‘Beirut, I Love You’: Portrait of a City on the Edge


Zena El Khalil’s ‘Beirut, I Love You’ portrays the incredible variety of life to be found in Lebanon’s thriving capital, despite the encroachment of war, political upheaval and other calamities. Sarah Zakzouk records her impressions of Khalil’s work, and looks at how it embodies the complexities and contradictions of the city of Beirut.

Zena El Khalil, author of Beirut, I Love You has lived a colourful life of travel, trials and tribulations. She has resided in Lagos, London, New York and Beirut where she currently works as a visual artist, writer and cultural activist. This cultural activism sees Zena take a prominent role in Lebanese society, including her annual ‘performance’ in The Pink Bride of Peace, which involved donning a viciously pink wedding dress for the Beirut International Marathon. This is a tradition El Khalil began in 2003, which she continues to this day.

In 2006, El Khalil began…

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