For reasons I won’t go into, I was at the American embassy a couple of times earlier this week. Draconian security measures notwithstanding (you’re not allowed to bring a phone or bag onto the premises), the place seemed more Lebanese than American, with Lebanese security guards, Lebanese employees and Lebanese-Americans queued up in the consular section.
Another touch was a world map in the consular section. It is a map with political boundaries, and while I was in the consular waiting room, I took a look at it while trying to recover from the disgusting humidity that all of Beirut’s been suffering from this summer. The map is in Arabic, and like most maps in the region, Israel is nowhere to be found. Instead, the map shows Palestine. This wouldn’t be surprising, except that it’s in the American embassy.