He still has President Camille Chamoun’s picture in his shop. No wonder he lost hope in Lebanon if he had lived the golden years and seen what we’ve come to.
In 1965, at the age of 27, he finally opened his own barber shop. A lot has changed since then: “Gemmayzeh was different! Nowadays it’s all about pubs and cafes!” He is nostalgic for those days when everyone used to know everyone, regardless of their religion, and when Beirut was a prosperous city inhabited by a peaceful community.
When we started talking about the old, pre-82 Beirut a small smile crossed his face, he put his hand on his right cheek and started staring at the sky. When we talked about the Beirut of nowadays his smile disappeared. “I wish hope would still exist in Beirut,” he said. [NowLebanon]
If you thought the Tripoli clashes are recent ones and due to the situation in Syria, check out these old pictures from the 1970s and 1980s posted by NakedBana2. I guess we will never learn.
Tripoli Clashes in 1985
The civil society is rallying to protest against the killings and clashes in the city and an ongoing campaign entitled “Tripoli, a weapons-free city” has been launched months ago, but I doubt that they will have any impact on the clashes as the origins of the conflict are deeply rooted and have been there for 30 years now.
Here’s a nice report by BBC Arabic on the social, economic and personal effects of the sectarian clashes between Jabal Mohsen and Bab al Tabbaneh.
Christopher Columbus has long been the poster boy Renaissance explorer who found fame and fortune by sailing from the Old World to the New. But more than five centuries later, a British adventurer plans to show that the New World could have been reached by another seafaring nation 2,000 years before Columbus. Former Royal Navy officer Philip Beale hopes to sail a replica Phoenician boat 10,000 kilometers across the Atlantic in an ambitious voyage that could challenge maritime history.
By completing the journey, Beale aims to demonstrate that the Phoenicians — the ancient Mediterranean civilization that prospered from 1500BC to 300BC — had the capability to sail to the U.S.; a theory disputed by historians. “It is one of the greatest voyages of mankind and if anyone could have done it [before Columbus], it was the Phoenicians,” said Beale.
I wish other real estate developers would follow Greenstone’s example and try to preserve some of Beirut’s history by combining the traditional to the modern. What Greenstone has done is keep the facade of the original building and incorporate it into the design of the new building and the outcome, as you can see above, is amazing.
You can read more on L’Armonial and the project’s progress [Here].
I hope this project will inspire other real estate companies and our culture minister Gaby Layoun to avoid demolishing old houses, like Amine Maalouf’s residence, and try come up with alternatives similar to what L’Armonial did.