May 23, 2006

This is Beirut

Well, it had to happen. I’m out of fresh material from the Middle East until I go back and get more. Iran is next on the list…if the mullahs will let me in. It will be a while before I know one way or the other.

In the meantime, I have more than a thousand digital pictures that no one has seen yet. Here are 30 of them. All were taken in, of, and above Beirut, Lebanon, my favorite city in the Middle East by far.

Lebanon Shore from Balloon.jpg

Mount Sannine rises above the Mediterranean and Beirut's northern suburbs. Photo taken from a hot air balloon over downtown.

Balcony View Day.JPG

I saw this lovely view of the Mediterranean every single day from the balcony of my apartment above the American University of Beirut.

Balcony View Night.JPG

And I saw this lovely view every night. I doubt I'll ever have such a view again from my house.

Solidere from Balloon 1.jpg

Downtown Beirut from the air.

Solidere from Balloon 2.jpg

Downtown Beirut from the air.

Martyrs Square from Balloon.jpg

The top of the Green Line that divided East and West Beirut during the civil war. That big empty space you see was the part of downtown that didn't survive. Martyr's Square is down there. When a million Lebanese demonstrated against Syrian occupation last year, that's where they did it. They filled the whole space. Then they overflowed it.

Moving Cars Solidere.jpg

Solidere, downtown Beirut.

Colorful Windows Beirut Night.JPG

Solidere, downtown Beirut.

Grand Cafe Beirut.jpg

Solidere, downtown Beirut.

Grand Cafe Beirut Night.JPG

Solidere, downtown Beirut.

Italian Restaurant Solidere.jpg

View from an Italian restaurant, downtown Beirut.

Cranes Beirut.jpg

Lots of new construction next to the restored downtown.

East Beirut from Balloon.jpg

East Beirut from the air.

Achrafieh Street.jpg

A street in Achrafieh, East Beirut.

Achrafieh Street 2.jpg

A street in Achrafieh, East Beirut.

Beirut Cemetery.JPG

Cemetery, East Beirut.

Claudias Achrafieh.jpg

Claudia's, Achrafieh, East Beirut.

Corleone Gemmayze.jpg

A gangster-themed trattoria, Gemmayze, East Beirut.

Tribeca Beirut.jpg
Off Monot Street, Achrafieh, East Beirut.

De Prague.jpg

A bohemian bar named De Prague, Hamra, West Beirut.

Fishing on Corniche.jpg

Fishing off the Corniche, West Beirut.

Glass Tower Beirut.jpg

New construction, West Beirut.

Starbucks West Beirut.JPG

Lots of people I know were surprised to hear Beirut has Starbucks. (Lebanon isn't Afghanistan, okay?) There are three Starbucks coffeeshops in Beirut. This one is on the shore of the Mediterranean in Rouche, West Beirut.

Vero Moda Hamra.jpg

My old neighborhood of Hamra, West Beirut.

Dependence 06.jpg

An AiZone advertisement riffs on the Independence 05 movement.

Holiday Inn 45 Degrees.jpg

A war-shattered Holiday Inn.

Holiday Inn from Balloon.JPG

A war-shattered Holiday Inn.

War Damage Beirut.jpg

War damage along the old Green Line. One of my neighbors in Oregon used to live near this building. His old house no longer exists. He does not know which militia destroyed it.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at May 23, 2006 1:43 AM

Beautiful city.

The better it gets the less likely there be another war, Civil or with Israel.

Thank you, Michael.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at February 5, 2009 8:39 PM


Seeing my country through your eyes and mind meant a lot for me this morning. I was searching some photos of Sannine to paint a music by Bob James (Snowbird fantasy), and I landed on your marvelous page.
My real name is Paul Hitti. I was a journalist (lebanese Radio & TV), a reporter and a presenter. That was in the 70's through the 90's.
I wish you the best always in your Sindbad travels.
Thank you Michael

Posted by: Pin Long Author Profile Page at December 5, 2012 8:52 PM
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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