The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Beirut forever getting “its groove” back, on, etc in the NY Times but what about the 99%

Like clockwork, time for yet another NY Times story about Beirut and – always by sloppy extension – Lebanon in general.

This piece by Anne Bernard will get more effectively taken down by others in the coming hours, but my primary criticism in a piece where there is much to criticize (some Lebanese are said to be “yearning” for the “mayhem” next door? A very poor sentence construction somewhat mended in the next sentence, but still…) and many errors to point out, rests on this bit:

“Cafes may benefit from the crisis, said Wael el-Far, a purveyor of restaurant equipment who had sold high-end espresso machines to several Zaitunay Bay cafes. In tense times, he said, Lebanese “like to drink and spend money.””

Throughout the piece Anne seamlessly squeezes all of Lebanon into one tiny 1% view that she essentially gives and conjures up through some natives. “All Lebanese” is therefore used throughout – or the catchall “beirutis” that for those of us who are either from here or lived here for a while know is but a very small fragment – and a somewhat dangerous, certainly inequitable fragment at that.

I would not have minded the piece if it had a bit of self-awareness on this issue at least since it is so obvious. This would have been a useful place to apply NYC Occupy Wall Street goggles for a bit in fact! At least….


Written by nickbiddlenoe

April 14, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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