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Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:54 PM

Beirut back to its glamorous glory

DOWN a ramp from Beirut's clamorous seaside road, motor yachts bob along a curving waterfront promenade. Tablecloths gleam white, and bottles of wine sweat in silver coolers. The boardwalk's rough planks, a nod to maritime authenticity, present a design flaw perhaps foreseeable in this city: women with Louis Vuitton handbags are forever extracting their spike heels from the cracks.

This new luxury playground, Zaitunay Bay, is Lebanon's latest effort to recapture the prewar 1960s - when Brigitte Bardot was a regular and Beirut was a fashionable port of call. But for Arab visitors seeking respite from fear and uncertainty around the region, and for Lebanese content to stay out of the storm, Beirut is already back.
''Lebanon brings together the European, the Mediterranean, East and West,'' said Noor al-Tai, strolling the boardwalk in a leather miniskirt, thigh-high boots and a fur vest, by way of explaining why Beirut was the logical destination when she fled violence at home in Iraq. ''There is a very friendly atmosphere.''


Beirutis barely pause to remark that Zaitunay Bay sits on the Green Line, the boundary between East and West Beirut that was a deadly no man's land during Lebanon's 15-year civil war.

In many Western minds, Lebanon's image remains frozen in old snapshots: sectarian massacres, hostages tied to radiators, the Israeli invasion, smoke billowing from seafront high-rises. But, for the wealthy at least, the country long ago regained its spirit of fun and glamour.


Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/travel/beirut-back-to-its-glamorous-glory-20120414-1x05t.html#ixzz1sA0BEU6o

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Reply Beirut back to its glamorous glory (Original post)
Violet_Crumble Apr 2012 OP
Ruby the Liberal Apr 2012 #1
Alamuti Lotus Apr 2012 #2

Response to Violet_Crumble (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 07:57 PM

1. I have seen pictures of Beruit from the 1960s and 70s

Absolutely phenomenal. Had a relative who was stationed there in the early 80s that said it was paradise on earth.

They have been trying to get tourism up and running again in earnest for the last 5-10 years now. I'd like to go some day if I ever get back over that way again.

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:17 AM

2. I don't think a place should be judged positively as a glamorous, fashionable, luxury playground

 

but I'm not surprised that the New York Times judges such matters as progress; the economic policies of the Hariri elite class(unchecked even under Hizbu'llah's coalition now that the brilliant, pesky marxist economics minister was hounded out of the government) is very squarely in line with the gangster capitalism espoused on its pages everyday.

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