Beirut Snapshots: contemporary oriental music meets studio 54 and Lebanon’s Costa Concordia

Back to work yesterday after a weekend which cannot really be called a break from work, but was nevertheless a lot of fun. After a busy but very enjoyable week at the Daily Star, where I had the opportunity to write lots of culture articles, I spent Friday night baby-sitting. Samuele is used to me by now, which makes life easier when it comes to getting him to sleep. I am growing to love him dearly, though I do think he thinks he’s a dog, as evidenced by his reaction when I try to wash his face which is to lick me enthusiastically. He also took his chance while I was reaching for the towel and decided the simplest way to dry his face was just to wipe it energetically on the shoulder of my jumper, while attempting to chew it at the same time, thus proving his ability to multitask.

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Return to the Qadisha Valley

Despite the somewhat terrifying experience of my first trip to the Valley of the Saints it is such a beautiful place that when my aunt Chantal, who loves hiking in the mountains, came to visit me I simply had to take her there.

We spent the first couple of days of her visit in and around Beirut, drinking tea and eating biscuits and smoking argileh on the corniche watching the sunset. We went on a day trip to Byblos, which, along with Damascus, claims to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, believed to have been founded in 5000BC. Continue reading