Adventures at home, abroad, and online


Wandered around the downtown today, seeing the massive rebuilding project. The area was where the worst fighting during the civil war was, but you’d hardly know it today. There are shops galore, a huge new mosque, and the Parliament building, even if the representatives haven’t met in two years. It’s almost like Disneyland, in that new-old building style.

Tanks on the street
Dunkin Donuts
Shebab at the beach

At Jared and Jenna’s insistence, we went to a concert tonight in Martyr’s Square. It was both the worst musical experience of any concert I have been to, and also the most fun. Mika is apparently a big deal, especially in Lebanon, his homeland. I’d never heard of the guy, but I guess that means I’m out of the loop. It was a remarkably strange performance, with giant inflatable pizza slices and milkshakes surfing the crowd, a squadron of zaftig dancers, and several interludes with animal costume performances. Words cannot quite describe the, well, gayness, of this show. Still, the crowd loved it, and we decided to as well. When in Beirut, you have to party hard.

Big Girl
Jared and Jenna loving it
Serious fans
Cartoon motion




Hizbollah Beach Party


  1. Glacier Girl

    Mika is your worst musical experience?? Wtf!! Mika is a multi-award winning musician and very famous worldwide, except in the USA (because the US is so out of touch, isolated and self-obsessed). His music is unique, energetic, and flamboyant! He also has an angelic voice. I hope you will become a fan after experiencing this amazing concert in Beirut (you don’t know how lucky you are). Get his record, you will love listening to his music. I hope you visited Baalbeck.

    PS I loved your blog on the Bedouin villages (very sympathetic) which is how I discovered this site.

  2. You may say gay, but Mika is a huge phenomenon across the world (though it is true, less in the U.S.A.) He has talent and energy, multilingual skills and charm, a sense of humour and a wicked wit.
    Visit for more…………
    I’m glad you had fun; I’d have given my eye teeth to be there ~x~

  3. Apparently the Mika rapid response team is on to me. I understand that you all love this guy, but he’s really pretty ridiculous. Seriously, the cartoon motion thing with the bunny suits is really weird. And even I am self-obsessed, I’m not culturally isolated. All I’m saying is he’s no Freddy Mercury. Let the flame war begin!

  4. Jan

    Whoa- appears the Children’s Crusade has taken on a few more riders. I’ll leave the Mika discussion to those who are much more invested than I.

    I’m still trying to get my head around the Dunkin’ Donuts in Beirut photo.

    Did the visa for India come through and when are you headed that way? Have you talked Jared into joining you on the trek with James?

  5. Ruth Miller

    Oh man, Freddie Mercury. There’s an entertainer.

  6. Dana Powell

    Josh – Glad to see you are able, as ever, to combine parties with politics. And I do not mean “political parties” in the conventional sense, but instead your ability to highlight the underside of discrimination in Bedouin country and also the perhaps even darker underside of spreading global capitalism embodied in a donut shop in Beirut. I am in Beijing with Eric now, dodging Starbucks and McD’s, so know the feeling. But the Olympic groundswell is beginning, like it or not. More soon. Travel safely and keep the updates coming!

  7. Glacier Girl

    The Dunkin Donuts in the beautiful Solidere area of Beirut is unbelievable! I cannot remember this kind of globalization when I was in Beirut a few years ago. In 50 years time, we will all (countries/people) become carbon copies of one another and will have lost our sense of tradition and uniqueness.

    This brings me back to Mika (after years of same boring manufactured American R&B/hip hop garbage) his unique and highly original music has taken the world by storm. Now if he could only conquer this country (like Freddie Mercury).

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