Hello and welcome to my brand spankin’ new blog about my semester abroad in Beirut, Lebanon. This first post is to answer some of the questions I’ve been getting from people who wonder why I would ever pick this place. Worry not, I have my reasons. And good ones too!
- It’s warmer in Beirut than it is in Western Mass.
- I’ve been in the mood for some really tasty hummus.
- Studying, living and working in Beirut is relevant to my concentration (Hampshire College’s word for major). I study film as well as U.S. visual culture. When I write “visual culture” I mean representation/misrepresentation in mainstream North American media. I’m curious about how images inform the way communities perceive each other. Yvonne Rainer says it better than I could, “My God! Can theater finally come down to the irreducible fact that one group of people is looking at another group?!” Actually, many groups of people are looking (and characterizing) one another. I’m studying in Lebanon because I want to know how identity informs perception, for myself and for others. As I take courses at the American University in Beirut (on Middle Eastern history) and shoot footage for my division three (senior thesis), I will continue to ask questions about the relationship between identity, perception and their greater influence on public affairs.
- I want to steal Martine Andraos’ crown for Miss Lebanon.
- Last but not least, I have an internship with a music organization called eka3. Walla! Here’s a bit about it: “eka3 is the first and only regional organization dedicated to supporting and popularizing smart Arabic music; not music that plays in the background during dinner; music that grabs your attention, moves your senses, and provokes your thought. Whatever the genre may be, we seek the original, the rich, and the Arabic.” I’m looking at the eka3 internship as an opportunity to get involved with what seems like a dynamic and energetic alternative music/art scene. I will be helping plan a workshop and concert between the artists this coming spring. My internship supervisor, Kinda Hassan, is a video artist as well. To read more about the organization and hear some of the music visit this link: http://www.eka3productions.com/
Check out my earlier post to read more about eka3.