“Homeland” in My Homeland

How closely does the Beirut of Showtime’s “Homeland” resemble the real thing? Last Friday, when a bomb killed a Lebanese intelligence officer and a number of bystanders, it seemed like a lot. A writer living in the Lebanese capital takes us through a not-so-ordinary day.

  1. Because I call Beirut home, and because an American TV show called Homeland won a bunch of awards and is apparently depicting my town, and moreover, because this depiction focuses on Hamra street, which I cross a dozen times a day en route to my butcher, baker, gym, my child's school, and the cafe where I write, and because this depiction is apparently ham-handed enough to have enraged the minister of tourism here, who is spending millions attempting to lure tourists back to a beautiful and tragic city—and added to all that, because the show was originally an Israeli TV pilot, an agony and irony for a people still technically at war with that neighboring country and, further, because the Beirut scenery was reportedly shot on location in the Israeli towns of Tel Aviv and Haifa—I want to tell you about a day on Hamra street, last Friday, when a bomb exploded just a few blocks from where I had lunch.

    Normally, I walk my three year old to school, but she woke with fever for the third da...

The complete text of ““Homeland” in My Homeland ” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.gq.com.

Originally published in GQ, October 2012

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