quote by Kelly Preston

I was actually lost in Beirut on the way home.

— Kelly Preston

Special Beirut quotations

To the stern student of affairs, Beirut is a phenomenon, beguiling perhaps, but quite, quite impossible.

Hair is also a problem. I remember once, when I was reporting from Beirut at the height of the civil war, someone wrote in to the BBC complaining about my appearance.

People have the problem of denial. This is one of the things I learned in Lebanon. Everybody who left Beirut when the war started, including my parents, said, 'Oh, its temporary.' It lasted 17 years! People tend to underestimate the gravity of these situations. That's how they work.

You can learn all about the human condition from covering the crime beat in a big city - you don't need to go to Beirut for that - but a foreign correspondent begins to understand poverty from a different perspective.

I don't want to turn into one of those pathetic creatures who are always homesick, always saying I wish I were still in Beirut. I don't want to become like you, split between here and there. I know I'm not happy here, but why should I be unhappy in two countries?

It's not Beirut or Bosnia.

All you need is a pool table, beer, an electric jukebox and good conversation.

The day a girl beats me in a game of Beirut [a kind of beer pong] is a good sign!

Beirut is where I was born and raised.

We runnin around in thousand-dollar clown suits, Better get some boots when Lucifer turn your city to Beirut.

I'd spent thirty years visiting the Dalai Lama, and twenty years as a journalist going to difficult places, war zones and revolutions from North Korea to Haiti and Beirut to Sri Lanka, and the question came up: What does this man have to offer to this world which seems so torn up and so attached to conflict?

There hasn't been a lot written about it in the Western media.

But in the Arab world, and Western Asia as a whole, Baghdad was always known as a famously bookish, intellectual city. There's an old saying that Cairo writes, Beirut publishes, and Baghdad reads.

Outside events can change a presidential campaign, a president, and the history of the nation: the Iranian hostage crisis, the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, the downing of the helicopter in Mogadishu, Somalia, the suicide attack on the USS Cole, and, of course, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Beirut turned into a war zone in a matter of hours. We were stuck at home, the roads were blocked.

Our fumbling government's response since Beirut - during both Republican and Democratic administrations - has been to cut and run, or to flat ignore this growing threat, apparently hoping it would go away.

There was always a unique Beirut sound, it was always there, and so this time I just dove straight into that, instead of daydreaming and wandering.

Who imagined that what I said upon my departure from Beirut would become a reality, when I said the volcano and typhoon which started in Beirut will not stop.

In 1982, when Alexander Haig and [Ariel] Sharon put this plan to invade the south of Lebanon and Beirut, they imagined that in two or three or five days, they can demolish the PLO and destroy its infrastructure. What happened? The longest Arab - Israeli confrontation.

For my generation - the "Children of Nixon," as I call us in the book - the Lebanese civil war was an iconic event. Downtown Beirut became a metaphor for so many things: man's inhumanity to man, what Charles Bukowski called "the impossibility of being human." It shaped our perceptions of war and human nature, just as Vietnam did for our parents. We used it to understand how the world works.

My memories of Kabul are vastly different than the way it is when I go there now. My memories are of the final years before everything changed. When I grew up in Kabul, it couldn't be mistaken for Beirut or Tehran, as it was still in a country that's essentially religious and conservative, but it was suprisingly progressive and liberal.

People in the United States don't like to hear it, but puritanical Islam has been on the rise because of our unequivocal policy of absolute support for Israel, regardless of what Israel does - even if they invade Lebanon and bombard a major city like Beirut, full of civilians. Israel has atomic bombs, but we go nuts if any Arab country or Iran develops even nuclear capabilities.

Many of Islam's apologists insist that suicide bombing is not Islamic because the Koran forbids suicide. Mmm-hmm. So where are all the Muslims gathering in mass demonstrations to vehemently condemn this practice that slanders their religion? Why does contemporary Islam promote 'martyrdom' as the highest duty of Muslims? Why are photographs of suicide bombers plastered everywhere in Beirut? Because Islam is what Islam does.

Take a moment to reflect upon the existence of the musical The Book of Mormon.

Now imagine the security precautions that would be required to stage a similar production about Islam. The project is unimaginable—not only in Beirut, Baghdad, or Jerusalem, but in New York City.

We may be unable to maintain even a semblance of order in our urban schools, which increasingly resemble happy hour in Beirut. But, hallelujah, we sure know how to protect kids from God.

Putting people in a room and strapping wires to their wrist to find out if I make them tingle when I'm telling them about Beirut is a long way from Edward R. Murrow.

There is a single theme behind all our work-we must reduce population levels.

Either governments do it our way, through nice clean methods, or they will get the kinds of mess that we have in El Salvador, or in Iran or in Beirut. Population is a political problem. Once population is out of control, it requires authoritarian government, even fascism, to reduce it.

I have had a strong and a long relationship on national security, I've been involved in every national crisis that this nation has faced since Beirut, I understand the issues, I understand and appreciate the enormity of the challenge we face from radical Islamic extremism. I am prepared. I am prepared. I need no on-the-job training. I wasn't a mayor for a short period of time. I wasn't a governor for a short period of time.

After the allied victory of 1918, at the end of my father's war, the victors divided up the lands of their former enemies. In the space of just seventeen months, they created the borders of Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia and most of the Middle East. And I have spent my entire career — in Belfast and Sarajevo, in Beirut and Baghdad — watching the people within those borders burn.

The wise traveler [to Beirut] will pack shirts or blouses with ample breast pockets. Reaching inside a jacket for your passport looks too much like going for the draw and puts armed men out of countinence

As I searched the atlas for somewhere to run to, Hugh made a case for his old stomping grounds. His first suggestion was Beirut, where he went to nursery school. His family left there in the midsixties and moved to the Congo. After that, it was Ethiopia, and then Somalia, all fine places in his opinion. 'Let's save Africa and the Middle East for when I decide to quit living,' I said.

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