Thursday, 8 March 2012

Join us this evening in Dubai to talk " Beirut and its culture in the 21st century"

There’s so much to say about Beirut and its culture in the 21st century that I’m trying to keep my thoughts organized for my session this evening with Hani Soubra, author of the book “Letters to Dalia: Reflections on Lebanon and the Middle East,” which takes as its starting point the civil war in Lebanon and is a fascinating commentary on the machinations of political groups in the region, exploring what Hani calls ‘the abuse of religion and ideology’. The session will be moderated by Wafa Tarnowska, CSR lady extraordinaire and bestselling children’s book author.

As we prepared for the session yesterday the three of us (as most Lebanese often do) found ourselves in passionate discussion in the green room of the Emirates Airlines Festival Of Literature where the session will take place at 7:30 p.m this evening.

How should we look at Beirut’s culture in this day and time? We wondered. Should we all be negative because so many of the 20th century problems that we all know and hate still dominate our cultural, social, economic and political landscape or should we celebrate the traits that make Beirut such an endearing and fascinating city: its undefeated spirit, the will to survive and its love of arts and letters.

I guess we’ll find out this evening in what I know will be a very interesting debate. If you’re in town and want to participate, please drop by the Intercontinental Hotel Dubai Festival City, Al Khaimah Room, 7:30 p.m. Or let me know your thoughts before that so I can bring them up in the discussion.

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