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The eye.
Beirut, 2010.

I am like the keyhole that no one dares to look through. I recall too many bad memories. That of war, the real one, that which defiles bodies and souls. But that, here, nobody wants to think about it again. After all these years, I'm still here. Nobody wants me anymore. Yet I have so much to tell.

I would gladly start with the day I was born. My father was named Ziad, but he preferred his partners in misery to call him Al-Ain, the Eye. He barely had a few hairs on his chin when I turned him into a father. His commander adored him because he was the best in his field. With him, it was flawless guaranteed. Which made him a heartless young man, cold-blooded like those salamanders hiding from the sun in every nook and cranny.

Only here, today, no one remembers him. Except me. Ziad died before the end of the war, stupidly, falling from the 15th floor of the tower where he lived and worked seven days a week. No one has ever known exactly how it happened. Even I, who nevertheless had a magnificent focal point on his windows. I was not to be looking in the right direction that day, the minute he changed, his life changed - and mine as well. I so wanted him to give me a little brother, who would have stayed there, right next to me all these years. But no. Life is a mess. So every May 15, I remember him, his piercing gaze, his eye too big for this little piece of man.

So I was born on May 15th. Around 1977 or 1978, I don't really know. For me, all those years of lead were the same. Carried by the hashish scent of those pale imitations of my Ziad who invaded my apartment and who thought they were wrath of war, these little idiots never reached my father's degree of perfection. Carried by music recorded to order on BASF cassettes, with singers from overseas who have never known the dampness of a summer in Beirut. Carried by the whistling of Stalin's organs which blew in my neck like a bad breeze before bursting into millions of bursts of light. It was all so crass compared to Ziad's goldsmith's work.

Yes but here it is, Beirut erased my father as it erased the bites of the bombs. However, if you scratch a little, everything is still there, everything is still within reach for those who want to see and remember. It's too easy to put on blinders. Anyway, I'm still here, staring out the window, big tears escaping my eye like lava flows. I am the memory of the city. Find me, I'll tell you everything.

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.


In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

Short story published in Beirut on listening / Wiretapping Beirut (Amers Editions, 2011)

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