Breakfast in Beirut
by Rami G. Khouri
...All of this happened in the span of 12 hours, during which my water turtle Jerry had not been fed. In his own little water tank world, he was getting anxious, as were all the Lebanese people who were becoming fed up with their leaders’ inclination to perpetuate civil strife. In the context of the new political balance of power in Lebanon, our stepping out on the balcony to feed Jerry might have risked our lives. I told my wife Ellen I would kneel down and do a semi-crawl to the balcony, reaching Jerry and his food without being seen by the gunmen whom we could see from the corner of our window. I was overruled by the prevailing balance of power in our home, when my wife insisted she could do the crawl more safely and swiftly. I concurred, and as she prepared to feed Jerry, I held my breath...