In the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, drones are well known for their military uses, whether for surveillance or air strikes. They have even won literary acclaim, with the recent publication of a thriller by an author writing under the pseudonym Doa, whose title, “Pukhtu primo” is a clear allusion to this part of the world.
Beirut and its inhabitants waver constantly between a relatively carefree outlook and a fear of insecurity, but Lebanon’s vital energy always shines through, whatever the circumstances. This energy manifests itself, for example, in the large number of venues for social and cultural activities throughout the city, where music plays a significant role.
Thus was the exchange of pleasantries which took place in a swanky Houston hotel between a heavy-set man in a black dinner jacket and myself in April 2003, a few weeks after the US intervention in Iraq, at one of the over 400 annual galas which pepper the social calendar in Texas’s economic capital.
I don’t have a single colleague who isn’t passionate about this job. This passion is what helps us to accept the constraints imposed by our role and to overcome, and sometimes even laugh about, the moments when we feel quite alone. Over the past fifteen years or so, I have had several such experiences, which I remember as if they were yesterday.
I am the Press and communication officer at the French embassy in Algeria. My job is to spotlight, regardless of taboos and prejudice, the rich ties between the Algerian and French societies and the daily work of all those who work to develop the relationship between our two countries.