Return to Transcripts main page

Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown

Beirut. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired December 10, 2015 - 21:00   ET


ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST: There's no place else even remotely like it. Everything great and all the world's ills, all in one glorious, messed up magical maddening magnificent city. Beirut. It's good to be back.

The Mediterranean Sea itself trembles. The ground shakes beneath the wheels of our heavy metal thunder. Back in Beirut, after all these years. The first time I was here did not end well but it made no difference to me. I love it here. In spite of everything, I love it here.

Nice ride. It's a good way to see Beirut.

RAMSEY SHORT: This is very similar to that place we went to years ago, Baba (ph).


SHORT: This is Reddick(ph). This is your, you know, traditional chicken sandwich shawarma.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Deep fry it broast.

BOURDAIN: The broasted chicken was this guy's idea, my British Lebanese friend born to be wild Ramsey Short who I met in the bad old days of 2006. Apparently he's in with the Lebanese chapter of the Harley Davidson group, or HOG for short. So when you roll into some religiously conservative villages on these monster bikes and leather jackets what's the reaction?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two types. Once we were pelted with rice from the balcony. And they thought we were like a wedding or something really nice. And the other extreme was stones like on the wheels like just get out of here.



BOURDAIN: I wouldn't throw stones at people on Harleys. Whoa. Look at this.

SHORT: Let's dig in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The food. BOURDAIN: Get now to work.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: And this is a famous neighborhood of the city. This area, there was central during the civil war.


BOURDAIN: The sheer volume of fire that was poured into some of these buildings is absolutely unbelievable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. So, many battles happened on the same place over...

BOURDAIN: Over and over and over and over again.


BOURDAIN: Clearly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I notice this every time someone visiting the city they just point at that. Look at that. But you know, we don't see them anymore. And we just pass by them.

BOURDAIN: Beirut, seemingly the world in miniature. 18 religious sects recognized. More than 2 million Christians, over a 1.5 million Shiites, a 1.5 million Sunni, nearly 500,000 Palestinians and now by some estimates as many as 2 million Syrians, all living and somehow getting along, kind of, in a country the size of Connecticut.

[21:05:15] But along its borders the country has what you might call serious neighbor issues. ISIS in Syria threatening to expand its so called caliphate into Lebanon. ISIS in many ways is something we've never really seen before. It's really large, well-organized, well- equipped terrorist army.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: Lebanon stayed Zebeck refugees are nearly two years now. The country simply can't take any more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A quarter of Lebanon's population is now Syrian. That is the equivalent to the U.S. taking in 83 million Syrians.

BOURDAIN: This could be spiraling and if you said the real fear is that violence across the border, these Syrians boiling out, spilling over into an already neighbor now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beirut struggles to put a lid on the simmering sectarian tensions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The aftermath of that happening in Beirut as well some of the flashes that took place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The exchange of gun fire is heated in Shia as two Palestinian brothers were shot.

BOURDAIN: Here block by block you see the scars from the 15 year Civil War that only ended in the '90s but also nightclubs, discos, beaches, bikinis where much of the Arab world comes to let their hair down. It is an incongruous mix.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All these hiding within them fear that violence is the beginning.

BOURDAIN: The Burj el-Barajneh neighborhood has long been the home to principally Palestinian refugees but more recently it's become a refuge for Syrians fleeing the barrel bombs of President al-Assad on one hand and the predations of ISIS on the other.

The camp saw heavy fighting, shelling and outright massacres during the religious conflict known as the Lebanese Civil war. Everywhere you see posters representing a full menu of political factions and affiliations from al-Assad loyalists to the PLO to every flavor of extremist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A victory for jihad of equity or martyrism.

BOURDAIN: Do you know of any other place in the region where all of these groups are co-existing within a confined space?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is stunning to be walking down the street with high knee short skirts and busting on some red wine flowing and then drive straight into an extraordinarily conservative down Shiite district. That's below our district. He suspects the bomb by bought the West coast terrorist organization. It is kind of mind blowing.

BOURDAIN: I am not a geopolitical expert and as much time as I spent in this part of the world I spent nowhere near the amount of time this guy has, Nick Paton Walsh, CNN senior international correspondent.

WALSH: Most of the groups here are now more terrified of those some crazy Islamic radicals across the border in Syria than they ever have been of each other.

BOURDAIN: What do we call this neighborhood, what is it?

WALSH: It's now one of the Calgarian mixed refugee areas that Beirut has.

BOURDAIN: Close to 2 million people from Syria alone.

WALSH: Yeah.

BOURDAIN: That's a hell of a lot to be absorbed by a tiny little nation of what 4.5 million?

WALSH: Well it's just loads of people. Focus on many people with nowhere to go. You see it in how cell phones don't sometimes work the way they should. He brought the sheer water at their home as hot bad infrastructure of this also district. And she is a mount and is also.

BOURDAIN: We'll follow you.

NAJEM, ENGLISH TEACHER : OK. Well the first time in the history, a Palestinian leads American. That's nice. WALSH: Don't let the neighbors know about that.


BOURDAIN: In Syria, Mr. Najem was an English teacher.

[21:10:02] Needless to say he had at one time a better life back there.

NAJEM: I came from Syria. After the civil war started...

WALSH: Yeah.

NAJEM: ... there. We all live in a house with many, many problems. Sectarian problems and we don't want to add more problems for those people. But what can we do? We live here in this camp. Imagine the situation here. It is unbelievable.

He is married by the way and he has three kids. And despite his wounds he works in an construction. This family bought this wood in order to protect house from the rats. These children need medical operation but this family can't pay for those operations because they are expensive. They are waiting for to do. They wait for nothing. They wait for the help of God.

BOURDAIN: Straining under the weight of all of these unasked for guests the Lebanese government has begun making it very difficult for them.

NAJEM: He doesn't work only because he doesn't have an official residence so he can't leave the camp. Otherwise he will be arrested.

BOURDAIN: Being stopped at any of the city's ubiquitous military check points could mean a one way ticket back to Syria, trapped, unable to work, they exist invisibly on the margins of society.

NAJEM: You know, who put those here. This is military area. You don't want to get involved in any problem.

BOURDAIN: Syrian food?

NAJEM: This is Syrian. It is called the seven countries. It consists of many kinds of vegetables, seven kinds of food. But this thing that's in Syria, most of them are well-educated doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers.

WALSH: But here now it's the opposite, right?

NAJEM: Here in Lebanon even if you were a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher, you can work only in the camp. We don't know how to go, where to go, to go back to Syria.

BOURDAIN: No camel?

NAJEM: To cross the sea.


NAJEM: Suppose that there is authority collect us and to throw us away to Syria. What is going to happen? We have no area in the world. We have no place in this universe. We belong to nowhere. Nowhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome at in Lebanon. Hello.



BOURDAIN: Once known as the Paris of the Middle East, Beirut still clings to its glamorous 1960's image, a chic tourist destination where you can famously ski and go to the beach all in the same day. Walking at corniche it's easy to forget, for a moment anyway, what's going on not far from here?

MO, LOCAL SECURITY SPECIALIST: All the people who live here it is of course safe preferred. This is endless. Someday outside their houses and this is one of their traditional places. This is the way I lived all my life.

BOURDAIN: Mo is a local security specialist on assignment to keep well, me and my crew safe from harm. He lives with his daughter, Lushra (ph) and his family in Ras, Beirut, a mixed neighborhood of Christians, Muslims and Jews.

Little oil in the middle it's I recall, yes?

MO: Yes.

BOURDAIN: So good. Very good fish. I missed this country. I really did.

MO: You have been here before?

BOURDAIN: This is my third time. My first time was 2006. We came here, we had two perfect days and then the war broke out. During my first trip here in 2006, Hezbollah guerillas killed three Israeli soldiers and captured two others in a cross border raid. In the 34- day war that followed, much of Beirut was heavily pounded by bombs and naval artilleries.

I fell in love with the city. Under the worst possible situation, you have this really extraordinary mix of religions and people. How is that? Why? What's so special about it? Why?

MO: Of course, somebody on Friday go to pray, somebody on Sunday go to pray. But they go to the same restaurant and have the same food has the same drink. They have the same tradition.

LUSHRA, MO'S DAUGHTER: There is no place better than Lebanon. You have everything. People are friendly. Beautiful, fantastic.

BOURDAIN: It is a Democracy here. MO: Of course. You have choice to sit down and talk. I like this. I don't like this.

BOURDAIN: So what's in look like now?

MO: You know, we looked like we are two months before 2006.

BOURDAIN: Wow, that's not good.

MO: Tension is a little bit high but the people, they are very happy, you know, we are very happy. I go with my family outside.

BOURDAIN: I was watching the news last night in the hotel, it is genuinely terrifying.

MO: This is Lebanon. It's raining today, tomorrow is sunny. It's happening all the time. You'll get used to it.

BOURDAIN: You get used to it. Are you concerned or optimistic?

LOSHRA: No, I'm optimistic. Yeah.

BOURDAIN: Do your friends feel the same way?

LOSHRA: Not really. Not all.

BOURDAIN: Really, your friends are less optimistic?


MO: We have only one good neighbor that don't affect us.


MO: It helped us all the time, if were sick. He brings the fish and we have fish. And he never get upset from us.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

We are back in the hiz-ouse.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. This is radio Beirut.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

BOURDAIN: Is that quite, yes. Yes, I think it is. Ironic glasses, vintage clothing and neck beards. It appears the Brooklyn strain has spread even to Beirut. TINO, SYRIAN FILIPINO RAPPER: Radio Beirut. Live and direct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is the CNN and everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CNN has become the most trusted name in news. Same way a broken clock is trusted to be right twice a day.

TINO: CNN changed their slogan from this is CNN to at least it's not Fox news.

BOURDAIN: How is it possible this mix of religions and cultures?

TINO: You know, geographically how it is Beirut so tiny. You got mountains, you got the Sea. We're surrounded and then there's so many factions that you have to deal with everybody.

I'm going tricky ham in this fit. That hell he'll if he give. Now happens that let us that but if it's a lasagna is this shit. Now where is the bread? Where do here is what hinges first thing that think at home as well as low for standards get to his death. Where is the whole where is the wealth. Syria both the easy and shield they needn't not know that we need his help...

BOURDAIN: Syrian Filipino rapper, Tino.

TINO: Monday is hip hop at radio Beirut. At radio Beirut it is like a really awesome place where there's live bands playing all week long.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We created a platform for emcees to try their skills in front of people without the prejudice, without the judgments and although we do judge but we don't make fun of them.

BOURDAIN: Lebanese free style legend Hussein, aka, AA, the preacher man. You were arrested?

HUSSEIN, LEBANESE FREE STYLE LEGEND, A.K.A. AA The Preacher Man: Yeah, yeah yeah. That's normal. That's not the first time it happened.

BOURDAIN: Where? What?

HUSSEIN: And basically I was profiled. I give there's an explosion, all the big dude with the beard who is bald.


HUSSEIN: As if they get it we're 100 percent sure.

BOURDAIN: These are beard related issues.


TINO: Yeah.

BOURDAIN: Let's hear the hip hop?

HUSSEIN: That's the glue that binds us.

BOURDAIN: What is it about hip hop?

HUSSEIN: I see it like this. I mean a lot of people doing well and all because call them well and which is it's a traditional rhyming scheme where each is speak about their problems, about their beefs. It's in our core to be poetic. We are poetic.

TINO: I come from what the background where you have governments that are dictators and we can't really voice anything.

These politicians can't believe because they're getting lit on. So the slaughter on this moth is trying to keep the lit on. Fresh is makes this wheel get the boost that lit off and were robbed, were robbed, were robbed.

We're trying to find our own identity. We don't want to be like our ancestors always fighting each other. Like these Christian, he's Shia, I'm Syrian Sunni, that's nothing. You know, we don't even mention that when we're on stage.



BOURDAIN: Afternoon in Beirut in Haffa's (ph) family, like many others across the city, prepares dinner.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

BOURDAIN: Extraordinary spread of food.

HAFFA (ph): Yeah. All this food, you see, and my family is kind because he want to go to Burger Kings. He wants some chicken burger from Burger King.

BOURDAIN: Well, thank you so much for having me in your home.

HAFFA: This is sweet potato. We call it patata hara. Deep fried potato with red pepper, green chili, Morinda, garlic and lemon juice. And this is Kibbeh Nayyeh which is a raw meat, lamb, fresh mint, thin onion. Mix it all together. And this is as a main course. It's called Moussaka. Minced meat, baked over gin, green and red pepper and chick peas and tomato and tomato paste. Please help yourself.

BOURDAIN: Thank you. I was in Beirut in 2006 this neighborhood was hit very hard.

HAFFA: Yeah.

BOURDAIN: Were you here at that time?

HAFFA: Yeah. It was dust.

BOURDAIN: Why this neighborhood?

HAFFA: Because the people of this area 99 percent, they support Hezbollah.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: As Israel buries its dead from a surprise is via missile strike at the radical Shiite group celebrates a victory. The rhetorical both side is at a fever pitch right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is the deadliest Hezbollah attack against the Israeli forces since the two sides went to war in 2006.


BOURDAIN: Hezbollah means the "Party of God". They are a Shia military political organization lavishly supported by Iran. The party is more powerful, more effective on the ground than the Lebanese Army. The United States officially designates them a terrorist organization.

In 1983, they did this, the U.S. embassy bombing. And this, the Marine barracks at Beirut's airport, 299 United States and French servicemen were killed.

HAFFA: All the people are Hezbollah.

Please put it down now.

BOURDAIN: They are dangerous. They are well funded. And whatever else they may be, they are not stupid.

HAFFA: In 2006, I have two sisters they lost their house (ph). Hezbollah take care of them. Here everybody support Hezbollah, even the people who are not religious for one reason, because they feel protected by them.

BOURDAIN: My host's support for Hezbollah, typical of Dahiyeh neighborhood in South Beirut, is staunch.

HAFFA: Before Hezbollah, Lebanese before they were always scared of Israel. Now when you say, Israel, you say, ha, ha. We don't care.

BOURDAIN: In the early days Hezbollah used tactics that just about anyone would call a terrorism. When is it permissible morally to use a car bomb or using civilian targets?

HAFFA: For me?

BOURDAIN: For you?

HAFFA: I'm against killing. Against killing anybody, even Israel. This person who I'm going to kill, a car bomb or whatever, doesn't he has family.

BOURDAIN: What's the most important thing happening in the world today that needs to be resolved for things to be better?


BOURDAIN: ISIS is number one? HAFFA: Number one. They kill hundreds and thousands of Shiites. They are devils. They are against everything like everything on the earth they are against.

BOURDAIN: Recently Hezbollah has become heavily involved in the war in Syria, in defense of the Assad regime. Complicating matters and uncomfortably enough, they are probably the best organized, best- equipped, most serious obstacle to ISIS and al-Qaeda in the area.

HAFFA: Most of the villages in the East of Lebanon, they are Christian and they are Sunni.


HAFFA: If Hezbollah wasn't there, it was no more Christian in that area. This is the only reason they're gone. This is the only reason for just to protect my children and my wife.

BOURDAIN: 20 years, 30 years?

HAFFA: Yeah.

BOURDAIN: Will things be better?

HAFFA: I hope so. Of that 20 years and 30 years, I hope now, next year, things goes I hope. I hate war.



BOURDAIN: The last two times I've been here, there is just this never-ending building boom. Nobody seems to be moving in but the buildings are going up. JOUMANA HADDAD, POET & CULTURE EDITOR, AN NAHAR: Yeah. BOURDAIN: Who is buying these apartments? Who are they four? HADDAD: Two kinds of people, Lebanese, who are living abroad, or Arabs, especially from the Gulf Region. BOURDAIN: Right, for whom Beirut is a relatively liberal wonderland or permissiveness compared to Riyadh, for instance. HADDAD: Compared to Riyadh, yes. But, unfortunately, we cannot generalize this and say that Beirut is a place where sexual expression is encouraged. BOURDAIN: Her books are banned in many countries in the region. She is regularly threatened with rape, stoning and murder. She is Joumana Haddad, culture editor of Lebanon's biggest newspaper, "An Nahar." HADDAD: Yesterday, I had my first T.V. show about sexual freedom and you cannot imagine how many house doors have opened just because I dared say that girls are allowed in sexuality like boys. And we pretend -- we pretend to be a democracy. This is Gufta (ph) BOURDAIN: Gufta (ph)? HADDAD: Yes, with yogurt sauce and cranberries. BOURDAIN: That the fried. Stuffed grape, please? HADDAD: Yes. BOURDAIN: The fact that Lebanon and Beirut, in particular, works at all. If all of these religious groups have different interests, I mean, this is a fully functioning, more or less, by world standards. HADDAD: Fully functioning? BOURDAIN: Yeah, this is a... HADDAD: We don't have a president. It's been almost -- going to be a year now that we are without one. BOURDAIN: It's sort of awesome. HADDAD: Don't you think that the main reason behind you seeing this as a thrilling, exciting place to live in is that you're a visitor and not someone who actually lives here? BOURDAIN: Am I wrong to love this place? HADDAD: You're not wrong to love it. I love living on the tip of a volcano, but there has to be some point where I can breathe and relax. I don't want to seem like I'm only criticizing because I really also, as much as I hate this place, I love it as well. And I know that it's also very precious to have such a kind of freedom in a place in the Arab world like Beirut. I don't need to tell you about Islamic State. Even though they are not inside Beirut yet, we can feel the threat. [21:40:02] We can feel it every day. BOURDAIN: Should people come here? HADDAD: Yes, definitely. They should come. They will enjoy it as much as you have. I wouldn't advise them to stay more than a month, though.

MICHEL ELEFTERIADES: I often go to the Daniel events and I asked in that to call me your highness. I love that. That's magic. So I go there and I am dress like an emperor. I'm not today but -- so sometimes I dress like an emperor.

BOURDAIN: There have been two attempts on your life I guess?


BOURDAIN: That you're aware of.

ELEFTERIADES: Yes, two attempts. In Arabic we say that (inaudible). It means that the third one succeeds. So I don't know when the third one will be.

BOURDAIN: You're young militant and an activist, a labor organizer? You have been arrested in your life?

ELEFTERIADES: Yes, many times. When I was 14 years old for example I became a communist in the Phrygian that was under control of the extreme right wing militia. I ended up in a torture room that I declare to be it just behind you.

BOURDAIN: Later after joining and then leaving the Lebanese army, Michel Elefteriades formed the NUR, an armed of revolutionary group.

And yet here you are your life now is music and culture?

ELEFTERIADES: I think that I was made to be a musician but when war happened in Lebanon I took a gun. I understood that I cannot face someone who's attacking my house with the guitar.

BOURDAIN: In 2003, by now a music producer, entrepreneur, politician, artist, author and film maker, he founded the Beirut Musical in a bullet popped theater empty since the civil war. This is his kingdom.

ELEFTERIADES: Some people come because it's trendy. They come with the sexy ladies. Some come because they like to discover new things. We have per night up to 15 acts, each act coming from a different culture.

BOURDAIN: Who needs culture?

ELEFTERIADES: I think that culture can save the world. ISIS towards these criminals who are not very far from Lebanon, someone who had interesting books, someone to listen to beautiful music cannot become an animal again.

BOURDAIN: If you were the emperor of the world, hypothetically.


BOURDAIN: Hopefully, what would Beirut be like in 10 years?

ELEFTERIADES: Best case scenario it goes back to before the creation of separate when all communities were living very well. The Jewish would be back. We are -- the Jewish neighborhood here. I think that we have all to be united to fight this monster, ISIS. Once that the monster is defeated you can start arguing again about other things.




ROAN: Hello.

BOURDAIN: How you doing? I'm Tony.

ROAN: I'm Roan (ph), nice to meet you.

BOURDAIN: This feels very formal.

ROAN: Yeah.

BOURDAIN: But it's not so please relax.

ROAN: I am relaxed. Can I get my beer?

BOURDAIN: By all means, yes please.

ROAN: Lots of people come here. They are mostly musicians and artist people. Lots of jamming happens here and it's like we're a family hanging out.

BOURDAIN: This cafe is a typical Beirut establishment but the clients tell from Lebanon, from Syria and any number of other countries. The owners are both Lebanese and Syrian and acutely aware of the tricky political realities with which they must live. They were concerned about us filming here and wanted us to understand

clearly that the cafe has no political affiliation and that the opinions of this young lady, Roan are not that of the cafe or necessarily even the clientele.

You were born and breed in Syria?

ROAN: I was -- yes. I was born and brought up in Syria, Damascus. One night, 3:00 a.m. the army entered our house and I found them in my bedroom looking for the free Syrian army. My dad knew he couldn't protect us because he was old. Three hours later we decided to leave, so we came to Beirut.

BOURDAIN: Oh, thank you.

ROAN: We always eat here. Grape leaves is my favorite.

BOURDAIN: I saw you went for that first.

ROAN: Yeah.

BOURDAIN: It's delicious.

ROAN: Yeah it is. We come here a lot and we talk a lot about Syria.

[21:50:01] We talk about our visa issues most of the time. Actually now I have four months left and I really have no idea what am I going to do?

BOURDAIN: What do you think? Will they renew your visa?

ROAN: So far, I don't think so.

BOURDAIN: Do they arrest you? Do they take you to the border or they take you over the other side? What -- well, does that...

ROAN: They send you back to Syria.

BOURDAIN: What happens if you go back to Syria?

ROAN: Most probably die on the way or some people get arrested or be taken into the army.

BOURDAIN: How different is Damascus from Beirut?

ROAN: Oh, it's really, really different. In Damascus I was always afraid of the government. Some people died because they cursed the president. I left Syria and I found hope here and I screamed in the streets, cursing all politicians and everything. It's all right. Nobody's going to come and arrest you. I really love this place, with all my heart.

BOURDAIN: Is all of the chaos and the violence worth it for change, is that worth dying for? I mean, things were, there was order when you grew up. There was order.

ROAN: Yes.

BOURDAIN: No freedom, but order. Would you go back to that?

ROAN: I don't think that there is anything worthy in the world of a human blood. There is nothing more important than human being.

BOURDAIN: You'd never be able to yell out loud. You've never be able to do the things you're doing now. You'd go back.

ROAN: I was alive.

BOURDAIN: You were alive.

ROAN: Lot of people were alive too.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One day after a shocking daylight bombing in Lebanon, they're seeing wide spread anger and finger pointing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This blast has set off a tide of civil unrest in Lebanon.

BOURDAIN: Ramsey, how you been?

SHORT: I've been all right. I've been well.

BOURDAIN: We are better for capitalist imperialist pig dogs like Ramsey and myself to spend the last evening in Beirut than Abu Ely.

SHORT: It was opened by a guy called Naya. He is a atheist member of the Lebanese, communist party.

BOURDAIN: A communist themed bar located in a housing block.

What is this?

SHORT: You know what? I'm not sure. It's been put in front of us.

BOURDAIN: Well, we should probably drink it and figure it out.

SHORT: Yeah, let's do it. Why not?


SHORT: Vodka.

BOURDAIN: You know, actually I had somebody who lives here tell me, oh yeah, place is great. Just don't stay here longer than a month.

SHORT: Yeah.

BOURDAIN: And I was like, what? Oh, you know, you're trying to kill us now. And who is this man? He's trying to hurt us. SHORT: Cheers.

BOURDAIN: After more than a few indigenous beverages, oh, Raqqa (ph). So now we're talking. Cheers.

SHORT: Cheers.

BOURDAIN: Enter Ernesto.

ERNESTO: Hey, hey, Tony. Hey, I got something for you.

BOURDAIN: Oh, yeah?

ERNESTO: It's a Cuban cigar.

BOURDAIN: And the words of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, let's get the party started, or is that Rick James?

SHORT: Ernesto is the son of the owner of this bar.


ERNESTO: This is my mom and she made some shanklish here.


SHORT: Shanklish is the cheese.

ERNESTO: It's kind of rotten cheese.

BOURDAIN: There we go.

SHORT: Cheers.

ERNESTO: I called my dad.


ERNESTO: I told him there's a guy called Tony, CNN. He said "I don't watch CNN" and then I told him but he's a cool guy. He wants to make the best food for you.

SHORT: This is some of the best in Beirut.

BOURDAIN: Is it a lamb?

ERNESTO: And spices.

BOURDAIN: Oh, man, that's good. Hypothetical question, ISIS are coming now, are we picking up a gun or not?

SHORT: I pick a gun.

ERNESTO: Yeah, we will fight these people.

BOURDAIN: We'll done like this. ERNESTO: No, we have to have it.

BOURDAIN: Zip, stuff, stock.

ERNESTO: Yeah, make stuff.

BOURDAIN: I seem to remember mom at one point whipping out some kind of automatic weapon.

All right, here you go, big guy.

RAMSEY: I will take this up in arms and I will fight.

ERNESTO: Let me tell you how...

SHORT: I will. I will.

BOURDAIN: And in the mirror of all descended from the ceiling, Bootsy Collins came over the sound system and the rest is a fog.

SHORT: Let's first have a cheers.

ERNESTO: (Inaudible).

BOURDAIN: This is probably -- this is the worst neighbor problems in the world. It's amazing that it persists.

ERNESTO: You know what, I've been around in that same place. This place works fine.

BOURDAIN: I think so, too.

SHORT: Cheers to Tony, man.

BOURDAIN: Beirut, everybody should come here. Everyone should see how complicated, how deeply troubled and yet at the same time beautiful and awesome the world can be.

Everyone should experience even as the clouds gather what's at stake, what could be lost, what's still here, and never let that hope go.

Beirut, there is no place like it.