May 13, 2015

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Photographs from Yemen: What’s at Stake

Throughout the Old City spray painted slogans stain a labyrinth of ancient passages, forcing them to incite “Death to America.” Along my office commute in the morning-fresh air or among veiled crowds racing sundown in the market, a threatening imminence droned like white noise in my head. “You could be next.” Tribal kidnappings were on […]

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April 3, 2015

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What a Real Caliphate Looks Like

What a Real Caliphate Looks Like Back to Beirut It’s been three eventful years to the week since my first reluctant departure from Lebanon, the country that has become my second home. Between then and now I’ve had a little memoir’s worth of travel experiences I never anticipated, some of which may be useful to you: […]

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September 13, 2012

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Last Call for Blue Sky

Last Call for Blue Sky Rumor Has it… I had heard rumor of Beirut’s lost park, a fence enclosed sanctuary large enough to preserve the last of the ancient pine forest, yet hidden somehow in plain sight. Between the chilling rain and the nine-to-five-grind my search wound up shelved for most of the winter. Nearly […]

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March 27, 2012

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The Tomb of the Syrian Prince

A Weekend in Lebanon My memory of Lebanon is forever linked with the backseat conversations of weekend service van travels. There is something about the motorists’ get-away-driver mindset and their centrifugal turns that seems to bring out the whimsicality in everyone. Herein lies some of the best advice I can offer to the Middle East sightseer: […]

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February 29, 2012

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Hezbollah’s Jihad-Themed Theme Park

Mleeta Museum  Surrealism  Lebanon’s civil war has been described as a house of mirrors in that “it was easier to find your way in than to find your way out,” (Thomas Friedman). The longer the war dragged on the more disorienting the “house” became until the most impossible ironies emerged as Lebanon’s very reality. At […]

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February 18, 2012

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My Favorite Place in Lebanon

My Favorite Place in Lebanon My Favorite Place  There hadn’t been any mention of it in the guide book, but as the evening light colored the air a shade of warm orange and a refreshing breeze found its way through the gaps in the ramparts, I knew I had found my favorite place in Lebanon. The battered […]

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January 26, 2012

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Dear Egypt: Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary Egypt The Winds of Change Our motorcycle operator banked to avoid the crowds as we navigated the spaces between demonstrators and tire fires.  The wind from our forward motion pushed against my face and forced a cloud of heavy, oily-black smoke into my lungs. In what was most likely an attempt to thwart the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian regime had […]

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December 17, 2011

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South Lebanon

South Lebanon Southern Lebanon Although the country is just over a tenth the size of my home state (smaller even than the country of Whales), the Catholics of the north often spoke of the south as if it were a world away. Many of Beirut’s Christians have never actually been to the south, remaining within […]

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November 4, 2011

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Caves to Cable Cars

Caves to Cable Cars The Jeita Gratto Having both met Walid Jumblatt and visited Balbeck our intensive weekend was followed by a relaxed  tour in the north. After the remarkable sights and experiences of the Beqaa Valley our latest trip had a well welcomed vacation like feel. We made our first stop at the Jeita […]

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October 26, 2011

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All Roads Lead to Lebanon: Part II

All Roads Lead to Lebanon: Part II The Beqaa Valley The bus picked up speed as we rolled earthward along the mountain’s declining edge. It was turning out to be a sunny day despite the polluted haze that settled in the bottom of the gorge. I was finally face to face with the sprawling Beqaa […]

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