Quotes by: Rabih Alameddine
I always say show me a storyteller who doesn't embellish, and I'll show you a bad one.
I have to admit, I'm not patriotic. It has partly to do with principle, but it is also a phobia/neurosis.
I stuck out more in an English public school than I would have had I marched in a May Day parade with the Red Army in Moscow or sashayed the Yves St. Laurent catwalk with supermodels or hunted seals with the Inuit or - well, you get the idea.
As teenagers, a lot of us just did not want much to do with Arabic culture - we looked to the West.
The relationship between France and its 'foreign' players - blacks and North African Arabs - has always been troubled, particularly with Algerians.
My father and I rarely saw eye to eye when I was growing up. We saw the world differently. It was only when we were both adults that we were able to share spectacles. However, football, and particularly the World Cup, was when we, enemy combatants, could traverse trenches and be together.
Now I love hoops. I'm a diehard UCLA fan, have been since my freshman year. But basketball is the '1812 Overture.' Pomp and circumstance, fireworks and cannons, lots and lots of fun, and in the end, still Tchaikovsky.
Homophobia is rampant in soccer, probably more so than in any other sport. I'm not sure why.
I allegedly am an outsider writer, so I write from the perspective of somebody who doesn't completely fit in. But at the same time, I can state the fact that I don't know of any good writer who is not an outsider writer.
I can make up stories with the best of them. I've been telling stories since I was a little kid.
A phoenix, Beirut seems to always pull itself out its ashes, reinvents itself, has been conquered numerous times in its 7,000-year history, yet it survives by both becoming whatever its conquerors wished it to be and retaining its idiosyncratic persona.
In school in Lebanon, we were not allowed to speak Arabic during breaks - it had to be French or English.
A soccer game is a Wagner opera. The narrative sets up, the tension builds, the music ebbs and flows, the strings, the horns, more tension, and suddenly a moment of pure bliss, trumpet-tongued Gabriel sings, and gods descend from Olympus to dance - this peak of ecstasy.
I gave up on the delusion that these players enjoy soccer as much as I do, that they play for the love of the game.
When I was younger, I used to find stories about divas charming. Not much anymore.
We seem, particularly over here in the West and in America in particular, to have forgotten that we are, in large measures, the story we tell ourselves about ourselves.
If you want to know whether soccer is big in America, pick a weekend, go to any park in the land, and pay attention. We're there. We've always been.
In the summer of 1988, my father took me up to look at the remains of our home, the dream house that he'd built. It was my first time since our family left four years earlier. Political and obscene graffiti covered the half-torn walls. There was no ceiling and surprisingly no floor: the parquet, the stone, the marble, all looted.