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Beirut, I Love You: A Memoir
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Beirut, I Love You: A Memoir

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  195 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
This is the story of Zena, a young woman who finds herself under the spell of a city that threatens to engulf her in war, grief, alcohol, Prozac and love affairs.

In the streets armed militias carve out their territories, while ragged construction workers rebuild the city. Refugees sleep five to a bed as bleach-blondes with matching nose jobs wend their way to the next drug
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 2009 by Saqi (first published July 1st 2005)
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Jun 11, 2010 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: wishlist
Profoundly sad. It's a shame that some countries seem cursed to suffer from instability. And not just current instability, but instability for thousands of years. I think one of the important things to realize about war is that it echoes down through generations. The children and grandchildren of these people feel the effects of their parents' and grandparents' suffering. It's so very hard to break the cycle.
Mar 21, 2012 Corey rated it it was amazing
Zena el Khalil's beautiful soul and passion for life comes out in her pre-memoir memoir (I call it that because I'm certain she'll have a long life and we'll be needing an update) -- Full disclosure, I'm biased because I know her -- Her times in America give her a perspective, and opportunity, to write about Beirut in a familiar, relatable fashion. Understanding Middle East conflict, fear, loss, life, and love through the eyes if Zena in this diary-style memoir, brings the Middle East into a per ...more
Review to come. But: i loved it.
Oct 22, 2013 Fany rated it really liked it
Wow, that was heavy. A strong portrait of the mid east reality. Sad. Cathartic. Full of war but still a bit of hope. Worth reading.
Elena T.
Jan 20, 2015 Elena T. rated it it was ok
Beirut è sempre stata una città che avrei voluto visitare, come un po' tutto il Libano, con le sue suggestioni, i suoi profumi, la darbuka e i ritmi della tabla nei locali notturni, il mio amato baladi ..

Per Zena el Khalil, giovane artista libanese, tutto comincia nei 34 giorni della guerra del 2006 nel suo Paese, quando decide di aprire il blog (tuttora online) e raccontare l'assedio del Libano in tempo reale.

"Beirut, I love you", in quanto storia di una donna e di una
Angelo Ricci
Non è possibile non innamorarsi di Zena El Khalil. Della sua gioia di vivere. Dei suoi eccessi. Dei suoi pianti. Dei suoi sentimenti. Della sua tristezza. Del suo coraggio. Della sua tenerezza. Dei suoi vestiti da maschiaccio. Delle sue diete. Delle sue Dr. Martens, ornate di margherite disegnate con il pennarello bianco.
Ogni vita è un viaggio. Ogni viaggio ha una meta. Ogni meta è una sfida. Zena El Khalil accetta la sua personalissima sfida. Con ingenuità, con coraggio, con la voglia di vedere
Jun 07, 2013 Huda rated it it was ok
It's not the kind of love I was expecting. Not romantic. Neither classy. It's crude and real. Throw in some hate in that love as well. The author is too honest, she speaks about everything. I marvel at how she can spell out things like that. At times though I found the book to be talking about the author's ideas and thoughts too much for my liking and interest. I can't blame her that she didn't put some parts of her story in details considering the amount of pain it dragged along with it but I w ...more
May 15, 2015 Hubert rated it really liked it
Incredibly earnest, heartbreaking memoir about life in Beirut during civil wars of the 80s and 90s, and during the Israeli invasion. Khalil reveals her innermost emotional ups and downs amidst great political instability and violence. She spends significant amts. of space revealing her love of her dear friend Maya, lost to cancer at an early age; and of her relationships with a number of men, including her former husband whom she divorced. Though life seems difficult, Khalil, of international up ...more
Alessandro Argenti
Aug 12, 2016 Alessandro Argenti rated it it was amazing
Wow. Sono assolutamente sorpreso dalla straordinaria bellezza di questo libro! Adoro il modo di scrivere, le riflessioni, l'ironia, la tristezza, la consapevolezza sulla situazione, le speranze, e non ultimo l'amore per una città, per un Paese che fa da protagonista alla vicenda. Niente storia (se non brevi accenni), niente morale, nessun dito puntato, ma solo una ragazza che fa sentire la sua voce gridando la sua passione per Beirut. Mi ha fatto spesso sorridere per il modo anche irriverente, p ...more
Malak Sabeh
Sep 17, 2014 Malak Sabeh rated it it was amazing
When my creative writing teacher assigned this book, the first thing that came to my mind was Beirut I Love You? Really? I thought it must be a cheesy story about a polished version of Beirut.
I finished this book in less than two days. It was very hard to let it down, and I'm definitely going to read it again. It was so raw and so straightforward. It wasn't polished. It was the most honest depiction of Beirut I have ever come across. I was very impressed. It made me look at things from a differe
Dec 22, 2014 Philip rated it really liked it
The first fifty pages are terrible, and I don't understand why she included them. Well, I do, they're to provide a frame of reference to read her Lebanon years. They are about being an Arab in America, before and after 9/11. Awfully trite stuff. She really could have done a better job. Perhaps she should have started her memoir with anecdotes from her childhood in Nigeria. She scattered a few towards the end, and they were really illuminating - far more powerful than the insipidity on New York.

Sep 15, 2013 Sydney rated it it was ok
Zena gets a couple stars because this book was a gift from my best friend who is Lebanese-American and Zena's honesty and her descriptions of friendship with Lebanese ladies made me smile and think of my own friend. But I just didn't feel like this memoir was written for an audience. That is to say, this work reads more like a private diary than an edited nonfiction piece meant for strangers to enjoy. There are just too many loose ends.

Sep 11, 2009 Yesyoucandy rated it it was amazing
What I learned from this book:

How people live when anything can happen at anytime
That we must love harder when we're losing
Not to be judgemental
To see the 'middle-east' from a different persective

The book is tragic but totally fun. I felt like I was in Beirut.

It just published in America too!!!
Mar 24, 2016 A M rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
There's a lot of artistic young woman passion here, which I can completely appreciate. I desperately wanted to love this book in its entirety because I was familiar with the critical praise of the book; sad to say I lost interest more than halfway through it.
Angela Meleca
Jan 09, 2017 Angela Meleca rated it it was amazing
Finished in a day. Couldn't put it down. Thank you Zena for opening my eyes. I can't wait to visit Beirut.
Aug 18, 2015 Mara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Made me really sad but also I felt like I grew up while reading this book.
Aug 14, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing
The story is really well-told, and the language is so amazing, you just want to reread half of the sentences.
Apr 01, 2013 Renee rated it really liked it
I loved reading this book. It was full of surprises. It was outrageously wild, happy, sad, and fun. Heart-rendering and a quick read.
Joaquin Salvachua
Oct 19, 2009 Joaquin Salvachua rated it really liked it
Fine fresh ideas.
Becky Sharp
Jul 26, 2014 Becky Sharp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intenso, vital, maravilloso
Dec 18, 2012 Isabel marked it as to-read
see saved NYRB review in books folder. available as ebook $9.99
May 16, 2011 Monik rated it really liked it
A good skill to paint the atmosphere.
Dec 21, 2012 Ada rated it really liked it
Profundo, apaixonante, cru e louco! Uma visão intensa de uma realidade muito particular!
Apr 03, 2015 Andrew rated it it was ok
My interest began to wane half way through, maybe because I have other books lined up. Sometimes happens.
MaryLiz Grigg
MaryLiz Grigg rated it it was amazing
May 13, 2017
Oscar Arturo Ney Rivera
Oscar Arturo Ney Rivera rated it it was amazing
Nov 14, 2016
Joaquin rated it it was amazing
Dec 13, 2011
Susan Price
Susan Price rated it it was amazing
Mar 02, 2015
Rhonda rated it liked it
Oct 23, 2012
Mariano Arranz Muñoz
Mariano Arranz Muñoz rated it it was amazing
Jun 25, 2012
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“Cuando nos enfrentamos a una crisis, a menudo perdemos todo aquello de nosotros mismos que hemos pasado toda la vida construyendo.” 0 likes
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