There’s a beauty to the Lebanese culture. It makes you hopeful but at the same time it makes you question this hope. And the last time I felt these conflicting emotions was just a few days before August 4th, 2020. The crisis was getting worse, but I thought, in the midst of everything that is happening, at least we are pushing through, and this has to end somehow. And then three days later we had the port explosion. That was the last time I felt I could be optimistic and pessimistic at the same time. Right now, I fear this optimism.
Luna Safwan is an independent journalist based in Beirut and the host of the “Beyond Politics” podcast. Anthony Elghossain is a lawyer and contributing editor at Newlines, also based in Beirut.
In this podcast with Newlines’ Faisal Al Yafai, as the first anniversary of the deadly explosion in Beirut’s port approaches, they discuss what it felt like a year ago before and after the blast; the challenges of reporting on a city that is both a global story and also home – and why living in Beirut sometimes feels like waiting for life to restart.