|One more crumbling building in the |
port area, swathed in scaffolding,
(7 Apr. 2021 - Karantina-Beirut)
But anyone who has handled a razor knows that one must also use a thing called “soap”. But not this day. Could it have had something to do with the lockdown? I’m not sure. Perhaps if a policeman had come along, banging on the daraba, demanding to know if barbering was happening inside, the barber could have legitimately said, “No, I am not barbering,” since one does not shave without soap, right? Because if you are shaving someone without soap, your intent is to inflict as much pain as possible on the hapless person draped with a sheet and confined to your barber chair (i.e., me), and not to produce a smiling, satisfied customer.
|The frustration, disillusionment and hope |
expressed in graffiti on the barrier wall
at the port. (7 Apr. 2021 - Beirut)
Shaving without soap is something existing all around us, especially when the subject is politics. The claims of Lebanese politicians, each the servant of some wealthy, unseen master locally, or in the region, or in powerful states, fits this phrase. One of them insists that he is honest and concerned for the suffering of the Lebanese people, while another says that no, he, not the other, is the one who truly has the people at heart, and on it goes. (And if you don’t like my use of the generic singular pronoun, I encourage you take a closer look at Lebanese politics.) Their concern for the poor is touching, except that none of them know the pain of those families who are reducing their daily meals to two a day, and then to one. None of them (no, not one) know the misery of those who sell their household possessions, piece by piece, in order to pay school or university tuition. Or the shame of having to receive handout after handout from NGOs, while the heads of the banking association and the Central Bank governor, in their grotesque charade, waste day after precious day pointing fingers at one another while the Lebanese Pound continues its downward spiral, and hyperinflation its upward spiral. A shave of the head as well as the beard, without any soap.
|A traditional ibriq made of recycled |
glass recovered from the Aug. 4 blast.
(27 Feb. 2021 - Geitawi-Beirut)
|A biblically-appropriate house built upon the |
rock, with a beautiful view of Lebanon's
true beauty. (8 Apr. 2021 - Hammana)
|A few of the hundreds of olive trees newly |
planted on the Armenian Evangelical Church
campus, next to the Christian Endeavor Hall.
(2 Apr. 2021 - Ainjar)
|A traditional and oft-seen do-it-yourself |
parade through our neighborhood. Literally,
a Good Friday Caravan (get it?).
(2 Apr. 2021 - Geitawi, Beirut)
A few days ago I took a walk back to the site of the port explosion. Seeing the quantity of repair and restoration yet to be done is staggering. And the Lebanese are feeling it all the more as lengthy, daily power cuts pile on top of the crashing economy, the political intransigence, the pandemic, and the social despair. It has been difficult for me to think during the past few months, difficult to know how to express myself, as evidenced by my lack of writing.
|LebCat 43: It's spring, and kittens are in bloom. |
Mom and her three future LebCats.
(6 Apr. 2021 - Qobaiyat, Beirut)