Back to golden ages...
There was a time when Lebanon was the golden country of the region and it was called the Eastern Switzerland. Standing with a leg on each side of Europe, Africa and Asia, Lebanon’s green mountains and snowcapped summits were both oasis and barrier between a deep blue sea of water and an infinite golden desert of sands. Yes, our country holds incomparable riches of climate, geography, architecture, and, last but not least, history.
The peak of this successful stage was the mid-50s to mid-70s period. At that time, ‘the world was young.’
Lebanon was at its paroxysm of success and Beirut was the queen of the region. Its streets and monuments were a live proof of the treasures it held, of what was and would be endless. Sahet Al Burj, which is now the Martyr’s Square in downtown Beirut was livelier than ever.
Down by the waterfront, an old, quite pleasant hotel, the Normandy (photo below), was attracting visitors from Lebanon and abroad.
Trying to make out pictures in one’s mind brings memories back to the roots and heritage of the city, as smoothly as on a train voyage, as trains used to run in Lebanon… However, all stories remain as they are, tales forever engraved in people’s minds.
Marrying the harmony of times
Now that the modern age has taken over wars and deaths, Beirut shines back to life. Its sea sunsets, its merchants on streets, its new conceptual restaurants and coffee shops, are a live proof of the Lebanese population embracing modernity. And yet, there’s still a mystical and mysterious soul to the city. Its coast road still widens into an expressway that links Beirut to Tripoli alongside a series of scenic cities and villages, such as Jounieh and Byblos.
However, in the midst of Beirut, still beats the heart of a dynamic city moving forward to the speed and light of an organized chaos.
What’s more, despite the modern times feel, people hold on more and more to what true essence is made of.
Souk el Tayyeb (photo below) attracts people from around Lebanon to the renovated Beirut Souks, in search of authentic and organic gifts of nature… The young generation tends to go back to ‘Vintage’ style, and accordingly highlight the old times’ precious clothes, accessories, furniture, and lifestyle. Beirut mirrors the voices, tones, and colors of the past in a pleasant-sounding impression.
Looking forward and moving ahead
Not only do Beirut residents honor ancient times with a twist of modernity. In addition to glorifying the past period with artistic sceneries, they also do move ahead in terms of urbanism and architectural evolvement. Beirut’s new buildings tend to meet regional and international standards. High-tech functionalities and a fashionable lifestyle are the trend of today’s active and dynamic lives. Smart home technologies, reduced energy consumption, daily comfort, harmonious luxury, and an ensemble way of living that each person seeks are the ultimate goals of this century’s generation. Lebanon, with its capital Beirut go beyond the train rails to match regional and international standards.