BEIRUT, 2018

In April, 2018 I returned to Beirut, Lebanon. My last visit was during the summer of 2006, as an undergraduate student. As many people know, I was caught in the 2006 war (which inevitably shaped me and my research interests as an human/artist/scholar) and was evacuated from Lebanon to Cyprus. Beirut had made a tremendous impact on me and I had always dreamed of returning. Finally, this year, I had the opportunity to attend the al-Andalus and Latin America conference at the American University of Beirut where I presented a paper on Palestinian Theatre in Portugal and Chile (in addition to the connections between theatre traditions and audiences in the Arab World and Latin America). This brought me back to Beirut, the city that has always been part of my heart. 

 This is Raouche Rock (a.k.a. Pigeons’ Rock/Sabah Nassar’s Rock). It is one of Beirut’s most beautiful natural sites. It marks the most western tip of the city. I took a boat ride through the rock and the many caves that line the Mediterranean coast. 

This is Raouche Rock (a.k.a. Pigeons’ Rock/Sabah Nassar’s Rock). It is one of Beirut’s most beautiful natural sites. It marks the most western tip of the city. I took a boat ride through the rock and the many caves that line the Mediterranean coast. 

 Did I mention there are caves? Outside of Beirut in the mountains is the  Jeita Grotto , some of the most extraordinary caves in the world. I didn't get there this time but seeing the coastal caves certainly inspired a trip for the next time I return to Lebanon.

Did I mention there are caves? Outside of Beirut in the mountains is the Jeita Grotto, some of the most extraordinary caves in the world. I didn't get there this time but seeing the coastal caves certainly inspired a trip for the next time I return to Lebanon.

 Coastal view. 

Coastal view. 

 Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque in downtown, Beirut

Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque in downtown, Beirut

 Roman ruins and Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque in downtown, Beirut. When I was here in 2006 the mosque was still under construction.

Roman ruins and Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque in downtown, Beirut. When I was here in 2006 the mosque was still under construction.

 Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque in downtown, Beirut

Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque in downtown, Beirut

 View of Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque from under St. George Cathedral.

View of Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque from under St. George Cathedral.

 Sunset outside of Beirut. 

Sunset outside of Beirut. 

 St. George Cathedral and Roman ruins in Downtown, Beirut. 

St. George Cathedral and Roman ruins in Downtown, Beirut. 

 View from inside the Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque in downtown Beirut

View from inside the Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque in downtown Beirut

 Nejmeh Square Clock Tower. This was one of the few historic structures to survive the Civil War 1975-1990).

Nejmeh Square Clock Tower. This was one of the few historic structures to survive the Civil War 1975-1990).

 Street art. 

Street art. 

 More street art near Hamra Street in Beirut. 

More street art near Hamra Street in Beirut.