It was one of those beautiful nights in Beirut were I found myself sitting at a table with new friends sharing stories, teaching each other about the world, and finding humor in unexpected places. And even after a long day of teaching and rehearsing, Alexandre Paulikevitch is a natural at all these things. As we sat around the table of the outdoor cafe he talked about projects he’s working on and the challenges that keep coming his way, and after several minutes of conversation he looked at me and my portable recorder and said “OK Mark, I understand what you’re doing and what kind of conversations you are seeking.” A clear and reassuring statement I wish I would tell myself every now and then.
First of all don’t read too far into the title, I was in Beirut for less than a week and no one who has been in a city for such a short time should be telling you about that city. That said, I spent almost…
Ask Katherine Maher to describe the Beirut that she loves and you get stories of a place that sounds like Brooklyn, Berlin, London and Rio de Janeiro crumpled up and dropped onto the map in a region filled with anxiety, trauma, and uncertain futures. A place where life is lived to the fullest, by day and by night. And if you want art, you’ve come to the right place.On one fine October afternoon in Amsterdam, Katherine sat down with me to tell me of Beirut and the things a visiting journalist seeking storytellers and artists should keep in mind along the way.
Linguist and citizen of the world Thomas Milo of Decotype joins me to discuss arabic script, working as a translator for UNIFIL, and mind blowing stories from his days as an intercontinental trucker.