Beirut: The Feeling


Joe Bejjani


Impermanence, a state I've learned to accept.

Afterall, everything is impermanent, trees and buildings once stand tall, and then they just fall...

People live, build memories, and then leave... along with the wind, along with the evolving times and changing seasons...

Impermanence is such a beautiful state, and we live in such peace knowing that we too, are impermanent...

Who we love, what we achieve, what we build and how much we earn, are all impermanent, and that is how we learn to value the present moment more.

Sometimes we feel that pain is permanent, yet time finds a way to heal and restore the broken parts.

But deep inside, certain memories await answers, and the waiting even though quiet, is always there.

Maybe the Truth isn't bright enough, to defeat the darkness

Or it is more about having better eyes to see, to look to Truth and not turn away our vision… to return to the comfort of dim and familiarity…

I still feel the warmth of Beirut, the hope it carries, the people that still carry-on despite everything.

Beirut has come to symbolize so much to me, a city of hope, of permanent hope and everlasting beauty.

Beirut, whose scars still decorate, and who still finds a place for splendor and charm to exist.

Beirut, we still remember, we'll always remember, but we love you more than just for a memory.

We love you for your glorious past, thriving present, and faithful future, but even more so,

we love you because a city is rarely a role model for us people;

the way you keep standing again after every crisis

the way you embrace and accept yourself in all the diverse aspects of your personality;

the way you see yourself, your whole past, and still hope for a better tomorrow.

Beirut, we yearn for justice to unfold
Every day, we hope that truth be told
In us we still find a candle, a beacon of hope, meaning where there is emptiness
Reveal to us the path Beirut, help us restore
Unity in the face of tragedy, light in the face of darkness
To build back better, and where there is beauty… to add more

Beirut, you are not just a place
You are an emotional state
A state of mind
A motivation
A loving family and …a wonderful story.

I visit the place called Beirut, but Beirut is more like a feeling
I imagine myself there, in my beloved Beirut
I’m here in your busy streets, walking, thinking, discovering
As I’m writing, thinking, discovering

The long black sentence printed in front of me seems like an asphalt road
And I’m walking on it

I’m walking over my own words, jump over my commas like I jump over obstacles on the road

Beirut, I’m writing your streets, I’m feeling the same feeling as if I’m in Hamra or Achrafieh

I’m feeling every word like I’m taking every step

I’m walking to the sea, and every word I write is slowly getting me there

As I arrive near Raouche, I feel my words turn into bridges

High above the sea

One links Beirut to the world

The other links it to our dreams

Beirut, the city where so many people started, before going to the four corners of the world…

Beirut, where so many dreams have sprouted, before drowning in the sea or reaching for the stars…

Beirut, I feel like Beirut, …

Or maybe I became, a piece of you

Like you became a piece of me.

But one thing is for sure

You’re much more than a city!