The Ghost of Beirut

I’m not exactly sure what happened here.

I remember a few of the details, but not how they conspired to produce this result, an apparition-like image floating past a fenced off construction site on Armenia Street in Beirut’s Mar Mikhael neighborhood.

I remember stopping to snap the photo, drawn mainly by the entertaining tag about tagging. I remember waiting for this young man, dressed in a white striped shirt and playing with his phone, to walk into the frame before I snapped. Dusk had already begun its descent, so I understand why my phone’s camera decided to slow the shutter speed.

But I still don’t get why the stripes appear to be floating and flying in a manner that’s almost ethereal. I don’t remember the shirt being transparent in any way — just your average white striped shirt.

The image’s meta info doesn’t include the actual shutter speed, only an “exposure program 2” reading, so I don’t even know what the actual shutter speed was that gave me this ghost.

Samsung Galaxy 4 users: if you have insights you can share, please do.


Before the twin suicide bombings on November 12 that claimed 44 lives and injured more than 200 others the big news in Beirut had to do with the city’s garbage crisis and the fact that Lebanon has been without a president since May 24, 2014. The bombings, the worst act of violence in the country since its civil war ended in 1990, just could bring an end to the political stalemate.

That’s according to AL-Monitor columnist Ali Hashem in this piece which also serves as a good summary of the current political situation on the ground in Lebanon, a country that’s rarely reported on in the west between acts of violence or war.

In the meantime, Tammam Salam, who has been Prime Minister since February 2014, has also served as acting President since May of the same year. Below is a picture I took of Salam during a brief afternoon meeting with members of the Beirut Marathon Board of Directors at the Lebanese Parliament earlier this month.

Lebanese Prime Minister Tamman Salam (c)
Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam (c)

And related: this morning a Lebanese military court charged 26 people in connection with the bombings. Of those, 23 were linked directly to the bombings while the other three were accused of belonging to the ISIS network which claimed responsibility for the attacks.


And for the record: Today’s Pic du Jour, the site’s 691st straight, was snapped in Beirut, Lebanon, on November 11, 2015, in Beirut.


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