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  • Beirut is the capital of Lebanon, a small country in the Middle East, on the east coast of the Mediterranean. People will also give it names like, Pearl of the East, Bride of the Sea, Heaven on Earth, Jewel of the Two Easts (Middle and Far).
    It is also the city I was born in, long time ago, on a November evening.

    It is a place that many people of my generation have a very complex love-hate relationship with.
    Because we were born and/or grew up in Civil War.
    To us, as to everyone else in the east, there is always a special and sentimental value for the place of birth. Most of the time, I try to ask myself if it really exists inside or do we make it up to avoid the shame of saying, "I don't like my homeland."

    This city is inhabited by crazy people. They lead insane lives. They party like crazy. They eat like crazy. They love and laugh like crazy. They drive like crazy. And they fight like crazy. Everything is bizarre about the Lebanese spirit. The common explanation for this insanity is that we don't know when death will strike (coz it might come at any given moment) so we live our life to the fullest.

    I would love to declare that I hate Beirut. But I can't. I will be so passionate in explaining the reasons why I hate it, that you (and even I) will be sure I am in love with it. Let alone that I may feel guilty - but that's on the side.

    Beirut hurts me big time. It always reminds me of the FEAR during wartime. Like the German film title says, fear eats the soul. It really does. If you don't fight it with hope and love and happiness. Sometimes in Beirut, like tonight, I feel that one day I would like to leave this city and watch it disappear in the sea and laugh at it. Beirut is that cruel. Because it is beautiful. It brought the worst in human beings. They killed each other for it. They ruined our childhood over it. They messed up the lives of mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, lovers...generations because of it.

    Beirut is strange. I love it. I hate it.
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