For my book signing at the brand-new Virgin Megastore downtown, I was assigned two bodyguards; fewer than 50 Cent, probably, but I still felt positively gangsta. For laughs, I went to the bathroom just to see if the guards would follow me. They did. Apparently, American journalists hadn’t enjoyed the best safety record in Lebanon two decades ago, but now I was armed with a white flower bouquet and a good-luck letter from the Lebanese prime minister. Besides Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah (smiling posters pasted all over Beirut made him look like such a pleasant man), the guest list included diplomats and uniformed representatives of the Lebanese armed forces. They each bought several copies of the book for me to sign. One was for a general whose name I couldn’t catch. “Verrrrry important man in Lebanese army,” one of the soldiers purred in halting English. “You sign now.”
Go read it.