Reflections on art, fitness, family, politics and literature that hit me like bricks as I chauffeur my children from place to place...
A pink taxi
March 29, 2011
American University of Beirut
Nothing comes close to the American University of Beirut. Only my birthplace could accommodate the high standards of the American university system abroad. Even the American University of Paris doesn't have the same reputation as AUB does.
In fact, across the world, when people ask me where my parents met, I use the acronym AUB, as some use LSE. My Lebanese father met my Iranian mother in the late 60s, when Beirut was at its apex, right before its fall into civil war.
AUB campus resembles the Stanford campus in its charm. Yet its green area, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, is in the heart of West Beirut. It therefore has an urban feel and it has never been isolated from the political upheavals, whether domestic or regional. Therefore, its student body has always vibrated with political causes. These are the students who have overcome political disturbances to concentrate on their studies as well.
Till this day, AUB has conserved its political culture and its search for excellence. A good friend of mine and classmate has returned to Beirut to teach at AUB, attracted as he was by its long tradition.
In my family history, AUB is how I described my parents' education in college applications. It also is a very romantic symbol: it is where their love grew forty two years ago. John Travolta economics major meets Brigitte Bardot, history major. So inspiring was it that I found my soul mate in university too. History repeats itself, I told my parents.
The pink taxi runs from 7 am to 7pm. It picks and drops off my 3 kids at school, ballet,judo, aikido, violin, climbing, riding, squash, basketball, skiing, skating, swim team, friends, grandparents and teachers. The car, not pink, but a black SUV, drives to Carrefour and Coop. To Club stretch for pilates and Aviation club for weekly workouts. It is driven by a woman who navigates on the radio, gets DJed by her 4 year old or sometimes quietly reflects. The thoughts are about politics, family, humor, literature, art or fitness. Sometimes they are excruciatingly longwinded, other times they are gossipy and hot.
I hope you will all enjoy!