Sitting in the plane bound from Beirut to Amman.  To my surprise, the sight of the cedar tree emblem on the jet outside the departure lounge made me burst into tears.  Suddenly I was overcome with such a sense of loss mixed with a sort of national pride—for a country I’d only stayed in for 17 days.  I’ve never experienced that sort of feeling even for my own flag.  In the gift shop I’d felt like buying everything in sight to have reminders everywhere I turn at home—oud magnets for the fridge, cedar tree ashtrays for the living room.

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