ZENA EL KHALIL
Zena el Khalil, is a visual artist, writer and cultural activist; she holds a Masters of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in NYC and a Bachelor of Graphic Design from the American University of Beirut.
In 2006, el Khalil began a blog at the start of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon from her apartment in Beirut, beirutupdate.blogspot.com. It was a personal account of the siege that lasted for 33 days. It quickly received mass-international attention.
Soon after, Zena completed her memoir entitled “Beirut, I Love You”, now translated into several languages including Italian, Spanish, Swedish, and Portuguese. The book is optioned for film, and she is currently working on turning it into a feature film.
Zena lives in Beirut with her Jack Russell Terrier, Tapi. In 2012 she was made a TED Fellow.
For more info: www.zenaelkhalil.com
Beirut I Love You
Beirut I Love You is a powerful yet tender memoir about living in a city that thrives on contrasts and contradictions.
It is the story of Zena, a young woman who has fallen under the spell of a city that threatens to engulf her in war, grief and love affairs.
In the streets armed militias carve out their territories, while ragged construction workers rebuild the city. Refugees sleep five to a bed as bleach-blonds wend their way to the next drug-fuelled supernightclub. At any moment, the bombs will start falling.
Meanwhile, Zena and her best friend Maya must try to make sense of their lives amidst the craziness, and negotiate the city’s many obsessions including cosmetic surgery, husband hunting and Kalashnikovs.
As honest as it is forgiving, this artist’s memoir pits love and art against the ever-present threat of war.