Coming soon: Beirut In Your Pocket!


Chaotic, misunderstood, tumultuous, ancient, storied, noisy, beautiful, contradictory, crowded, filthy, polluted, resilient, luxurious, modern, booming, decaying, debaucherous, devout, precarious, tragic, overwhelming, spirited, insane, incomparable. Perhaps no city in the world is more adjective-friendly than Beirut, and that's just the short list we quickly came up with without even consulting a thesaurus.

Is the city perfect? Far from it. Is it dangerous? Not really. Does it function? Depends on who you ask and your definition of 'function'. Is it worth visiting? Definitely. Is it for everyone? Nowhere in the world is. Does it make any sense? Not to us. Are we writing this introduction for our temporary landing page while eating a slice of incredibly moist cucumber chocolate cake in a café-cum-cultural centre called Dawawine in the historic Gemmayze district because our flat is currently without power (and internet) due to regular rolling blackouts? It would be a bit cheeky of us to ask such a long detailed question like that if the answer was 'no', wouldn't it? Do we love all of it? As strange as it seems, we have to, because good and bad, great and terrible, all of it is what makes Beirut Beirut.

We first came to Lebanon for a one week trip in 2002, and more or less never left – living here for years, and visiting as often as possible when living elsewhere. And now the time has finally come for us to undertake the Herculean (at least we hope it's Hurculean and not Sisyphean) task of distilling enough of this incomprehensible city so you can put Beirut in your pocket in late 2018......

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