Thanks to Aman Azhar for contributing this post and introducing Robert Fisk’s recent piece on the misery of Lebanon –

Fairouz, the most popular of Lebanese singers, was to have performed at this year’s Baalbek festival, cancelled now like all Lebanon’s festivals of music, dance, theatre and painting. One of her most popular songs is dedicated to her native city:

To Beirut – peace to Beirut with all my heart

And kisses – to the sea and clouds,

To the rock of a city that looks like an old sailor’s face.

From the soul of her people she makes wine,

From their sweat, she makes bread and jasmine.

So how did it come to taste of smoke and fire?”

Cont. [1] [2] [3]