Tag Archives: Lebanon

South Beirut

Wednesday 21st August 2013, 9.15am (day 727)

South Beirut, 21/8/13Of course this is a city with its problems as well as its good side. This is South Beirut, where last Friday night a huge car bomb claimed the lives of 15 people. The sectarian divisions within this whole region are too complex for an outsider like me to truly understand. I would also say they are too complex for outsiders like the US, UK, French, etc. governments to understand too, but that doesn’t stop the latter group dipping their hands into the mix anyway. Perhaps appropriately for day number 727, this was taken from the plane seconds after take-off, as I returned home this morning.

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The American University of Beirut

Tuesday 20th August 2013, 1.35pm (day 726)

College hall, AUB, 20/8/13

AUB was founded in the 1860s and is probably the most prestigious university in the whole region. It has a spectacularly beautiful campus, perched on a wooded hill with views of the Mediterranean (yesterday’s picture was taken not five minutes’ walk from this one). They have been gracious enough to invite me to spend this short but enjoyable time in Beirut. Here are some of the delegates from the MDLAB conference which I’ve been speaking at, waiting for our tour of the campus. We are standing under College Hall, which was bombed in the Lebanese civil war, but restored in around 2001.

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The Corniche, West Beirut

Monday 19th August 2013, 2.00pm (day 725)

Beirut corniche, 19/8/13

So, here I am in the country that used to be known as Phoenicia. If it wasn’t for these guys, the Cornish wouldn’t ever have had a tin industry. This is my first visit to Lebanon, nearest I’ve been to here before is Cyprus, and that remains a European place with a hint of Asia, whereas this felt more the other way around. It has maybe the most concretized ‘beach’ culture of anywhere I’ve been, but I couldn’t argue with the weather — or the hospitality (see tomorrow’s post).

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