Bazaar pays homage to the inspiring women of a cosmopolitan Arab city that has long captivated the imagination of the world
‘Beirut is the Elizabeth Taylor of cities: insane, beautiful, falling apart, ageing and forever drama laden,’ observed the celebrated Lebanese-American author Rabih Alameddine. For Rabih’s observation isn’t a critique so much as an acknowledgement of the nuanced and complex realities of a city that’s long captivated the world’s imagination as either a ‘Paris of the Middle East’ or a theatre of regional conflict. His stories, on the contrary, serve as a reminder that this is a city which lies somewhere between these two extreme images. In his novels it’s often the female protagonists who come to embody the city, making the point that in order to truly capture Beirut’s spirit one need look no further than the generations of women who have helped shape this fascinating piece of land jutting out into the Mediterranean.