You talked, I listened. After I wrote about how Beirut smells like a giant toilet in the summer, readers responded -- Nadia, why do you always have to be so negative about Beirut? Someone even said I was a Western supremacist. That really hurt, because honestly, if I liked the West, I would move there.

As far as I’m concerned, the West can suck it.

I want readers to know that if I rib on Beirut, it’s the same way you take the piss out of your family member. My teasing of this city comes from a place of love, and existential angst.

But I also know that studies show that for every one insult you receive, you need 5.6 compliments to make up for it, or else you get depressed. It’s scientifically proven. This ratio applies in business and romantic relationships too, just so you know. Couples need to have five positive interactions for every fight, otherwise they give up.

So here are five compliments for Beirut.

Reason 1. I like that your pharmacists are attentive, impossible to gross out, and can give you antibiotics and other medicine without a prescription. If I have a fungus on my toe I can just head on over to the saydalliyah , where the pharmacist will examine it without once recoiling in disgust. She might even bring over a colleague over to give it a second opinion, before getting you some medicated ointment to rub on it. If you tried doing that in places like the United States, I reckon you’d be arrested.

Reason 2. I like that people celebrate things. Mabrouk for your visa! Sparklers for your birthday! Dabke because we’re outside and there’s music! This place really invented the #yolo spirit.

Reason 3. I like that I can get any dvd I ever dreamed of brought directly to my house within a few minutes. I like that the guy who answers the whatsapp messages from Nabil Net responds to my messages right away. If I ask him to bring m&ms and seasons 1-2 of Broad City and the most recent season of Girls, he doesn’t complain or judge me. No, he delivers – usually within 30 minutes.

Nabil, will you marry me?

Reason 4. I like that you can get your hair done for less than $10 and espresso for less than $1. Look hot, stay caffeinated. What more can you get out of life?

Reason 5. I like that you’re on the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean Sea is, for my money, the most beautiful natural formation on this earth – and if you live in Beirut you can look at it whenever you want. Sometimes it’s nice just know it’s there.

Reason 5.6. I like that people throw raw chicken heads on the sidewalk for the cats to eat. I like that there are really cute cats everywhere, and that people care about their well-being. I once passed by a car that had a cat stuck in the motor, and within minutes at least half a dozen passersby had joined in to see to it that the cat made it out safely. The cat did, in fact, climb out of the engine. But then it crawled immediately back in. Haram, poor baby.

Are we cool, Beirut?


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Fall for Beirut more... Discover.. Be smitten.. Beirut is so full of wonder and life.. you just have to be at the right place, the right mood on the right time!!! <3

DemonYita Nickoole on Jun 4, 2015 via web