A city of beauty and destruction, humor and sadness, growth and stagnation. Where green and red lights mean maybe, and the only thing needed to cross the street is confidence. I’ll admit it, I was afraid of you at first. Fear dissipates with experience, familiarity, knowing.
You draw me in as I walk your streets, confess your desires to me for hours as I sip coffee. A lesbian who walks the homophobic streets with her partner, dreaming of Armenia. A Lebenese man who grew up in Saudi trying to make a living in Beirut. A man my age who wants to get married but can’t make enough money to be self-sufficient, romanitzing Canada, supporting Hezbollah. Stories shape the way I see the world.
A generation has lived through a war and wants peace. A new generation has seen corruption and wants revolution.
A lesbian couple from Syria wants to be seen and accepted in the street. Educated men want jobs and lives of their own. People want to move freely in the world, a government that works for the people. Are these not far off from my own desires?
Fires burn in the streets of Beirut. I’m not part of it but I feel the energy, the movement, The revolution. Being there makes me complicit.
Beirut invites me in, telling me it’s stories, feeding me, educating me, I slowly fall in love. I become part of it, for this moment.
I walked into the protests. Your protests. Your tear gas burns my face and rubber bullets shoot out around me. Explosions express the deep desires of the people.
It may not be my revolution, but I feel like I’m in it. A deep yearning for change. Action.
Onions soothe my burning face, I run with the masses, going nowhere, but feeling like it’s necessary. I dodge rubber bullets, I don’t know where I’m running, but I run with you.
I lay in bed thinking about revolution, Beirut.