Alien in Beirut

"Give your daughters difficult names. Give your daughters names that command the full use of tongue. My name makes you want to tell me the truth. My name doesn’t allow me to trust anyone that cannot pronounce it right." Warsan Shire.

Resident of Beirut, citizen of Ireland, lover of animals, travel, cute places and the craic (having fun).

All content on this page is my own opinion unless stated or sourced otherwise.

I reserve all rights over photos on this blog, unless authorship is expressly attributed to another.

Deir al Qamar

When you love someone but are powerless to help them

Sun reflecting on the sea

Mobile shop in Deir el Qamar

Beiteddine Palace

Around Old Batroun

The ancient Phoenician wall in Batroun is still standing and still serving its purpose of protecting the locals from the strong waves of the Mediterranean Sea more than 3000 years later.

The name of Batroun is said to be related to this wall, coming from the Phoenician word “bater”, meaning to cut (the force of the sea), though not all agrees with this association.

Quirky and old Batroun

The volume of child beggars is increasing at an alarming rate in Beirut. Unsurprising, given the continuous pour of Syrian refugees into this tiny land. Working in Hamra is a constant reminder of the alarming numbers. Unlike in Achrafieh or Downtown, where Syrians are less tolerated, you cannot walk across the street without being accosted. As a white person I am very much targeted. The children are taught young. But there is a change occurring, there are more children and everyday they are different children where previously you might have seen the same faces in the same areas. Trafficking of minors is very obviously at play here but worryingly, the beggar children are slowly becoming violent. A reflection of how they are being treated and the lives they are enduring. These are children who will grow up angry and with a grudge against the entire world for what they are going through. And, who could blame them.

On Saturday evening, a child beggar not more than 6 years old approached our table. He couldn’t focus on anything and was very agitated. He didn’t ask for money, he directly began hitting people and before I could stop him he made a bee-line for a half smoked but still lit cigarette in the center of the table and directly tried to stub it out on my arm.

A child repeats what it learns, this child began shaking his head afterwards in a nonsensical way showing signs of severe mental issues or the side effects of drugs, which is a very real possibility here where there are no boundaries to what is done or forced from the children beggars.

Ixsir Winery is modern and innovative (like the art that is on display there) but a little limited. Very tasty Rose wine.

Straight from sea and in my tummy

Batroun and it’s pebbly beaches

The Blue Mosque

Consider this: Lebanon is hosting 1.14 million refugees from Syria, the equivalent of 83 million refugees in the United States — or the combined population of California, Texas, and New York. And what has the United States done to relieve the human burden on Lebanon and Syria’s other neighbors? In the first 10 months of fiscal year 2014, the US admitted a grand total of 63 Syrian refugees.

Our growing collection of travel books from most places we have travelled to and where we are going next. My favorite is a book from Iceland by the rather infamous Hugleikur Dagsson called “My Pussy is hungry”