As teens living outside the city, Beirut, represented for us the chance of change, and for some it was the freedom, and the land of dreams come true. Our short visits were to escape the routine life and enjoy the smallest things as a featured movie premiere, shopping, and the small adventures. The people of the city seemed to be the happiest on earth for us. By the time we had to attend university, those who moved to Beirut were called the lucky ones. They were So-called Lucky, for having the chance of moving to the city with the baggage of dreams and ambitions, which will soon become real.
The reality though hits you in the face, the dream city is in fact the dream destroyer, the people of the city are afraid to get out and face the sun. Heads down they move, their daily habits are robotic wise, and their nightlife isn’t but a way to hide their misery, and breakdowns. This city embraces the little of its people and ignores the rest.
Looking back at younger versions of you, the ones of big dreams, the ones with highly ambitions, and all you see is a bunch of dreams leftovers. The lucky ones are no longer here they left to a city where they can feel alive again. The ones here are living a life of an adventure, surprises are an every day event, working towards a dream, running and running until it becomes part of them. Where happy news are surprising, and success will come after you’re too exhausted to enjoy it; where the taste of it is no longer meaningful.
Beirut bewitches you into loving it, loving every part of this clumsy stupid city, the city of contradictions, the city of magic, ugliness, and beauty. It reflects on you it’s useless past and unconcealed problems, it crushes you and brings you to life everyday with every step.
The old version of you, the dreamful, ambitious person, the one that wanted to change everything , to step over any obstacle, and go beyond the negativity of the daily life, is now just an image and a reflection of this city. You are a reflection of its old buildings, which are fighting everyday to keep on breathing, a reflection of its dark pathways and scary alleys. Only on good days you feel the belonging to the beauty of this capital city.
You now are one of this city’s faces, one of the people moving around with a smile, and burying in the truth of this clumsy, stupid, crazy, enchanted city. This city is clumsy indeed; nothing in it is but a big mess and bunch of things and nothing.