Heart of Beirut: Reclaiming the Bourj.

Author:Rhodes, Fred
Position:Brief article - Book review

HEART OF BEIRUT RECLAIMING THE BOURJ Samir Khalaf published by Saqi Books ISBN 0 8635 6542 5 price 12.99 [pounds sterling] paperback

At the centre of Beirut lies the Bourj, one of the world's oldest, most vibrant and durable great public squares.

The square is an open museum, resonating with influences from ancient Phoenicia to modern France and beyond. Its receptivity to foreign cultures meant traders of different backgrounds assisted each other in private ventures; a sense of solidarity prevailed.

During the Lebanese civil war from 1975-1990, this, vibrant entertainment district, transport hub and melting-pot of cultures was riven by the notorious 'Green Line' that divided...

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