Leaving Beirut

by Mai Ghoussoub

“One of the most poignant testimonies to the Lebanese civil war.”—Moris Farhi As an uneasy peace settles over war-torn Beirut, a woman reflects: Events in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Argentina remind her of the tragedies that shaped her life. What has she achieved in her voluntary exile, and who would she have become if she had stayed? Would she have learned to forgive, like Umm Ali, or contemplated revenge, like Leila’s grandmother? And who was Said? Gentle grocery boy, bloodthirsty torturer, or both?