Thursday, June 4, 2009

Another weekend in Beirut...

As you might know there is election coming up in Lebanon and as always it is hard to predict what will happen when democracy hits the Middle East.

For this reason I felt it would be a good idea to hurry up and have another weekend in this amazing country. Beirut is a great city and I will let the images speak for themselves:

Ok, maybe I will write a bit: the Gemmayzeh neighbourhood is super charming and filled with restaurants, cafes and bars - my favorite place to be.

Next to Gemmayzeh is Downtown with the famous Al-Omari mosque also known as the Blue Mosque. The mosque was built by Rafik Hariri, former prime minister who made a fortune on the rebuilding of Beirut after the war but mostly famous for being killed in a car bomb in 2005 - presumable by the Syrians.

Unlike the Blue Mosque, which is very new, the Martyr's Statue was there during the war. The Downtown area lies where the green line divided the Muslim and Christian neighbourhoods during the civil war and it is clear from looking at the Martyr' Statue that it was right in the line of fire.

The actual reason for me going to Beirut was to meet up with a good friend from Bangladesh, Norwegian Nina. We have not seen each other since I left Bangladesh in 2004, so it was a great reunion celebrated with red wine and nargileh.

The road back to Syria offers many exciting experiences - besides the crazy way people drive in the mountains. During the Israeli attack on Lebanon in the 2006 war the bridge on the road to Syria was bombed. The Americans are now funded the reconstruction of the bridge but as you can see on the photo it seems some problems have occurred on the way!

Last experience on the trip was a stop at the Kefraya vineyard. Here we have a delightful wine tasting and a lovely lunch.

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