I love seeing cities in different seasons. I’ve now been in Beirut in Summer, Fall, and Winter. All week it has been raining, even hailing at times, and it’s just beautiful. You can see the moody clouds moving into land off of the Sea and it’s just beautiful. The periwinkle color of the clouds, with the sun shining through at various moments, and making an exquisite backdrop against the buildings, trees, and mountains. The city seems quieter than usual, perhaps because it’s Eid, and perhaps because of the weather. But I just love walking the streets, listening to the echo of the call to prayer, and watching the rain fall.
It’s been a mellow week in between meetings. A friend and I saw an amazing film called Bosta, which uses a dabka dance troupe to tell various stories and confront various issues in Lebanon through the characters and also the art form of dabka. The film is sort of a cross between camp and Bollywood. Imagine a Bollywood version of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, but with political discussions and traditional art forms woven in. We also went out with some of her friends, and ran into Fadi, at a club called the Basement, where we heard a Lebanese singer, Nadine Khouri. She plays guitar and sings, but she has a backup of a bass and drum (including tabla) players. Her voice reminded me of Ani DiFranco’s a bit, and it made me smile to hear some people in the audience asking her to sing a DiFranco song during the encore. Instead, she added a cover of Nina Simone and Prince to her encore. Her sultry voice in this really beautiful basement club was the perfect style of music for this moody weather.