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For Hala I may have had a drink or two. I drank the milk of the moon, I drank the sea But I am still thirsty, Mother. Your hymns have cut my throat, Beirut, Your hymns have disfigured my limbs,                                                       Dismantled my parts. And as I tried to gather my organs, Thrown onto your solitary sidewalks                                                  

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Originally intended to be developed as a massive touristic site, the area of Ouzai, located on the outskirts of Beirut’s southern suburbs, has become defined by a large, impromptu settlement of people who had originally fled to the area in search of refuge from the violence of Israeli airstrikes in southern Lebanon during the civil war. The illegality of these settlements, paired with occasional violence and poverty, has subsequently manifested an exceedingly negative stereotype of the inhabitants of Ouzai. In an effort to deconstruct such overarching generalizations, I conducted an interview with an Ouzai native, Amina Khansa.((Name has been changed.))

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By Mazen Maarouf and translated from the arabic by lina mounzer We never suspected that the Lion Cub was not, in fact, a lion cub until his bicycle was stolen. He made no attempt to get it back. He only shot a few rounds into the air from his bedroom window, then lay down on the sponge mattress on the ground, tears dripping from his wide-open eyes, staring at the ceiling, longing intensely for his mother. His gun lay by his side. . The bicycle had been a gift from his mother. But we’d only ever seen him riding it a few times.

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Midnight city strollsfind me occupying this vacancy,somewhere between aresistance fighter’s wet dreamand a concerned father’s nightmare. In a street decorated with taverns,and the stained picturesof forgotten martyrs,I can smell the rotting corpsesof revolutionarieshidden under the stench of vodka-flavoured vomitof kids who have forgottenwhere they came from,who dance inebriated and unawareon the breast platesof those whohave paved the way,with bullet wounds and dreamer’s eyes,for our degeneration. In the midst of the madness,and all the bottled amnesia,there is a girlwhose smile reads like a Bible verse,as her hips paint the room with temptation,unaware that these streetswill one day watch her bodyget treated

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The salt of the stonesShe is in a universe of wallsA man’s memory in these walls,one with the stone, the air, the earthMy body was aflame with his memory Not guiltyShe treats her child with rough tendernessInfiniteTendernessTerrifying childhood Women behind shutterswatch the enemy walking across the squareIn the ruins, in winter, the wind blowsIn my memory Where I was born is inseparable from myself I meet youI remember youWho are youYou destroy meI was hungryI always have beenI waited for you calmlyWith infinite patienceThe sun will never rise again on anyoneNever, never againYou destroy meYou’re so good We’ll have nothing else to

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National Museum of the American Indian Into the museum of our people, I take you by the hand, through the exhibits. It means something to kiss you here. . By the exhibit on Native skateboarding and surfing, I take your tongue into my mouth; and you, mine. . We are protected. Our art and bodies, for once, protected. People need to go through security to get to us. Perhaps this is where we are most safe: behind glass. People can’t say shit, or there’ll be consequences. . You gonna say something to two queer Native boyz in a Native museum? . Who knew this is where our kiss-ins should be? We come home. At places the general public can’t enter with weapons.

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I saw youKicking cans along Makdissi StreetTurning right andIn a geometry of anglesHurling epithetsat the walls of the Mayflower Hotel: Kiss my arse The chickens will come home to  roost                                       Piss off you taciturn travellers: moon and star But when I look for youamong the nerve nets of my mindI see only remnants of tattered coatsand threadbare shirts Hanging like batsLike the lost orphansof bombed out daysAnd nights Or the hapless fledglingThrust from its nestWho drops, to be greeted by theTrap-jawed felinePreening itself like Leda’s swan. And I think of the sea anemonewhose venomous arms beckonBut whose everything goes insideLike snakes who lie

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Left to Right: Dani Shukri, Khaled Omran, Tarek Khuluki // TANJARET DAGHET // photo credit: Moussa Shabandar Local bands in Lebanon have recently hit mainstream success, playing a spectrum of popular music in rock, alternative, and even metal. Live gigs by local bands have punctured the routine Beirut nightlife of clubbing, pubbing, eating out, and visiting pedestrian areas. One of these bands, Tanjaret Daghet, has played across many stages and on playlists of many Lebanese, Syrian, Egyptian, and other fans of the region since 2010. The band’s success has led to several interviews over the past six years. But to the members’

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I sit cross-legged on my grandparents’ balcony. My dark, scarred knees are warm against the hot stone ground. My little brother, Fajr, lies on his stomach beside me, trying to figure out what his playing cards mean. My grandmother always said that we should pretend to let him play with us, even if he’s too young and too restless to learn the rules. She sits before me in a long floral gown, her wrinkled face like a map of the country, pride etched into her skin in valleys and mountains. The valley between her eyebrows sinks deeper as she stares

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Rumooz is a 68-year-old Syrian woman. Her husband was just 46 when he passed away, leaving her to raise one daughter and two sons on her own. She was a teacher at a public school in Talkalakh, a small village that is to the west of Homs, in northern Syria. Rumooz is very close to her children, and the four of them have always been a tight-knit family. In 2012, her eldest daughter, Talah, graduated from university in Homs. Dubbed "the capital of the revolution," Homs was under siege by government forces from May 2011 to May 2014. Despite the war,

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