Monday, October 8, 2012

Lebanon in a single snapshot - George F. Mobley

Image credit: George F. Mobly (National Geographic)
Ever since I saw this image on the net last year (a year ago!), I have been trying to trace it back to its origins while making sure to know the credit behind it. Oh and it took forever for me to be able to have a copy of it which was not watermarked in logos. And now I have it.
For me this image simply encapsulates Lebanon! All of it in one single snapshot.
Let me explain:
First the duality of the Rolls Royce versus the donkey. A perfect case of Lebanon's have and have nots.
Then of course, the image of a country on two different speeds, two different levels, two different strata which collide in a touch-and-go place but still keep seperate from one another.
All of this on the backdrop of a modernist architecture, with advertising and consumerism galore (the Sony ad in the background), and under the watchful but inefficient eyes of the "state" (the street lamps).
There is also the story behind it, opinions diverge on facebook, some says that the "Rolls belonged to Cheikh Khalil Bechara el Khoury" (with someone else saying "yes, that was his license plate number"), which another story states: "The owner of the RR was our Neighbour at the time, Mr. (Fawzi) Saba and the guy on the Donkey is Abou Rashed the Milkman whose used to raise his cows where Al Sahab Building is now." So even there, just like Lebanon in general, we cannot agree on one version of things.
A whole country in a single snapshot, that's no mean feat!

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