A city of beauty and destruction, humor and sadness, growth and stagnation. Where green and red lights mean maybe, and the only thing needed to cross the street is confidence. I’ll admit it, I was afraid of you at first. Fear dissipates with experience, familiarity.

You draw me in as I walk your streets, confess your desires to me for hours as I sip coffee. A lesbian who walks the homophobic streets with her partner, dreaming of Armenia. A Lebanese man who grew up in Saudi Arabia, trying to make a living in Beirut. A man my age seeking marriage, lacking employment, romanticizing Canada, supporting Hezbollah. Your stories shape the way I see the world.

A generation has lived through a war and wants peace. A new generation has seen corruption and wants revolution.

Two Syrian men in love want to be seen and accepted in the streets. Educated men want jobs and lives of their own. People want to move freely in the world, a government that works for them, systems that are fair. Are these not far off from my own desires?

Fires burn in the streets of Beirut. I’m not part of it, but I feel the energy, the movement, the revolution. Being there makes me complicit.

Beirut invites me in, telling me it’s stories, feeding me, educating me, I slowly fall in love. I become part of it, for this moment.

I walked into the protests. Your protests. Your tear gas burns my face and rubber bullets shoot around me. Explosions express the deep desires of the people.

It may not be my revolution, but I feel like I’m in it. A deep yearning for change. Action.

Onions soothe my burning face, I run with the masses, going nowhere, but feeling like it’s necessary. I dodge rubber bullets, I don’t know where I’m running, but I run with you.

I lay in bed thinking about revolution, Beirut.

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