In the midst of Ashrafieh, old streets still uphold their charm. They have witnessed Beirut’s golden age, when time stood still and happiness had the smell of spices. They have lived through wars, smiled beyond their wounds, and like phoenixes, they kept on coming back to life, again and again, till each and every dawn of Beirut’s nights.
Linked to Sama Beirut, Petro Trad Street holds the name of Petro Trad (1876 – 1947), who was the Lebanese president under the French Mandate.
Who was Petro Trad?
Petro Trad was a Lebanese lawyer -law degree from the University of Paris-, politician, and held the role of President of the French Mandate of Lebanon from July 22nd, 1943 till September 21st, 1943 - after having served earlier as the Speaker of the Parliament.
Practicality and impact
Petro Trad was renowned for his sense of balance and realism. His law firm became regionally well-known, mostly because he would look after the poor who couldn’t afford to pay his fees. National and regional events were seen as part of the overall tendency in growth at that time, which would shake Lebanon’s national identity and its dealings with the Arab world, and have an impact on the outcome of the Anglo-French co-op in the Levant. Petro Trad was politically involved in various in-groups. Later on, the French government appointed him as President, to oversee the election of a new president by members of an appointed parliament. This period was ended by the election of Bechara El Khoury in 1943.
Rumor has it that the Trad families hailed from Yemen. Due to the downfall of the Dam of Ma’arib during the third century AD, this clan fled its motherland and stayed in the remote villages of Hawran and Damascus. However, some of them headed to Iraq, South Cairo and Western Tripoli. Some of these followers might have headed to Lebanon later on as some of those in Hauran moved in the early fourth century to North Lebanon. They settled in Kfarhazir and the neighboring villages of the Qada’a of Koura from where they moved to Deir al-Ahmar, Hasroun, Ashqout, el-Shebaniyi, Baskinta and other villages in the Metn. Some affiliates preserved the family name “Trad” while others adopted new names such as “Awwad” in Mount Lebanon. As a result, the Trad family’s members belong to different Lebanese faiths and regions.