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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Briefing - Beirut: Understanding Lebanon In A Single Trip

CEO Briefing

Beirut: Understanding Lebanon In A Single Trip

This article is about a small, Eastern country and its capital. It is Lebanon, the small country of the Mediterranean with its warm waves and fascinating capital called Beirut. Let’s have a look!

Understanding Lebanon

In the north of the country, there are high mountain peaks with numerous cedar forests, the national emblem of Lebanon. It has fermented ancient and modern civilizations and many religious formations on its territory. The country is characterized by its religious pluralism, with most of the population embracing the Muslim but at the same time maintaining a strong Christian community and many other minority religions.

A large part of the population speaks French, and you can buy American dollars just as easily as Lebanese pounds. The trip is easy; all you need to do is erase any prejudice and conspiracy theories about the place. In fact, there, as a visitor, you are treated with a courtesy that is majestic and humble at the same time.

Very often, in many parts of the country, you meet heavily armed soldiers in public places (airports, squares, etc.) and along the national road network. Unfortunately, the spectacle is due to the country’s recent, troubled socio-political past. With the first step, leaving Beirut airport, the place caresses you, and you realize that deep down, you have always known this feeling, waiting to be revealed only by the stimulus of this first humble wind.

By observing the current lifestyle of most of the inhabitants of Lebanon, who belong to the so-called urban middle and upper socio-economic classes, you may realize the country’s attempt to find itself between Western prestige and local identity. The ultimate example is Beirut. The former “Paris of the East,” now and after a civil war and war conflicts with neighboring countries, is trying to restore the glamor it had sixty years ago.

If Beirut could be described in a single word, it would be “contradictions.” Next to ultra-modern skyscrapers of multinational giants, you find small homes of local character. Houses of the past century still have the marks of a violent past. However, many construction sites and construction companies are raging. Huge buildings are planted in every part of the city, not always in the most legal way, thus altering the pre-existing character of the city and creating a new urban culture.

The fun of moving within Beirut

It should be noted that Beirut does not have an organized network of public transport with buses, metro, and trams as we know it in other capitals. To move within Beirut, you can take a private taxi, but usually, transportation within the city can be done with shared taxis, or as they are called by most, “service.” They are mostly very old vehicles that take you to other times, with a certain melancholic mood. To find one, you have to go out into the street and raise your hand until you get lucky and someone passes.

If the route you request is convenient for the driver and those already on board, you are free to board. Before boarding, and if the vehicle is empty (which is rare), you should better ask if it is really a “service” or a private taxi to understand what they are about to charge. Private taxis are not luxurious either, and shared taxis may be less fancy, but they are surely more fun.

Beirut and leisure

Beirut is suitable for quiet walks on the coastal road and loud clubbing until the morning. In Corniche, you will enjoy a cosmopolitan walk overlooking the Mediterranean and the peaks of the Lebanese mountain range, accompanied by a vast array of palm trees. In Hamra, you will find many options for international cuisine and markets, and maybe here you will find the city’s heart. Similarly, Gemmayzeh, as well as Gouraud Street and Mar Mikhael, will take you to another era with picturesque spots and beautiful cafes, pubs, and bars.

What to taste in Beirut

Finally, if you want to keep some culinary memories with you if you once find yourself in this country, you should definitely try baklava. You will find it filled with wide varieties and with many different nuts. Also, do not forget to try the manakish that usually accompanies the morning meal. It is in the form of a pizza with a layer of many spices, sesame, and oil, but not necessarily limited to the above ingredients. Here, too, you will eat delicious hummus, but also the simple but delicious pie with every kind of meal.

 

Have you read?
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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Briefing - Beirut: Understanding Lebanon In A Single Trip
Anna Siampani
Anna Siampani, Lifestyle Editorial Director at the CEOWORLD magazine, working with reporters covering the luxury travel, high-end fashion, hospitality, and lifestyle industries. As lifestyle editorial director, Anna oversees CEOWORLD magazine's daily digital editorial operations, editing and writing features, essays, news, and other content, in addition to editing the magazine's cover stories, astrology pages, and more. You can reach Anna by mail at anna@ceoworld.biz