Bye Bye Babylon: Beirut 1975-1979

TitleBye Bye Babylon: Beirut 1975-1979
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsZiade, Lamia
Number of Pages296
PublisherInterlink Pub Group
CityNorthampton MA

In this autobiography, the author Lamia Ziadé looks back at her childhood in Libanon during the  civil war that started in 1975. She describes Beirut in the 1970s as a paradise. Wealthy families ride escalators and fill shopping carts with imported food and luxury products from Paris and New York. The seven year old Lamia Ziadé dreams of banana splits, American candy, flying on Pan Am Airways and visiting the local cinema. Considered by the elite the 'Paris, Las Vegas or Monaco of the Middle East', Beirut was in reality a powder-keg, waiting for a spark. On 13 April 1975 Lamia and her family returned from lunch in the countryside to find a city in flames. Looking back on the golden days before the war, and its immediate, devastating effects, Bye Bye Babylon positions an elegiac and shocking narrative next to a child's perspective of the years 1975-79: of consumer icons next to burning buildings, scenes of violence and sparkling new weapons painted in vivid technicolour

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