"Beirut" Beirut by JohnniOmani
Beirut Travel Guide: 924 reviews and 1,814 photos
While Beirut may well be the capital of Lebanon, its people appear hellbent on restoring its title as party capital of the Middle East. As pretenders to the throne(such as Dubai) sought to steal its crown, Beirut shook off the cement dust after a long and vicious civil war and immediately resumed work on perfecting the art of living the good life. Even the shortest stay in the capital will reveal the enormous contrasts and contradictions that make up the fabric of everyday life in Beirut. In other countries the former "Green Line" would be a solemn reminder of those who lost their lives in the war. Beirutis turned a section of it into the hottest clubbing street in the Middle East. Beirutis are doing their utmost to put the recent past behind them by eating and partying hard and enjoying life. I only spent three days in the capital but the entire vibe and hospitality of its locals was contagious. I cant wait to go back and this city is the funkiest city in the Middle East :)
Beirut was the epicentre of anarchy during the civil war. The city was ruled, area by area, by militias loyal to one of the various factions and the infamous Green Line tore the city into Christian and Muslim halves. Continual intercommunal fighting between militias, combined with shelling from Israeli fighter jets, devasted the city. The human casualties were huge and the effect on the economy was catastrophic. By 1991 the Green Line was no longer but the physical and pyschological scars are still evident in many parts of the city.
One of my favorite aspects of Beirut is its ability to balance the old with the new. Most people only know of Beiruts past and its turbulent political situation but what most people dont know is that the local folks from Beirut take great pride in their past and present situation. Flashy cars park next to old Mercedes, trendy European shops open next to the late night Kebab stands. Cracked streets give way to newly paved plazas. Mosques stand near churches while everyone goes about this business as if it was a city in the south of France. Beirut is a very very speical place and after meeting countless friendly people, I can only wish them peace and success in the future :)
- Pros:Food, People, living history
- Cons:Political Problems and Occasional Bombs
- In a nutshell:A Hidden Treasure of the Middle East
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