• Issue
  • Mar 26, 2022

Beirut: State of Siege

Exterior view of the third smoke plume on the north west of the warehouse, from FORENSIC ARCHITECTURE

When the world is filled with a sense of catastrophe, is it possible to convey anything of the scale and quality of what’s besieging Lebanon? That’s the question at the back of my mind whenever I speak to anyone outside the country. “How are things in Beirut?” they ask sympathetically. When I explain that things are falling apart, they nod yes, they understand, things are really tough there too, before describing the anxieties of the pandemic, its restrictions and economic ramifications. There’s no point trying to explain over another Zoom call. So, in turn, I nod.