(My Middle East)

77 days with a journalist, Lebanon, and a list of non sequiturs

Archive for June 24th, 2009

Half way in Beirut | an Update

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It’s hard to believe but I’ve now been in Beirut 33 days (today is the 34th). I’ve got 33 more left and I’ve got to say things have gone very well. I’ve found a great place to live, met some cool people and I absolutely love Beirut. Although the newspaper is understaffed, and a bit disorganized, I’m starting to enjoy it.

Also contrary to some peoples belief, I’m not just writing bagel and book stories, I’m starting to be trusted with bigger stuff, and I’m working on an enterprise story of my own. Oh I’m also heading up to Akkar and Tripoli tomorrow with Patrick Laurent the head of the European Commission delegation on a press trip.

I start Arabic classes in the beginning of July, which I’m looking forward to. But to be honest my Arabic hasn’t gotten that much better. I think you really need to set aside time to learn the language like a whole year (Damascus Arabic school? Who knows)

Progress on my summer reading list is right on schedule. I’ve finished my first three books, and I’m starting my fourth, Engaging the Muslim World today. I’ve also started the process of applying for scholarships, fellowships and graduate schools for post SU. It’s a rather daunting/not fun process, but hopefully it will pay off in the end.

Oh I also discovered a fantastic drink yesterday its called Freez, and its made in Lebanon. It’s a mix of sparking water and fruit juice, and comes in lots of flavors including Lemon and Blackberry which are the two Ive tried so far. It reminds me a lot like Izzle (spelled correctly), but more soda like.

Anyways thats all I’ve got for now. Thanks everyone for reading

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Written by stephenddockery

June 24, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Story on Lebanese detainees

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Made it on to the front page of The Daily Star today. I wasn’t so crazy about a few of the edits, but hey, who is. It’s nice to move up from page 3 through.

The story is about detainees who were supposedly released from Syrian prison after being held most likely since the Civil War. They say supposedly, A: because they don’t know exactly where they all are and B: because some people who have been “released” before have not been found. Although in this case it looks like they will get back to Lebanon. The organization SOLIDE helps lobby for the detainees release. I called the Justice Minister and the SOLIDE founder, the rest of the quotes were added by my editor.

Written by stephenddockery

June 24, 2009 at 8:46 am