As the moon smiles down on the sparkling Mediterranean
The gentle rolling hills
Reach bejeweled fingers into the sea
Spilling the overflow of sparkling lights
Onto fishing boats that dot the horizon
The irregular coastline, encrusted with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires, flirts with lovers in parked cars who melt into each other's embrace
hills and sea move in rhythm
The statue of Virgin Mary smiles down from the pinnacle of a hill
Lower down, above a river, the statue of Jesus the King,
with arms outstretched, reminds city dwellers that He is ever present: watching, reaching, loving, and blessing
The constant sound of music floats on the night air
A strange melodic marriage of East and West: Arabic, English, and French
Languages that coexist sometimes within a single sentence.
Overhead, cable cars pass over the highway, seeking a holy destination
Carrying passengers to the cathedral of Virgin Mary
Where they make pilgrimage up the winding staircase of the statue, asking for forgiveness, seeking solace…penance for their sins.
Others who wait for them at the base of the statue look out over Beirut
Reflecting on life as they view the spectacular beauty spread below them,
Twinkling lights of hope in a country still bearing the ravages of war
The eternal sea a sure promise of continuity, stability and strength.
veil covers the night
moon and stars are not silent
beauty has a voice
Beirut at night- an enchanting place where history and modernity make love under the admiring gaze of tourists. Majestic minarets and splendid steeples pierce the solemn sky, silent witnesses of the need for the adherents of the two main religions in this city to coexist in peace.
At times, my little heart just cannot take in the beauty around me. I’m overwhelmed as I thrust my head out the window of our car…in search of liberation. I let the wind play in my hair, exhilarating me with each dreamy caress! I let the lights on the fishing boats, yachts, and cargo ships, woo my heart to adventurous shores beyond my limited ones of existence. I let the hills dazzle me with their display of multicolored lights…seducing my senses to live alternate lives of those dwelling within the halo of each light. And when the beauty is more than I can take in, I look up into the night sky where the moon and the stars serenade my heart and promise me a beautiful tomorrow in this mesmerizing city of life, light, and love…Beirut!
Eileen Manassian Ghali