Bliss Street

by Kris Kenway

If it weren't for the fact that it is set in modern Beirut, the gently humourous love story of Lebanese Maya and English James could almost be a reprise of the film Notting Hill. As it is I thoroughly recommend Bliss Street as a not too painful introduction to the complexities of Middle Eastern life.


The street was sprinkled with shops selling lingerie and perfume and jewellery; there was one shop called Happiness, another called We Buy Gold. Signs in English, in French, in Arabic. Hollywood Boulevarde-style stars engraved with the word 'Hamra' were dotted along the uneven pavement. On the corner stood a building peppered with bullet holes, a giant sponge about to collapse at the feet of the million-dollar apartment complex next door.


The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas Friedman

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