People often ask how my parents met, which is quite the story but the short version is that, during the Lebanese Civil War, my dad, an Irish American, was posted at the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon, and my mom, Lebanese, was living in Beirut. Through chaos and uncertainty, they found love and friendship.
Most of what people know about Lebanon comes from news coverage—a country with decades of civil strife, economic and political instability, and the August 4, 2020, explosion that shook the world. But I know Lebanon as one of the only countries where you can go skiing in the mountains then head down to the beach on the same day; a country where people incorporate English, Arabic, and French into their sentences (with the classic “Hi! Kifek? Ça va?” translating to “Hi, how are you? How’s it going?”); a vibrant country where no matter what is going on, the people dance until the morning hours and your grandmother makes you a full feast for every meal, even when you’re not hungry.