From the Beyond: Updates and Whatnot


When I first started Beyond Beirut, I promised myself I’d keep it running, that I wouldn’t care about how many people visited the site, or no matter how uninteresting my life as a graduate student abroad would become, I’d still find something to write about.

We all know that this is exactly what happened.


During one of those rare free moments, digging into my all purpose bag

Truth be told, all those rare break moments that I’ve had were otherwise used: bettering my cooking skills, learning how to ride a bike, following various other blogs, getting to know people from all corners of the world, going on some very few trips, but mostly watching shows and catching up on my sleep. 

But as Spring has dawned upon us, with green returning to dominate the landscape, a lot of things have come to an end, and a lot of others have just begun.

Bloom in Bruges

Maastricht is emptier than it was when I first arrived in August. Many of the people I have met here, be it randomly or through my course, have left to do their internships abroad or to attend to other responsibilities. I know a lot of them will be dearly missed as they have come to be a big part of my life here.

Lina and I, Berlin, Feb. 2012
I miss my habibi too much!

I am no longer a formal student. After sitting for my last exam, (on finance no less), I no longer have to attend lectures, spend long nights studying for exams, and read assigned literature I’m not interested in (read: healthcare policy in the Netherlands).

Instead, the next few months will be spent working on my master’s thesis, exploring a topic that has fascinated me for at least four or five years now- and yes, I’ve known what I wanted to write my thesis on since I was in high school. Yes, I know I’m a nerd.

As Spring slowly creeps in, and the weather tries to adjust, I’m trying to see more of Europe than I did in the first half of my studies. Stories of Berlin, Bruges, Liege, and Aachen are ones that I cannot wait to share with you, but I am hoping to add numerous other cities and places to that list- especially if things fall into place.

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Day 2, Feb 2012- Sunset

I’d be lying if I said I don’t miss Beirut. Pictures from when I was last over, that’s at Christmastime, still occasionally pop up, reminding me of how much the place means to me. But sitting around and sulking, counting down the days till I return would defeat the purpose of my coming here.

So, it’s back to optimism for me- and the reminders of why I wanted to come here in the first place.

Happy days, happy reading!

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