Thanks to Charbel Lammam (@clammam) and Marie Nakhle (@MarieNakhle) for this interesting “looks like Beirut” phrase which comes to us from a book by Lee Child – The Hard Way. Here’s a synopsis of thriller/mystery novel taken from Amazon:

In bestseller Child’s 10th novel to feature ex-army MP Jack Reacher (after 2005’s One Shot), a sidewalk cafe encounter in New York City plunges Reacher into one of his most challenging—and thoroughly engrossing—adventures to date. Acting out of “reflex and professional curiosity” (and the promise of a generous fee), Reacher agrees to help sinister ex-army officer Edward Lane, whose posse of six Special Forces veterans are even more ominous than he, track down his kidnapped daughter and trophy wife. Since the kidnapping of wife number one five years earlier ended in her death, Lane cautions Reacher that he will not brook police interference (“You break your word, I’ll put your eyes out”). From Lane’s quarters in the West Side’s venerable Dakota apartment building to the shady sections of SoHo and Greenwich Village, the author’s atmospheric descriptions make Manhattan a leading player, with menace lurking at every intersection. The inevitable showdown, on a farm outside a tiny English village, ranks as one of Child’s most thrilling finales.

Interesting, right? So where does Beirut fit in? Well, Beirut isn’t mentioned in the novel, but Lebanon is:

…with him, and his brother-in-law was a kind of Green Beret for the Brits, and he’s brought in six of his guys, too. They’ve got Calymores on a hundred-yard perimeter and heavy machine guns in every window. They’ve got night vision and grenade launchers.”

‘They can’t possibly use them. Not here. This is England, not the Lebanon.’

[scanned image of book can be seen here]

Maybe we can sell this new catchphrase in the next Ministry of  Tourism’s promotional ad: Lebanon, the land of sun, snow and semi-automatics. Lee Child, I will be sending you a “Looks Like Beirut” certificate shortly.

Lee Child, British thriller writer accepting Barry Award. -6 September 2005-

Lee Child, British thriller writer accepting Barry Award. -6 September 2005-