When I started writing this post about Berlin East and Berlin West, perceived from a foreigner’s (who just landed in the city) point of you, I couldn’t stop thinking about Beirut East and Beirut West during the civil war. It is so funny how much the two capitals have not only four similar letters the B, E, I and R but also hundred of other similarities. They both got caught up in the middle of a power struggle between two big forces.
It is, obviously, not in the nature of the Berliners or the nature of the Lebanese to be contempt with one ideology and to accept one identity. Far from that, they both are torn between East and West, Capitalism versus Communism (Germany) Christianity versus Islam (Lebanon). I wish it was as simple as I am explaining it, but it is not; each of the two people have West and East in them, and sometimes it is so hard to tell the difference.
I think from what I have seen around me in Berlin, even the people of the West who stayed in the westernised part of Berlin carry lots of socialism and equal social justice feelings in them. The Lebanese too, no matter how religious they might be they all carry at the same time christian and islamic beliefs in them, yes it is complicated, or let’s say we complicate things; it was simple in the beginning and then one idea emerged from the other and they all exist because of each other… Ok this post is getting a little bit too serious, and this was never my intention in my blog, I want to always keep it light, cute and simple.
I love the fact that destiny brought me to Berlin to find answers about the Lebanese war, of course not literally but in a philosophical way to why war happened in Lebanon, and why the Lebanese allowed it.
When I wrote the blog about crossing the Beirut borders and comparing it to Berlin (One day in 1985 in Beirut) I had no idea that four years later I was going to be in Berlin and see what happened here.
Anyway, here are the pictures of Check Point Charlie, a very typical place to visit while in Berlin. Check Point Charlie was the military passage from West Berlin to East Berlin, where passports had to be stamped with a visa in order to cross to the other side of the same city. You will see the one side controlled by the Americans and the other side which took pride for not being a profit sector.