Beirut Bliss: Paris Of The Middle East

An unusual holiday destination, Lebanon offers the best of European and Arabic worlds

7/31/2014 10:38:07 AM
written By : Steve Andre Print

After dreaming about Lebanon for more than a decade, and enjoying it from afar as an avid Arabic pop music fan (I have watched almost every single music video from various Lebanese superstars and seen Beirut as a backdrop on all their videos), I needed to experience this Levantine Mediterranean metropolis first hand and be engulfed by its history, enamoured by its culture, and humbled by its sorrows. That was how I was lead to Lebanon.

Arriving in the evening at Beirut’s re-built Rafic Hariri International Airport, I was enthralled by the style of the Lebanese people I encountered: women draped in faux fur, perfectly styled hair and makeup, and men in dapper suits with coiffed hairstyles to boot - this was the Paris of the Middle East after all. As I left the airport for the city, I was least bothered by the traffic jam, as the Venetian-Gothic architecture of the buildings, Arabesque monuments and towering mosques that appeared from a distance kept me intrigued. I was transported back into another time, of Parisian cobbled streets and Ottoman inspired domed churches and mosques.

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