When you live in a place like Beirut, reading international news can feel surreal especially when your city is the subject. It can also feel really redundant. Take this NYT food-blog article about new restaurants in Beirut. I've seen this same outline a hundred times: civil war, Paris of the middle east, opportunities, risks, live for today!
Although I find these reports tiresome and formulaic, occasionally I learn something new.
NYT, again, but this time with a schedule of what to do if you have 36 hours in Beirut. #6 on their list was the Beirut Art Center. They're located along this graffiti-enlivened alleyway. Their facility is visible from the Emile Lahoud highway, and I'd seen it while driving past. But I was in a hurry and forgot to follow up. NYT jogged my memory. Cool, I thought, contemporary art in Beirut. I called and made an appointment for a tour--a tour for kids. I invited a friend and her kids to join us.
The tour was very good. Our guide did a great job of interacting with the kids and helping them understand what they could of the art on display. Every piece was political, about war, negotiation, and all the shades of gray in between. I'm very glad we went and I'm sure we'll go again. If you're interested in going, visit their website. They have great information, a map, and *grin* it's free.