PRINT May 2015

Mounira Al Solh

Image from Mounira al Solh’s The Sea Is a Stereo, 2008–.

ON RECENT WEEKENDS, a man has been visiting this spot by the Beirut Corniche, about a hundred yards from where fishermen catch fish in sewage-polluted waters. He sets a radio on a picnic table and plays songs by the Egyptian singer Oum Koulthoum, really loudly. People can’t pass by without noticing him. They gather to listen and take pictures with their phones, as I did. Near the sea, on the rocks, he shares with us his sorrow and joy.

Close to the water stands a house, and its belly seems to spill out into the street. This silent house, standing beautifully alone, reminds us of a time when architecture was in dialogue with the natural world around it. The rocks in this photo are nearly the same as the rocks by the corniche; they belong to the neighborhood Ras Beirut, by the sea.

Mounira Al Solh is an artist based in Beirut and Amsterdam.