Beirut I Love You is Zena el Khalil’s rollicking yet tender memoir about living in a city that thrives on contrasts and contradictions.
Meanwhile, Zena and her best friend Maya must try to make sense of their lives amidst the craziness, and negotiate the city’s many obsessions including cosmetic surgery, husband hunting and Kalashnikovs.
As honest as it is forgiving, this artist’s memoir pits love and art against the ever-present threat of war.
Zena el Khalil, born year of the Dragon, is a visual artist, writer and cultural agitator based in Beirut. She has lived in Lagos, London and New York. Her work includes mixed media paintings, installations and performance. She also curates cultural events and publishes underground writers. Zena’s focus is to expose and transform the violence that surrounds her and her gender through spirituality and love. During the 2006 invasion of Lebanon, she was one of the first largely followed Middle Eastern bloggers; her writings published in the international press. She has written a book, “Beirut, I Love You: A Memoir,” translated in several languages. In an attempt to spread peace, Zena is often seen running around Beirut in a big pink wedding dress. In 2012 Zena was named a TED Fellow. You can follow her work on zenaelkhalil.com or on Twitter @ziggydoodle