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Poem: Beirut, Lebanon

Written by Sarah Haidar

This poem speaks of the intersectionality in such a diverse country in the Middle East and about the beauty in Lebanon between the fighting


Leaning on the roof, and you’re able to see sea to your left,

mountains to your right.

The saturated sun licks heat waves in the air,

but you were already sweating from all the hugs.


Coals served by a 12-year-old boy to café guests smoking hookah.

Bangladesh, Filipino, African mademoiselles hold the family children on their hips.

A pair of best friends walk through heavy traffic:

one with hair tucked into a lime scarf, the other sporting a brown tank top.


Our people are filled with heat- in their love, and hate.

Your aunt says it’s shown through the words. The intense language.

But you know it’s in our hips and our hands

that hit the air like the waves of the Mediterranean.


Stereos push out music every wedding night,

and the fireworks seem to pull the sky closer.

But nothing can blare out the call to prayer,

and the click of rosary beads sliding into each other.


Mascara, high heels, and graffiti race past your taxi window.

The smoke, sea mist, and military checkpoints between city lines.

Stray cats on every street and

two dozen families that would share their homes with you.


You hear about a blast a bomb a shot a hit. It’ll be talked about for a week.

But you still go out to the nightclub with your friends,

to a café and put sugar in your tea, to your sister’s for a cigarette and chat,

to your hairdresser, your doctor, your neighbor that you all greet with three kisses.

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