Anthony Bourdain in Beirut*

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  07.19.06 | 7:27 AM ET

imageAs we mentioned the other day, Anthony Bourdain and the crew of his Travel Channel show No Reservations were caught in Beirut when the violence between Hezbollah and Israel began. He told the New York Post, among other things, that he just wanted to have a drink at the bar. “The mojitos here are great,” he said. His comments rubbed some people the wrong way and inspired a lot of posts at the eGullet and No Reservations message boards. In response, Bourdain has apparently posted his further thoughts on the situation. He writes at eGullet: “I’m very aware of how flip my response to the Post was (made last Wednesday, very early in the crisis)as I sought to reassure family and friends that we were safe and okayand in good cheer. . It was—at the time—very representative of the (outward) attitude of Beirutis themselves, who pride themselves on their resilience and their determination to ‘keep the party going.’”

He continues later:

It is indeed heartbreaking and horrifying what has happened to this lovely country—to spanking new, lovingly restored,resurgent Beirut in particular, in only a few days of sustained and seemingly senseless destruction. A few days ago, this was a place where people were bursting with pride for the relative tolerance, progressive attitudes, and lack of conflict between groups. I was standing with a group: a Sunni, a Christian, and a Shiite—by the Hariri memorial when the gunfire started and the Hezbollah people appeared driving through city center and honking their horns in “celebration” for the capture/kidnappings. The look of dismay and embarrasment on all three faces…and the grim look of resignation as they all—instantly—recognized what would inevitably come next…it’s something I will never forget.

It’s a gripping post, and it can be found in its entirety at the eGullet forum. Scroll down to the bottom. It’s the last post.

* July 20 update: Anthony Bourdain Evacuated from Beirut

Related on World Hum:
* The Heartbreaking and Surreal Times of ‘Anthony Bourdain in Beirut’

11 Comments for Anthony Bourdain in Beirut*

James 07.20.06 | 5:51 PM ET

Looks like he’s out, thank goodness. Here’s a quote from India’s Daily News and Analysis:

“The embassy didn’t answer the phone for a week. At the checkpoints, it was like a Metallica concert gone terribly wrong. It was a mob scene.”
US television chef Anthony Bourdain, aboard the USS Nashville.

Jim Benning 07.20.06 | 6:34 PM ET

Thanks for the tip, James! I just added an item with the good news.

Frank Bures 07.21.06 | 9:22 AM ET

How about an Anthony Bourdain bumper sticker: “Peace, Love & Mojitos”

Leo Peers 07.25.06 | 3:00 AM ET

I dont believe the issue here is war and political gain the issue to me is about pain loss and sorrow.We spend our lives turning the other cheek so we dont have to feel the shame of our fellow man. I feel socially responsible for every action that I was to blind to act on, please believe in the human condition and allow yourself to feel hurt pain and joy, peace.

Toni 08.22.06 | 12:23 AM ET

I would just like to say to Mr. Bourdain that I am thankful he and the crew are on home soil safe and sound.  I watch the one hour “Bourdain in Beirut” on the Travel Channel and I have to say it brought tears to my eyes.  I feel for all of those that lost everything with all of the violence and I was disgusted by the way Mr. Bourdain described the clip of the president of the united states eating a buttered roll while someone was trying to get his attention.  That totally turned my stomach. 
I have to wonder though if the Shiite man and his family, as if losing his house was not enough, made it through the distruction, I pray that he did.  I do however praise his willingness to stay with Anthony and the crew, it showed the upmost respect and honor I have ever seen in a Travel show.  Thank you Mr. Bourdain for you have in a twisted way may not have been able to show the food of Beirut, but you did without a doubt show the humanity and pride in the people that call that there home.

Mo 08.22.06 | 10:12 AM ET

I was in Egypt at the time of the war. I was going to go to Lebanon but the war had began. I would just like to say that the show was great and shows that the Lebanese people have been thru this beofre. I was born in Lebanon my slef and moved to Canada because of the WAR this world needs to wake up and get along with each other. Also stop fighting for no reason’s.
The number of kids that died in Lebanon is to many to count. Let just hope it stops and Lebanon can go back to being the Paris of the middle east.

Nancee Tovich 12.29.06 | 6:39 PM ET

Here’s the thing.  Tony is unuaual in that he’s a chef with a bad habit, smoking.  An unbelievable humorist, unsettled, an explorer, curious, daring, he’ll eat just about anything.  the question is WHY???? He has a show I don’t wnat to miss and I am thankful that he is NOT on the cooking food network cause I get More of him.
Me?  I’m single, propbably his age, same humor, casual, crazy thinking and I am drawen to his style, I love his manner, he’s not too serious, and he dares to live.  I won’t miss a thing he does,  Oh, can he some to the Marriott at Shadow Ridge and cook something up for me????  Nancee

Nancee Tovich 12.29.06 | 6:42 PM ET

oops, can he come to the Marriott at Shadow Ridge and cook something uo for me????

Newcomer,  Nancee

J Cady 08.20.07 | 12:10 AM ET

I just watched “Anthony Bourdain in Beirut”. That was the best show Bourdain has ever done. It was excellent. I have never thought that he was a serious person, but rather flippant and arrogant in a light-hearted way. The seriousness of his manner during this show was impressive. I’ll never think of Bourdain in the same way. Good job, Bourdain!

Tim Hance 08.20.07 | 9:48 PM ET

Could you possibly have found some other host/show to take up this time space?  There was enough whining and moaning to take up a dozen baby nurseries. His arrogance really showed through on this one. What an ass.

stew cutler 08.20.07 | 10:22 PM ET

i thought the beirut show was excellent shoud have been on prime time network tv

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