Sound Selection 32 – The One Without Any Faith

You all know Insomnia and God is a DJ. Here are a few edits and remixes, in honor of the British Electronica Band’s July 25 Beirut Gig =)

Insomnia (Arias Remix) – Faithless – This one is probably the best remix of the classic dance anthem

Insomnia (A1 Electro Mix) – Faithless – You might’ve heard this one a couple of summers ago

God is a DJ (Glen Morrison Remix) – Faithless – Nice, progressive feel to this remix

God is a DJ (Deadmau5 Remix)  - Faithless -  Faithless, remixed by Deadmau5… Do I need to say more?

The Day I Was Mistaken for a Terrorist, for Carrying an iPad

I live in Awkar, Lebanon. Awkar is a few kilometers north of Beirut, a somewhat calm, mainly Christian area. You might ask why I mentioned the latter detail, well, after the devastating bombing of the US Marine base in Beirut in the 80s, the US diplomatic corps in Lebanon relocated to Awkar, where the locals were less hostile to American presence.

Despite that, the new embassy location was attacked with rocket volleys a couple more times. This eventually led to security around the perimeter reminiscent of Alcatraz or Guantanamo Bay’s Camp X-ray. Barrier upon barrier of reinforced steel gates and other stuff not visible to passerby, make the embassy itself a mystery to everyone save a few people, even those applying to visas never know where the embassy really is.

However, fourteen years commuting on this road and living nearby, has offered me the opportunity to laugh, to see cool helicopters, and to breathe easy that this is probably the most secure place in Lebanon.

Why laugh? Well, at the protests which occur sporadically for some remote allegation that the US is supposedly connected to via 3 or 4 agents and 6 or 7 governments. What the protesters don’t know, is that the embassy is far, far away from where they gather and vandalize and force me to postpone getting my hair and beard trimmed.

Why helicopters? Well, whenever a new war or conflict flares up, helicopters evacuate people from the embassy, and they’re cool ones, not the 60+ year-olds the army flies around.

Why most secure? Well, we always hear rumors and stories, but yesterday, I experienced the tight security myself.

I was being taken back home by a close friend, when an argument ensued and I preferred getting out of the car in the Awkar roundabout (se7a) and taking a cab from there back home. After realizing I did not have my keys, making a few calls, going in to a grocery store to get some apple juice, and withdrawing $20, I decided to walk back to ABC Dbayeh and chillax there till the whole key issue was resolved.

Halfway there, the jeeps that are usually eating chicken from Meat and Meat (for those of you who don’t know, for lebanese cops, fried chicken is like doughnuts to American cops) started waving at me. I stopped, wearing my brand new Felipe Massa F1 Puma polo shirt, carrying my brand new iPad and sporting my shiny new Vans. One of the army personel came down, and I was stuck between him, the jeep, a ditch and a Sukleen garbage can.

After 15 minutes explaining myself, taking my ID, my AUB ID, my address, what I looked like, my height, and even weight. My weight was the only thing I lied about (he thinks I’m 95Kg =P).

Then, came the funniest part of all. The man asked me if I had taken any pictures with my iPad. I will pause so you can laugh now. Ok, after explaining there was no camera, and that it wasn’t a laptop and thus cannot be ‘opened’, the man went into my album. There were pictures of the Universe, the Big Bang, time cones, his highness Lord Charles Darwin, and intricate diagrams of bacterial flagella, which I explained were all part of a session I was planning on giving for some scouts.

The somber mood and my irritation quickly turned into amusement, and I noticed that me carrying the iPad so liberally, aroused suspicion deemed dangerous to the US embassy. So, after feeling ‘wow, these guys are good’ at first, my heart sank again, and I put my hopes on the fact that this was just the first line of defense =P.

Conclusion: hide your iPads when in Lebanese security zones.