The thing everyone kept saying at the school in Beirut was that people there feel like a family. And while in other circumstances that might carry a whiff of hyperbole, at this school in the Lebanese capital, I believed it. The students and teachers had already been through a lot together—war and civil war, economic chaos, the devastating Beirut port blast in 2020. They knew how to hold each other up.
In this family, I was an awkward dinner guest: welcomed warmly, but from the outside.