I found this email this morning, it was originally sent on January 21st (when you go on leave for two weeks and fail to check your email, things are bound to take time to sort out). Adam Gabbatt blogs for guardian.co.uk and I had sent him a “Looks Like Beirut” Certificate for his post comparing Penwortham in the UK to Beirut.
Here’s his response:
I hope you’re well.
I received your certificate recently, with a mixture of embarrassment and shame.
The blogpost I wrote in November was meant to poke fun at Mayor Hothersall for criticising what is essentially a small, peaceful village (Penwortham – where I grew up), but when I looked back at the blog I realised the opening paragraph in particular was offensive towards Beirut, and could indeed be seen to perpetuate a negative image of the city.
I can only offer my apologies for for any offence caused – I did not properly consider the impact of what I was writing. There was certainly no intent to slight Beirut, even if that was the outcome.
And there you have it. Slowly and one certificate at a time, we are changing mindsets but there’s always more work to do.