At the concert, working-class folk rush, but collectively they look stagnant. The pressure of constant friction has put them in progressive stasis, orbiting a light. In the hadra of the Mouath’en, working-class women and working-class men extend their limbs in hopes of catching most of the light.
The city was calm on that Sunday afternoon. There was a midday offensive at the Southern border, the casual type mind you. They were showing families going up the hills overlooking the battlefields; perhaps in an act of defiance, perhaps only to watch the fireworks. They say that if you hear the sound of an approaching missile, then it has already hit the target. All you’re left with in your remaining moments of deduction is how close you are to it.
Can one pursue the past through reimagining the present? Veteran musician Yacoub Abu Ghosh and sound experimentalist Rehab Hazgui talk to Norient about merging tradition with recent techniques at the Mirath:Music Sound Exhibition, a project by the Goethe-Institut.
There’s no stage in the city that Liliane hasn’t performed on. Throughout the years, she has scaled and built her own version of home. On a dimly-lit stage in Mar Mikhael, a few hundred meters away from an ammonium-ridden destiny, she sat shoulder to shoulder with ingenious jazz composer Tarek Yamani. Amidst her simple time-tested setup, she engineered a sonic conversation of rhythm and resonance.
To all those who have written and still write about how Beirut is the city of contradictions, it’s time to realize that the city is, in fact, a land of contradicting realities. These realities overlap, create, and destroy each other almost viciously. So perhaps in apocalyptic times like these, it could be helpful to ask ourselves which reality we are subscribing to, and which are we succumbing to.