martyrdom issues already – there’s no need to fill another wall with posters from this week’s ishtibakat.

One Response to “poster boys for a new Beirut”

  1. Rami said

    I never knew there was a ministry for the south before.. I should research about that..
    I wish I attended that exhibit!

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