Category Archives: Old Lebanon

Rare Footage of Beirut In The 1920s

Posted By :

I enjoy watching old footages of Beirut and these two videos are the longest footages I’ve seen of Beirut in a while. I tracked down the source to this [website] which has old footage from the INA Channel and it seems someone actually bought them and uploaded them.

tramway I had no clue there was a tramway that passed right in front of AUB.

Check out [Part1] and [Part2].

Brazilian Football Legend Pelé played for Lebanese Nejmeh SC in 1975

Posted By :

nejmeh 1975 pele Picture from AbdoGedeon

Pelé played a friendly game with the Lebanese team and scored 2 goals which were never included in his tally of 1281 career goals. Here are a couple of pictures and videos I found on this game that occurred a week before the start of the civil war. Brazilian star Bebeto also participated in a friendly game with Nejmeh back in 2003.

pepe

[YouTube]

[YouTube]

Old Beirut Articles From The International Herald Tribune Archives

Posted By :

0432fafc17762635aa17ad4379297b43

To begin with, I am glad that Jad is finally back to blogging after a long absence as I’ve always looked forward to his posts and his “Looks like Beirut” certificates. In fact, that’s where I found this old article from the International Herald Tribune about Beirut that was originally published in 1964.

Here’s an excerpt from the article entitled: Beirut is Travel Hub of the Middle East.

Beirut, its capital, is the seething communications hub of the Middle East, where planes from every point on the globe touch down, linking four continents. The city is an anachronism in which fast-paced sophistication, and slothful, time-worn customs are crazily juxtaposed.

Ravishing skills and woolens from the best European sources are displayed in other shop windows; these destined to be made up into Paris copies by clever Lebanese tailors and dressmakers. To tempt one even more to buy, all items are attractively priced, because of Lebanon’s low import taxes.

There is a restaurant in Beirut which caters to every taste, be it French, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, Turkish, Indian, Chinese or American.

For fun and games in an elegant setting, there is the casino, a handsome complex situated ten miles from the city overlooking the bay of Jounieh, where one may dine, attend a movie or a concert, stay on for dancing at the nightclub, and finish the evening with a turn in the gaming rooms until the sun comes up over the Lebanon mountains. The New York Herald Tribune, April 30, 1964.

I did a quick search to see if there are other Beirut or Lebanon-related articles and found this one from 1939:

1939: Fight in Lebanon Over Cedars

BEIRUT – The cutting down of one of the famous 1,000-year-old cedars of Lebanon in order to make furniture for the Libano-Syrian exhibit at the New York World’s Fair has caused an uproar here. It is the young republic’s first international exhibition, and inasmuch as its ancient cedars are its foremost claim to fame in the outside world, the government decided to exhibit exotic pieces of furniture made out of one of the ancient trees, which are the feature of its unique and highly prized postage stamps, as well as the national crest.

The Old Beautiful Jounieh

Posted By :

10255832_838420869505567_8303946613795803464_o via Kadiman

I think this is one of the best pictures I’ve seen of Jounieh back in the old days. It’s really quite depressing to look at this picture and imagine that someone decided to install a power plant in the middle of this beautiful bay, and super night clubs along the coast.

Cool Discovery by Project Revolver: Meet The Sea-Ders (The Cedars), Also Known As “The Beatles of Lebanon”

Posted By :

10-Sea-Ders-1966

I love digging out stories from Beirut’s pre-war glory days and I’m surprised that I haven’t heard about the Sea-ders band until now all thanks to ProjectRevolver‘s research. The Sea-ders, who started off with the name “Top 5″ during the 1950s are presumably the first ever rock band to appear on stage in Lebanon. They were inspired by the popular rock bands that emerged at the time, and went on to record a total of 10 tracks and land a major deal in London during the 1960s.

top-5-rehearsal-before-a-gig-19631

They were called the Beatles of Lebanon, because they grew their hair to look like them when the Beatlemania swept across the world and used to perform Beatles songs at a cinema in Hamra for a period of 20 minutes before the movie started. They made a name for themselves in Lebanon as skilled “imitators, capable of replicating the Fab Four’s sound (and looks) down to a T”.

Once they moved to London after signing a deal with Decca Records, they started attracting some attention during a 3-month gig at PickWick, a club in Leicester Square, as they were using the buzuq instrument in their songs, which was strange to Westerners at the time. Apparently, Paul McCartney and George Harrison stopped by one night to see the band playing this weird instrument. The Sea-ders’ first single in the UK was “For Your Information” in 1967 (which was a big hit in Turkey back then) but the record never made it to the charts and the album was labeled as a failure.

top-5-entertains-a-crowd-of-students-at-a-u-b-1963
Performing at AUB

The Sea-Ders’ drummer Zouhair Tourmoche, better known as Zad Tarmush, talks about their album’s flop in the UK and says “it’s all about luck in the music industry and about knowing the right people”. Personally speaking, I think what they’ve done is beyond awesome specially with all the cultural barriers that they have to overcome at the time, and I enjoyed listening to their songs.

I strongly recommend that you read the full story of the Sea-ders [Here] as it’s an intriguing and captivating one. All the pictures and information are from [ProjectRevolver].

You can list to their songs [Here].

thanks-a-lot-first-record-release

Beirut, the early 1960s: a time of growing religious and political tensions in and around Lebanon… But something else was brewing then: the rise of rock & roll. Circa 1964, the Beatles erupted unto the international scene and the entire world, the Middle East included, fell for their music (and their boyish charm).

With the Fab Four’s breakthrough, Lebanese and Arab bands playing psychedelic and garage rock started to emerge in the 1960s and 70s: Dark Eyes, The Kool Kats, The News, The Nomads, the Vultures… catchy names that have since been forgotten, and whose music is sparsely found on the Internet today.

But one of them – the very first rock act to emerge in Lebanon as early as 1962, deserves a special mention. In turn called “Top 5” and “the Sea-Ders,” their music masterfully incorporates the Byrds’ psychedelic harmonies and the distinctive vocals of the Beatles’ front men… with an Oriental twist. This is the story of a band that broke cultural and religious barriers, landed a major deal in London during the swinging 60s and one day caught the eye (or ear, rather) of a couple of guys named Paul McCartney and George Harrison. This is the story of the Lebanese rock band that maybe, just maybe, could have made it big on the international stage. [Source]

[YouTube]

[YouTube]