2007-03-27 10H:00 Beirut

Follow up to Bob’s saga with his passport. Yesterday, I had a meeting with Sharif and we quickly reached an agreement that we would forget about the small symbolic fee that was there for us and that they would put up all the money needed for Bob to come. We sent a e-mail right away telling Bob to proceed. Which he did but just to find out that the American passport system is totally clogged, nothing is workings and the fast track services even less.

So the way things stands now, it seems pretty hopeless that he would succeed to fly to Lebanon. I will have to do the piece alone with recorded music that I will get through Bob’s ftp server, hoping that I will have access to a fast enough and stable enough connection to fetch the file.
When I walk in the street of Beirut, I regularly find myself in front of half destroyed buildings, full of bullet impacts and holes from larger bombs, they are remnant from the civil war. At that time large areas of Beirut were all like that. They look like monuments celebrating events of ancient times. I wonder if those ruins will disappear within a few years or if they will be carefully maintained as national treasures keeping the memory of important moment of the past.
2007.03.28 9H:00
Things seem quite hopeless concerning the possibility of Bob coming to Lebanon for next week concert. He is more or less prisoner in his own country. Impossible to travel. He has been working on a very short piece dealing with this whole passport thing, that I would play before the main piece.. But it was impossible for me to download it from his ftp server. Error messages. I suspect that the hotel wifi network does not allow for ftp connections. This is an important question to figure out because in a day or two I will have to download one hour of music for Special Forces.
Yesterday’s meeting with the students was a bit a free for all. I overestimated the degree of understanding they had of the process of animation. My explanations for the exercise were too permissive and it went in too many directions. Yet, it was probably inevitable, necessary and profitable. And it was a lot of fun. Today I will have to tighten the definition of the exercise if we want to get somewhere. Once again, I walked out of the campus at 20H:00 totally exhausted.
Sharif was there waiting for me and we went for diner with his wife at his mother’s palace. A real 200 years old palace built by his ancestors. An incredible place that is classified as a national cultural treasure.

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