I was pleasently surprised when I received an email from Tyler Hanley, after receiving my "Looks Like Beirut" Certificate in response to my post:

Dear Jad,

I received my "Looks Like Beirut" Award in the mail today, and I’ll 
admit, it was an eye-opener. Not only did it make me re-think the 
Beirut stereotype so many of us Americans were essentially raised 
with, but it also made me appreciate the Internet and how seas and 
sand no longer block people in Lebanon from reading one of my movie 
reviews, or from someone in Palo Alto from reading your thoughtful 
blog. So, although I know the award was meant to be insulting (likely 
akin to how you perceived my review of the movie "Terminator 
Salvation"), I actually appreciated it.

 From this moment forward, I will no longer use Beirut as an example 
of an area with heavy explosions. I will avoid that cliche as much as 
I would a sadistic dentist. And thank you for introducing me to your 
insightful blog. Please continue your effort to inspire creative 
writing and put an end to the "looks like Beirut" cliche too many of 
us writers use thoughtlessly.

Best,

Tyler

Tyler Hanley
Online Editor
Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online
http://www.PaloAltoOnline.com 

I really appreciate the email and comment from Tyler and I honestly did not mean it as an insult (actually I haven’t had a chance to see the movie either). I have been reading disaster comparisons to Beirut since 2000 and I’ve felt that its time to take matters into my own hands. All I wanted to do, amusingly, was to show that as our world get smaller the stereotypical comparisons that plagued the media in the past need to be rethought.

Once again, I would like to thank Tyler for the email and I wish you a "Beirut-free" success.