(Photo via Gabriel Daher)
Picture via Loobnan
I am finding it hard to believe that Harissa looked like that at some point in time.
Political crisis, No government and soon no president, Syrian involvement, weak Lebanese army, refugees and armed clans. All these were back in 1969 and are now present today. I am keeping my hopes up that it’s just a temporary phase and not the start of a new deadly civil war.
Watch the full report [Here].
«Cette semaine, alors que l’ONU institue officiellement le tribunal international chargé de poursuivre et juger les assassins de l’ancien Premier ministre libanais Rafik Hariri, la situation politique libanaise semble de plus en plus fragile.
Ce reportage d’une équipe de Temps Présent dans le Liban de 1969, sept ans avant la guerre civile, est intéressant à plus d’un titre et présente certaines similitudes avec la situation actuelle: crise politique, paralysie institutionelle, implication de la Syrie, pressions militaires israéliennes, faiblesse de l’armée nationale, ambiguïté sur la présence des fedayinns palestiniens dans les camps de réfugiés. Ces images exceptionnelles montrent bien l’ambiance de veillée de guerre qui va agiter le Liban durant des années, encouragée par des politiques jusqu’au boutiste et un accroissement du rôle des milices para-militaires à caractère confessionnel.
Picture via Natheer Halawani
A lot of people haven’t unfortunately heard about this decades-old library in Tripoli up until it got torched today, so I did some research and pulled out old pictures and information about the library and its owner Greek Orthodox Priest Ibrahim Sarrouj.
Al Sa’eh Library was founded in 1970 by the Orthodox Youth movement and consisted of a single room. Few years later, the library published around 10 books. In the early 1980s, they gradually started releasing Orthodox publications. In 1983, Samir Makhoul, Toni Boulos, Ibrahim Sarrouj decided to expand the library and bought the warehouse next to it.
Nowadays, the library has over 80,000 books (not copies), out of which 400 rare books. One of the oldest book in this library according to Father Sarrouj is one that dates back to 1817 written by an American Colonel and is estimated at around $3,000. Speaking of Father Sarrouh who’s a highly esteemed and respected individual in Tripoli, he has shown great interest in Islamic Studies despite being a Greek Orthodox.
The loss of this library is a huge one for Tripoli and Lebanon as a whole. I wish officials would have taken the necessary precautions to preserve it and protect it from the assholes who burned it down.
The Huntley Film Archives have digitized and uploaded some more old footage from Lebanon and uploaded them onto YouTube. Some of them have details like their dates but most don’t and none have any sound. Check them out below:
Lebanese women, 1968. Film 90723 (Posted above)
Lebanon. Lebanese women walking in town. Film 90724
Lebanon. Women bake bread., 1960’s. Film 90725
Lebanon. Roman remains. Streets of modern village Archaeology Film 90712
Lebanon. Ploughing with oxen. Farming. 1968. Film 90711
Lebanon. Sidon. City with harbour or port. Cafe, 1968. Film 90710
Lebanon. Village. 1968. Film 90720
Lebanon. Old man. Film 90721
Lebanon. Countryside. Hills. 1968. Film 90719
Lebanon. Bay, port. Mosque. Shepherd. 1968. Film 90718
Lebanon, Baabda – hillside town. Picking oranges, 1968. Film 90709
Courtesy of British Pathe
Check out this awesome old footage from 1943 showing French troops patrolling the streets of Beirut to keep order as well as Lebanese people demonstrating and cheering in the streets. I couldn’t embed it but you can watch it [Here].
If you skip to Minute 1:26, you will see Amine Gemayel giving an interviewing to a French TV. Amine Gemayel was 33 years old back then and Sami is almost the same age now and he sounds and looks (Unless he cuts his hair) almost exactly like his father.