Beyrouth Tendresse by Gisèle Kayata Eid

Nowadays, whenever we talk about Lebanon, we have a nostalgic feeling toward the past, an era in which Lebanon was glorious. Yet the reality is never as perfect as we imagine.

Regardless, we all tend to search for our lost history in books, podcasts, and anything that could give us a glimpse of the truth of what happened.  

“Beyrouth Tendresse” is the newest release for the journalist and writer Gisele Kayata Eid with many publications like “accommodante montreal, de femmes, Kibarouna, dialogues avec no aînés, la où le temps commence et ne finit pas et consommation.”

Her book is a collection of memories during the 70s, you won’t find historical events, but you’ll surely get a glimpse of how society was from the perspective of a young girl living in Beyrouth.

The book is made out of 117 pages and is written in French. Mornings with a cup of coffee and soft background music could be the best setting to read this book. Every memory is written as a short story of a maximum of 2 pages. 

To the right is the author “Gisele Kayata Eid” and me next to her, happy as a child.

As an advocate for mental health, I couldn’t but notice that one incident about a lady that used to visit the family and her visits stopped… why? Because she committed suicide, a subject not much discussed during that period. And here, I would like to pause and express my gratitude for our improvement in this area and the awareness that’s widely spread now regarding the topic.

Another thing that really impacted me as a Lebanese was how accurate and emotional the expression of how hard it is to leave Lebanon.

“You cry twice in your life: when you leave your country and when you leave Lebanon… I still think about this remark, but I will add: What would it be like when your country is Lebanon?” (translated)

In summary, the book, as simple as it is, holds between its pages the spirit of Beyrouth and shows us the beauty of our society and the beauty of our beloved Beyrouth.

The author kept her memories of her home safe inside this book. A house that got affected by the 4th of August Blast after standing still during the civil war.

I invite you to read this book whether you’re here or abroad, and let us all make our hearts a HOME for Beyrouth.

Ninette Abi Atallah

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