Tuesday, June 07, 2005

…with this, I am leaving now for a taping of a live show on AlJazeera (Al-Ittijah Al-Mu’akis) dealing with Lebanon. I will then be leaving for a couple of days in DC, and a couple of days in London, and then to Lebanon, where I will be staying until around July 19th. I will be working on several projects all dealing with Lebanon. I will be working on a second edition of my Historical Dictionary of Lebanon, a book on the clash of political identities in Lebanon, and a short primer on the Myths of the Lebanese “Revolution.” The latter will deal with the recent elections, and will require that I conduct several interviews between Syria and Lebanon (assuming that I will find people to talk to me—if they don’t, I will just do what US correspondents in the Middle East do: hire me a bevy of translators, body guards, chefs, personal trainers, butlers, shoe shiners, gardeners, and potato slicers, and just talk to cab drivers, a “Western diplomat” in this capital or that, and a terrorism “expert”). I will be updating the blog from the various places that I will be at—yes, they have the internet in Arab lands. For technological reasons, I will not be posting pictures or paintings. I don’t travel with a computer, and simply use internet cafes. But I am warning you: I bought my first camera ever (an S500 Cannon recommended to me by a Los Angeles Times photographer) and I will be taking hundreds of pictures during my trip--all for the site, and will then post upon my return. I will be visiting museums and galleries for that purpose. To help maintain my site during my absence, please submerge your computers in hot boiling olive oil twice a day. For friends and media, my hotel number in Beirut is left on the answering machine of my home in California.