December 1, 2014 — 6:30 p.m. in Beirut

Dear L*,

I am alone at the office, it is dark outside and all one can hear are the voices of med students exchanging trivialities in the conference room. In a blink of an eye I want the week to end. The prospect of driving home in stifling traffic mentally exhausts me. Again today, demonstrators have blocked the streets of downtown Beirut, this time with burnt tires. The families of detained soldiers are desperate. They demonstrate and billboards that are meant to create solidarity with the Lebanese army surround them. A particular ad uses the Lebanese army’s slogan: “Honor, sacrifice, loyalty”, but the message on the billboard is slightly altered and forces one to focus on the word sacrifice, it says: “Honor, sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice, loyalty”.

Triple sacrifice, that’s what the army does. The billboard predicts, more than that, it tells, that authorities do not want to make concessions, because the end is near, and that it will grim due to necessity.

Other than that, there has been some action going on at the office. It is amusing. I’ll tell you about it later in the evening..

I have been missing you all day. I want to be with you in Berlin, to wander in the city from mall to mall to Christmas market. It will be fun, mainly due to your magical companionship.

P

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