Notes from a Translated Life
I know Paris is beautiful, I am lucky to have traveled there several times. I know it is much easier to love what is beautiful. What does it tell us about ourselves that just because we don't know the beauty of other cities -- Beirut, Baghdad -- because we do not know the beautiful moments of individual lives lived in those cities, that we cannot feel the same grief when they are attacked? We make this fractured world in our own image, all our dark prejudices and tribal notions of 'us' vs. 'them', how Paris stands for something greater, more beautiful in us, living across an imaginary border we have drawn. I could post pictures of all that is achingly beautiful in Beirut or tell you about Baghdad and its beauty that captivated my father as a young college student so that he never stops telling us the stories of his time there. But maybe what I most want is for us to see how worthy of our lights and flags and tears these cities and people are, these cities and their people who have survived utter despair. How beautiful they are, how beloved they should be to all of us.