In 2006, I survived the invasion of Lebanon and the passing of my best friend Maya. After a period of darkness, I found the strength to live again. I wrote this book as a tribute to Maya and an attempt to forgive Beirut. Beirut, I Love You, spanning from 1994 to the present day, brings Beirut to life in all its glory and contradictions and is filled with personal anecdotes of my life there: a place where, in spite of the pervasive desire for hope and the resilience of its people, still bears deep scars from wars and invasions. Beirut is a place where plastic surgery and AK 47s live side by side and nightclubs are situated on rooftops in order to avoid car bombs. In Beirut, we live like there's no tomorrow. Written with an honest, profound simplicity, I am intoxicated by my country’s contradictions. Maya and I, refused to accept the extreme poles of Beirut, the militias and gender restrictions on one side, hedonism and materialism on the other. And although I experienced tragedy and loss, I believe that my story is a testament to the power of love and friendship, and the beauty of my city and its inhabitants.
What are the main takeaways from this story?
Love is the answer.
Forgiveness is the path.
We are all connected.
Describe a "good" failure in your process or explain how potential challenges resulted in opportunities to learn or grow.
Not signing up with a big commercial publisher allowed me to be more active in the way my book is sold and distributed. Although it's a lot more work, it has proven to be very rewarding as I got to meet a lot of wonderful people, making beautiful personal connections along the way...
What was the biggest challenge or biggest surprise?
Although the book is based in Beirut, it has been received very well internationally... so much so, that it's on it's way to becoming a feature film!
Explain how to share this project with your community?
A story of two best friends who never give up on hope.