Beirutista's Debut Press Coverage

Yesterday the renowned Lebanese newspaper Annahar published a half-page feature on Beirutista. It is divided into two parts: journalist Reine Bou Moussa’s article and an essay piece written by me in the spirit of my blog, entitled “Why We Come Back to Lebanon.” For those of you who cannot read Arabic, I’ll quickly summarize the article: my original aim with Beirutista was two-fold. First, it was a vehicle through which I could put pen to paper and give life to my thoughts as a Lebanese-American recently taking up residence in Lebanon. Second, it was an efficient correspondence tool with my friends in the USA—where I was born and “nurtured,” as the author put it. The blog, an online diary of sorts, allowed me to convey or dish up life in Lebanon to those who had never before set foot on its soil—these readers could vicariously live through me. But one of Beirutista’s unintended consequences in fact was unearthing a myriad of readers who shared exactly in my experiences, from my foreign upbringing, long summers spent in Lebanon, a dream of settling in the homeland of my ancestors, and an ineffaceable love of Lebanon, even in the midst of its inadequacies, troubles, and turmoil.
I started this blog a year and half ago. I created my own little forum where I’ve passionately discoursed and reflected on everything from life in these parts versus the Western world; food and restaurants; my childhood (particularly the ongoing “Caught in Between” series); motivations for coming to Lebanon; and things that make me tick. The volume of positive feedback, the outpouring of readers who identified with my experiences, the general praise and warmth my readership resonated to me have all made me eager to “keep it coming.” And I promise I will.
Nearly a decade ago, I was applying to American undergraduate universities, and on one application, I was asked to fill an empty page with anything of my choosing—it could be a piece of writing, an illustration, a photo—whatever my creative little self desired. After much rumination, I decided I’d write a newspaper article from the future, an article wherein I was being praised for a lofty contribution to science and engineering that had indelibly changed society. Modest? Probably not, but then again, college applications are notoriously good at making you sound arrogant as you struggle to display your uniqueness and secure a highly sought-after spot at the institution. Did it do the job? Well, I did get admitted—and it was to the famously competitive Caltech in Pasadena. (I ended up declining, but that’s another story.)
Fast forward to the present. Reality. Did I fulfill my self-designed crystal ball? Well, I made it to a regionally acclaimed newspaper! Sure, I didn’t discover something groundbreaking or even remotely enhance the way in which we live, but honestly, I couldn’t be more thrilled. Thank you, readers. Thank you, Miss Bou Moussa. Thank you, Annahar. And thank you, world. Beirutista appreciates you.

Comments

  1. Yes read that on the plane while I was coming back from Dubai, and this is why I am writing today.. )) I like the simplicity and genuity of your blog.. It also seems we work close-by (near the now-famous Starco). our offices were devastated that day ( which luckily I have taken it off). Unfortunately two of my colleagues were lightly injured.. zamatna... and welcome to Lebanon where I have been living for the last 4 years after 10 years in paris and 4 in boston.. keep up the good work.

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    1. Hi Wassim, thank you for writing! I've passed by Starco several times since the blast, and it's obvious what a hit it took. I hope your colleagues are okay, but what a panic it must have induced. It's fortunate you were away that day.

      Indeed we've lived in the same cities. Beirut is such a change. While I do miss the relative comfort and reassurance of living in a Western country, I don't miss the Boston cold or the Paris gloom! Don't you agree? :)

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    2. Hamdilla we are over it.. It is so amazing this capacity of us lebanese to overcome crisis or shocks...24-48 hours after the explosion, all is back to normal and we are back at work.
      I loved Boston and Paris, each is sepcial in a way.. the Cold Boston gave me my first learning on the outer world (the US, the american way of doing business,..) and Lovely Paris gave me an environment which I felt close to home..
      Now that I am back at home .. I hope this home wont be ruined by us, lebanese citizens.. crossing fingers ))

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  2. You're unstoppable Danielle! Bravo :D Glad to hear one of your dreams became a reality; quite inspirational!

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    1. Thank you, Sandy! Still much to be done, but it's exciting!

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