Sunday, November 10, 2019

Old Beirut Matters

After eating a late Lebanese dinner in a 18th century villa up in Achrafieh, our Sunday morning came off to a slow start but eventually we made it over to Geitawi which seems to be somewhat of an epicentre for the tensions between new and old in Beirut. Luxury condominiums with infinity pools coming up next to blown out concrete skeletons and the loveliest of citrus gardens. As much as everyone in the world talks about growing inequality, it is hard to find a more material manifestation of the contradictions of “development” than here in Eastern Beirut.

Later we got to see a Picasso exhibition at the Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum of Contemporary Art and drink some more mint lemonade before it cooled off enough for me to run at least a portion of what would have been the marathon course. Everywhere along the planned course there were signs saying, “run for unity”, “run for diversity” or, the most equivocal, “run for modernity”.



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