In the latest episode of Bulaq, Lebanese author-translator Lina Mounzer reads from her essay “Waste Away: Notes on Beirut’s Broken Sewage System.” We discuss the current situation in Lebanon and literature that looks at the worlds beneath our feet:
Saleem Haddad’s “Song of the Birds,” in the anthology Palestine + 100, explores the problems of sewage at Palestinian shores.
Rabee Jaber’s Mehlis Report, translated to English by Kareem James Abu-Zeid, tells the tale of two cities: Beirut above and Beirut below.
Mounzer wasn’t alone. This essay from 2017 — “Abracadabra…broke” — also saw a looming economic crisis.
Ursula wrote about Lebanese protests last November in the NYR Daily: The Lebanese Street Asks: ‘Which Is Stronger, Sect or Hunger?’
*Editor’s Note: Ursula incorrectly refers to a long-serving Lebanese prime minister. She meant Speaker of Parliament. Nabih Berri has held that position for nearly three decades.