Stray Bullet

August 25- To get lost in Beirut is not a difficult task. The streets do not fall on any numerical or logical grid o roads and avenues that can be easily tracked. As a matter of fact street names are often an issue of subjective interpretation for your Leon Street could be Emile Edde to me and Layyoon with a thick Beiruti accent for a third person who doesn’t usually sport a thick Beiruti accent. Of course there is always the infallible landmark based positioning system except that neighborhood landmarks are often invisible to visitors. Have you seen Modca cafe recently? Well, it still is very much a reference point. Mind you here we are talking about arguably a fully developed species of humans that struggles with orientation, so it would be totally understandable if an unintelligent lifeless form of matter such as the steel that commonly makes up a bullet goes astray during the very limited time it gets to get acquainted with the city between the pull of the trigger and ripping through a bystander.

Still stray bullets take a lot more blame than they deserve. Not all of them kill, some just maim, others just crash land in the Baba Ghannouj at the outdoor restaurants which are crowded with the record breaking 3 million tourists. Here I do not mean to insinuate that the shooters of bullets might be at fault. They never are; not in this quasi-anarchy we run over here. What I’m trying to say is that better urban planning wouldn’t hurt.

Stray bullets are another tradition from this great nation, and frankly progress and development should incorporate tradition rather than defy it.


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