Friday, August 5, 2022

Feer McQueen says Beirut smells of hope rather than toxic fumes.

So apparently Beirut smells like hope according to Feer McQeen.

No, really. Hope.

Ok let's recap. Yesterday was the second commemoration of the infamous August 4 explosion which destroyed major fragments of Beirut. Each one of us reacted differently - some still traumatized, some barely recovering, others faring much better (after a short bout of PTSD and having lived the whole 1975-1990 war in Lebanon I reacted better than most knowing I cheated death twice that day).

Still, if Beirut smells like anything - apart from the silly "vibes" everyone was posting on Instagram and Tiktok (mainly expats here 2 weeks " trois petits tours et puis s'en vont" as the song says) - it definitely, NOT of hope.

Electricity is barely existent and the generator rates are through the roof. People are reluctant to turn the AC on because it might end up costing - literally - a fortune. Banks are still holding our money hostage and this applies to people in the capital as well. Inflation is in the triple digits (250 times!). I need not go on. But hope does not factor in the equation.

Worse, the silos (which have shielded part of Beirut from total destruction) and which many people have called for their preservation as a monument have been disintegrating - ironically, a part of them fell almost to the minute on the day of the second commemoration (another part had fallen a few days earlier).

So photoshopping a green tree on the top of an old photograph of the silos as they appeared post-explosion and claiming that Beirut smells - not of noxious fumes (which environmental experts have been cautioning about) - but of "hope" is honestly, borderline insulting.