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Old May 2nd, 2007, 01:19 AM   #1
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#UNDER C-Beirut: "Beit Beirut (f. 'Barakat Building')" | Museum

Beit Beirut

(Formerly known as Barakat Building)

Sodeco - Beirut, Lebanon

www.beitbeirut.org










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Old September 15th, 2007, 03:32 PM   #2
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#UNDER C-Beirut: "Beit Beirut" (Barakat Building) | Museum

Is Beirut ready for a memory museum yet?
There are great plans for the Barakat Building in Sodeco, and a new scaffolding wrap suggests those plans are finally moving - but the site's future remains uncertain
By William Wheeler
Special to The Daily Star
Friday, September 14, 2007

BEIRUT: In 1934, Nicolas Barakat's home stood finished: a bright yellow, four-story building that dominated the corner at Damascus Road and Independence Avenue. With sandstone walls, colonnaded verandas, high ceilings and Art Deco floor patterns, it combined elements and materials of both East and West, old and new. It was an architectural reflection of the era's cosmopolitan sea changes.

When the Civil War erupted four decades later, the city divided along that very street, with Christians to the east and Muslims to the west. It was the Green Line, a no-man's land where bullets fell and only trees and shrubs were safe, growing unchecked into the streets along Beirut's new faultline.

Many of the bullets came from that bright-yellow building, which Christian militias occupied and fortified during the conflict. The cement walls and sandbags of what some say was Beirut's most fearsome sniper's nest still remain - an architectural reflection of a different age.

Today the war-scarred building stands as a monument to the beautiful and bloody turns of Lebanon's history. When its owners moved to demolish the building in 1997, local architects and heritage activists fought and won a campaign for its preservation. Five years ago, the city bought the property to be restored as a museum of Beirut's history. But political turmoil and renewed violence in Lebanon have since stalled the plans and the building's future once again stands on uncertain ground.

When Youssef Aftimos, a renowned Beiruti architect who designed the capital's Municipal Building, began the Barakat Building around 1924, he was known for his Mauresque style - an Islamic architecture of curves and arches that was popular in the later days of the Ottoman Empire.

When the project was finished 12 years later, after a second phase of construction by another architect, it retained Islamic architectural features in its sandstone walls and interior arches. But it also combined classical and Western features, including a geometric facade with colonnaded verandas and a taller, four-storey structure. The building's high ceilings, yellow color and the use of concrete are all elements of what came to be known as the Mandate period.

"The outside of this building is very classical," says May Davie, a professor of Beirut's urban history at the Academie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts. "It has nothing of an Islamic aspect at all. But the domestic life, the [interior], is very oriental, very Beiruti."

Instead of the pointed arches of traditional Eastern design, the Barakat Building's triple arches are concrete-sculpted, rounded and modern.

"This is why it's interesting. It's a transitional architecture. It's a transitional period," says Davie, an early advocate for the building's preservation. "Culture is not something you just create new. It's a reinvention of the old ... The Mandate period was very creative. These people were artists ... This is why we did all we could to keep it."

But in addition to blending archetypal influences, the building added something unique: a central bay behind the corner colonnade that stretches deep into the interior. Rather than showcasing an impressive parlor room on the corner - a typical architectural boast - this stylistic innovation opened the building up with a majestic transparency. Its effect gives every room inside a view of the street.

"It's a more democratic use of space," says local architect and heritage activist Mona Hallak. When Hallak first explored the building in 1996 - its corner treatment had impressed her as she drove by - she was moved by the quality of the sunlight, which filled the central bay and made the stone walls glow. She continued up the stairs to see the city stretch out beneath and beyond the corridor's void.

Inside she found remnants of Art Deco motifs around the marble floors and walls painted pink, yellow, green and blue. It was there, as well, that she found the sniper's perches - thick walls riddled on one side with bullet holes. From the opposite side, snipers had fired through three small rectangular holes aligned beneath the ceiling's triple arches. With a view of the street - and a line of fire - from every room of the building, the gunmen could nest in these dark recesses while commanding the street corner from virtual obscurity.

When the Barakat family prepared to tear down the building the next year, Hallak joined the chorus of architects and heritage activists calling for the city to stop them. Real-estate prices in the neighborhood of Sodeco Square had skyrocketed after the war and the owners wanted to sell the property. Hallak helped to mobilize the group's effort to preserve it, circulating petitions, running ads in newspapers and reaching out to politicians. Ultimately they succeeded, which left the question of what to do with it.

Like others, Hallak agreed that the museum should showcase Beirut's 7,000-year history. But unlike some, she didn't think that it should shirk from portraying the dark and violent cycles of that history.

Hallak grew up in Beirut during the Civil War and her father was wounded in the shoulder by shrapnel from an explosion. But having never lost anyone close to her, Hallak says she experienced the war from a distance.

But she remembers one episode clearly. As a girl, she watched on television news as bystanders tossed a rope to someone crumpled by sniper fire in the street. The sniper could have shot them again, as Hallak recalls. Instead he shot the rope.

"It was to show he was in control," she says, adding that she often imagines the scene might have taken place at the intersection of Damascus Road and Independence Avenue. These are the memories Hallak says she wants others to confront, from a time when the city lived in the grip of fear and those who wielded it as a weapon, so that it doesn't happen again.

Hallak has big plans for the museum, including a design competition and fundraising campaign for the restoration work, the construction of an adjacent office building to bring in rent and the establishment of an urban design unit to review development projects in the city.

But she also wants to keep the sniper den.

Preserving the sniper modifications as part of a "museum of memory," as she describes in a color pamphlet that outlines the project, would make the restored building "a place for meeting and reconciliation, a space for Memory so as not to be swept up by amnesia."

When a glossy banner with a life-size image of the restored Barakat Building was wrapped around it this spring, it announced the site would host a "Museum of Memory," the first indication, she says, that her vision could become a reality.

But first the restoration plan needs to be developed. A contingent of cultural advisers from France were due to visit last winter to help in the project's planning. But the outbreak of an opposition protest in the fall, then the battle at the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp starting in May, has pushed the group's arrival back indefinitely, says Hallak.

For now the building sits in limbo. On one side is an illustration of its early splendor, a brilliant yellow to which it could again aspire. Behind the wrapping paper is its bullet-pocked reality - a reminder of another potential fate.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 03:05 PM   #3
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Barakat Bldg

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Old September 17th, 2007, 05:20 PM   #4
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From NowLebanon.com :




The Barakat building was commissioned in 1924 by Nicholas and Victoria Barakat. Designed by Youssef Bey Aftinos, the same architect who created Beirut’s City Hall, the Barakat became the victim of an unlucky location. Sitting right on the Green Line, which divided East and West Beirut during the civil war, the building made an ideal location for snipers, who were able to view and target the street from every room – a fact exploited by militia fighters. Throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, the building witnessed innumerable gunbattles, and suffered extensive damage in the process.

After the war ended, the Barakat’s owners wanted to tear it down. Then, in 1997, a group of architects active in the area of architectural heritage preservation started a campaign, in partnership with the Lebanese daily An-Nahar, to restore the Barakat building. In addition to its architectural and aesthetic values, the building’s iconic crumbling colonnade had become one of the most powerful symbols of the war years in Beirut.

Sociologists and historians have observed that many Lebanese have a tendency, at least on the surface, to try to leave the war behind them and simply move on with their lives. The fact that high school history textbooks still fail to address the civil war is just one example of how greater Lebanese society has tried to forget the past. A handful of intellectuals, however, including the architects behind the campaign to save the Barakat Building, have argued that Lebanon cannot move forward from the civil war until it creates a “collective memory” and then uses that unified account of civil war events to heal some of the divisions fracturing society today.





With this ambitious aim, the renovation proposal for the Barakat, which was officially adopted by the Beirut Municipality in 2003, detailed plans to restore the building as a museum to document 10,000 years of Beirut history. Beirut Mayor Abdel Mimem al-Ariss told NOW Lebanon that the museum will function through two units: (1) The Urban Planning Unit, a joint venture between the Municipalities of Beirut and Paris, and (2) Beirut’s Memory, a museum that will tell the history of the city. “Archeological excavations at the city center have revealed that human beings have lived here since the Stone Age, and the museum will show the entire city’s human history, including the civil war,” Ariss said.

Recently, the building has disappeared behind a plywood façade: The rehabilitation of the Barakat is on track, as the municipality prepares to accept bids for the museum’s design and construction contract.

The interior will obviously have to be completely gutted and revamped, and an annex will be built behind the existing structure. Though much of the exterior will be renovated, a section of the Barakat’s ruined façade will be preserved in disrepair, to serve as a stark reminder of the darker chapters of Beirut’s history for generations to come.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 06:18 PM   #5
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I have a picture of Barakat building from 1957 that needs scanning. I will post it soon!
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Old September 17th, 2007, 06:38 PM   #6
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Oooh!!i know this building!! I didn't know the first article was talking abou it!
Infact, the huge billboard was placed this summer
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Old September 17th, 2007, 11:52 PM   #7
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"When Youssef Aftimos, a renowned Beiruti architect who designed the capital's Municipal Building, began the Barakat Building around 1924, he was known for his Mauresque style - an Islamic architecture of curves and arches that was popular in the later days of the Ottoman Empire.

When the project was finished 12 years later, after a second phase of construction by another architect, it retained Islamic architectural features in its sandstone walls and interior arches. But it also combined classical and Western features, including a geometric facade with colonnaded verandas and a taller, four-storey structure. The building's high ceilings, yellow color and the use of concrete are all elements of what came to be known as the Mandate period."

The other architect was Fouad Kozah. If I am not mistaken, he is responsible for the collonaded atrium joining the two wings.

The link to a short review of Youssef Aftimos on ALBA's website:
http://www.alba.edu/AR/AFTIMUS/03afe.html
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Old March 29th, 2008, 08:14 PM   #8
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March 15 2008
Courtesy of Luciana

image hosted on flickr


Great!! Now they are using this bldg to put a Nescafé ad. on it!!
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Old March 30th, 2008, 11:16 AM   #9
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no reconstruction is occurring on this building for now ...its just an empty ruin with a billboard stuck to its outside besides its too fragile and war-torn to hold anything ....
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Old June 20th, 2008, 04:24 AM   #10
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Old June 20th, 2008, 05:24 AM   #11
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At least its not an eyesore covered...and maybe the cost of allowing the advertising is being saved for the renovation
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Old October 17th, 2008, 06:54 AM   #12
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Beit al-Madina to Recall Horrors of Civil War


The sandbags, sniper slits and pockmarked facade of a Beirut house stand as a chilling reminder of Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war.
Now, over 15 years after the end of the fighting, the building is poised to become a museum aimed at ensuring no one ever forgets the horrors of those dark days.

"This is a monument produced by the war and it should stay as such," says Mona Hallak, an architect who for more than 11 years has been at the forefront of the battle to save the building from the developers' bulldozers.

"We have been going into public amnesia since the war and anything that prevents that has to be preserved," added Hallak.

Known as the "Yellow House" because of the color of its stone, the three-storey structure was built in the 1920s by renowned architect Youssef Bey Aftimos. It stands along what used to be known as the "Green Line," which separated Muslim and Christian districts during the war.

Middle class families lived in the building's eight spacious apartments until the outbreak of the war, when Christian militiamen moved in because of its strategic location.

From there, snipers could easily pick off their victims -- be they civilians or enemy fighters -- from slits carved in the walls of the second and third floors that afforded clear views of their targets.

Slogans left by the snipers cover the walls of the house.

"I want to speak the truth," reads one message left by Begin, a well-known sniper during the war whose nom de guerre referred to Menachem Begin, Israel's prime minister. "With Gilbert I shall die," reads another message signed Tarzan.

"This building was used as a war machine and speaks for itself," said Habib Debs, an architect involved in the museum project. "If we keep it as is, it will be an important testament of the war."

Under the plan to preserve the house, it will be turned into an interactive museum named "Beit al-Madina" (the home of the city).

Paris has offered to provide technical assistance for the project which should be completed within two years.

"The Yellow House has a very strong symbolic meaning because it shows a willingness toward reconciliation," said Mathilde Chaboche, a member of a French delegation that recently visited Beirut to discuss the plan with local officials.

"For us, it would be best to preserve the traces of the war because they carry a very strong message," she said.

"They also show that a people can go forward without forgetting the past because otherwise history repeats itself," she added.

Over recent years many have called for the story of the civil war to be taught in schools to prevent history repeating itself.

At present history lessons in school textbooks stop with the withdrawal of French troops from Lebanon in 1946 -- three years after the end of France's 23-year mandate over the country.

And a lack of consensus over a common version of the war -- and even previous events widely believed to have led to it, including civil strife in 1958 -- has ensured that this bloody chapter in the nation's history is omitted from text books.

Instead, the Lebanese prefer to use the euphemism "the events" when they mention the civil war that devastated the country, killed more than 150,000 people and left thousands still missing.

For Hallak, the museum will be an opportunity to make sure that future generations know what happened and that those who lived through it never forget.

"The Lebanese must learn to love their city and learn from their mistakes so that they don't destroy it again," Hallak said. "If they see firsthand what the war was like they would never repeat it."(AFP)



Beirut, 17 Oct 08, 07:32
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Old October 28th, 2008, 05:23 PM   #13
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House of the city
A battle scarred, beautiful house in Beirut is saved from demolition. Will it be made into a museum of the city?
Abigail Fielding-Smith, Special to NOW Extra , October 28, 2008

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The Barakat building, or Yellow House, which housed first families, then snipers.
In Beirut's Sodeco district, there is a life-size painted mock-up of a building which, at first glance, looks like of one of the many plywood visions of a gleaming high-rise future that adorn construction sites across the city. But behind this one is a hidden architectural gem, whose history is fatally intertwined with Beirut's own.

The Barakat building, or the 'Yellow House' as it is more commonly known, was designed in the 1920s by one of Lebanon's most famous architects, Youssef Aftimos (who also designed the Grand Theatre and the Serail clock tower), and finished in 1936. "It has a unique relationship with the city", explains Mona Hallak, the architect whose passion for the building drove her to spearhead a successful campaign to save it from demolition. The design of the eight family apartments reflected the cosmopolitanism and diversity of pre-war Beirut, blending Ottoman and classical architectural influences. In the 1960s, the colonnaded balconies of a Phalangist dentist and a Palestinian family faced each other diagonally in the courtyard interior. The building's most innovative feature was the way that an empty space in its centre means that every room in every apartment has a view of the street outside.

When war came in 1975 however, the building found itself on the green line between Christian East and Muslim West Beirut, and its innovative design was exactly what made it attractive to snipers, who could shoot in to West Beirut from the relative protection of deep within the building's interior. The building was occupied by Christian militias, and was battered by counter-attacks from the other side of the line.

Battle-scarred buildings are a familiar sight in Beirut, and have become part of the city's background noise, like scooters. But walking in to the Barakat building today, somehow this constant historical backdrop becomes alive: there is a chilling disconnect between the gracefulness and warmth emitted by the architecture, which speaks of civilized family life, the life the building was intended to have, and the bullet holes and scorched walls - its actual fate. "I shiver every time I go past it" admits Hallak.

The building's organic relationship with the city did not end with the civil war. "Another layer of its connection to Beirut is how in the 1990s heritage, memory and identity meant nothing; only money", Hallak explains. As real estate prices in Sodeco area went up after the war, the building's owners sought to have it destroyed in order to sell the land to developers. "I thought 'if we can't keep this building, it seems there is nothing in this country worth keeping' ", recalls Hallak, who persuaded the Lebanese daily An-Nahar to take up the cause in 1997. In 2003, campaigners eventually succeeded in getting the building expropriated by the municipality.

The building then became the site of a new struggle: what to do with it? The French government offered the municipality technical assistance with developing it into some kind of museum, but the team of cultural experts who were supposed to come and advise on its development had to be put off in 2006 and again in 2007 because of the political situation. This autumn they finally came, and will be making recommendations to the municipality in the near future. The working title for the museum is Beit al-Medina - the house of the city.
According to Habib Debs, an architecture professor at the AUB who has been involved in the consulation process, the municipality originally wanted the site to be a conventional city history museum, going back to Roman times. In the consultation process however, different ideas emerged. "During the meetings and workshops the idea came about to have a living space, a space that is open to everybody in the city, and to help people to know better its different quarters."

Hallak echoes these thoughts. "I want a museum that tells you about Beirut….little details....That would make people feel closer to the city, because we don't know our own city, I want to know where what I see comes from."

Kamal Salibi, Lebanon's most famous historian, and an Emeritus Professor at AUB, supports the idea of a museum more focused on the recent past. "People have no time for unhappy memories, so to have a museum that forces you to face the facts of the past would be a good idea," he told NOW Extra. "It shouldn't be about the Romans, with whom we're just geographically connected, but about the last two to three hundred years."

Hallak is also keen for the civil war damage and sniper positions to be preserved in whatever the site ends up becoming. "I'd like it to be a museum of memory, not war, though war is part of our memory, we have proven in the last two to three years that we are ready for war if we don't look deeply at what we did to ourselves".

Whether the conservative or the more radical visions for the site prevail remains to be seen. For now the ravaged building, littered with bottles and rags, continues to be a mute testament to Beirut's ongoing internal divisions. "From the outside, the building looks like its all one", says Hallak, "and on the inside there's this void, which is how I see the city: divided and divided and divided".
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Old April 17th, 2009, 06:15 AM   #14
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I just read in Blom banks economic report that the Kuwait Fund recently granted $30 million to build a museum depicting the history of Beirut...

This has to be it..
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Old June 13th, 2009, 11:18 PM   #15
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A museum for collective healing

Beirut’s Barakat Building to become a Museum of Memory

Maysam Ali, NOW Staff , June 12, 2009


The Barakat Building, one of Beirut’s most notorious landmarks, is set to be transformed, after years of lobbying, into a Museum of Memory.

Last month, in honor of National Heritage Day, an exhibition was held to display all items that will be transferred to the building when it opens as a museum in 2012. They include the possessions of Dr. Najib Chemaly, a dentist’s chair, pictures, personal letters, business cards of political figures who used to be his clients, old liquor bottles, newspapers and clothes belonging to one of the residents of the building from the 1930s.

Also known as the Yellow Building, the Barakat building is located on what used to be the Tramway Station, Damascus Road near Sodeco, and was built by renowned Beiruti architect Youssef Aftimos in 1924.

The building has a unique design, with multiple doors, balconies, huge windows that extend all the way to the interior and an open central space to allow sunlight into every room in the structure. From the rooms in the back of the building, all the surrounding streets can be seen.

“This architectural transparency was perfect for snipers, who could sit in the back of the building and shoot people in the front while being very well protected,” said Mona Hallak, a local architect and heritage activist.

The snipers left their mark on the building, and not just with bullet holes. They built concrete barricades, wooden sniper shelters and, of course, left their names on the walls: “Katoul was here” and “Abou El Zouz was here” can be seen on the walls inside.

Before the war, the building’s ground floor housed a vibrant array of businesses. Neighbors remember a shoemaker’s store, a music shop, a hairdresser, a pharmacy, an Armenian-owned photography shop and a Bohsali sweet shop.

“I went to the building in 1994. It was first time I had the courage to enter the building because everyone thought it was full of cluster bombs. As an architect, I found it was a masterpiece. They started demolishing it in 1997 but we were able to stop them on the third day of its destruction. They had removed the tiles but we were able to stop them. It took seven years of campaigning until in 2003, we were finally able to pass a legal decree to transform the building to a museum,” Hallak told NOW Lebanon.

Today, the Beirut Municipality, with the support of the Municipality of Paris has taken on that initiative.

“We don’t yet have a clear idea of what the museum will consist of,” she said, “but we know it will focus on the Ottoman period onwards. We want this museum to be a live, modern museum, displaying permanent items, such as Dr Chemaly’s souvenirs, as well as rotating exhibitions on various themes. It will also contain a memory booth, where people share their memories prior, during or after the civil war. The war is only part of the museum.”

But for people who grew up on that street, the bullet-ridden structure is but a reminder of an ugly war.

Mohammad Karout, 55, owns a small dollar store on what used to be the Green Line, the division between Beirut’s Muslim-dominated West and its Christian East. Karout grew up in the Sodeco neighborhood, hopping around the neighborhood’s shops, before he eventually inherited his own.

When asked about the war, he walks away, saying, “People died, they’re gone now and we started a new life. You can ask me whatever you want, but I know nothing about wars.”

One of the buildings’ corners lies on Monot Street, a small side street that later became a central part of the country’s nightlife. People who own stores here are free most of the day: some discuss politics, others play chess.

“We closed our stores for 15 years,” said Fawzi Salamoun, who owns a local drugstore by the building. Dr. Chemaly and Mansour Barakat, who lived in the Yellow Building, were some of his most loyal customers.

“When I closed my store, some families were still living here. When I came back, everyone was gone,” he said.

Those who survived the war, and those who left during the war, prefer not to talk about it.

“We used to call it the Sodeco front,” said Charles Ghostine, a lawyer who was commander of former president Camille Chamoun’s National Liberal Party, also known as An-Numour Al-Ahrar. “It was right on the Green Line, set up in an area of utmost strategic importance to fighters.”

“It was very dangerous, as 25 people, both civilians and fighters, died on that narrow street,” he said. “In 1975 it was no longer safe to live in that building, so its residents left. The Lebanese Army occupied it until March 1976. Al Ahrar then took over the Barakat Building, which had a strategic location and defense architecture.”

In 1977, Al-Ahrar left the building and the Syrian army took over.

It was a sniper’s den. They shot at people on the street and fighters shot back at the building. It now stands bullet-ridden and empty.

“Instead of renovating it, they should leave it as is. What better way to remind people of the destruction of war?” Salamoun asked.

Hallak said that preservation of the bullet holes in the walls is a decision to be made by the architect.

Another civil war?

Some people believe the war taught the Lebanese that it should never be repeated. The more pessimistic, or realistic as they would call themselves, believe that Lebanon is bound to be a war zone because of its location and sectarianism.

Ghostine said that the war will not return. “The reasons for which the 1975 civil war started are gone. In 1975, it was a question of Christian sovereignty versus Palestinian dominance, protected by one sect. Today, the divisions are vertical and across sects, not among sects. Nobody is prepared for war,” he said.

“Things have changed,” said Mohammad Merhi, 66, whose grandfather constructed a four-story building close to the Barkat building in 1949, one year after Monot Street was paved.

“Today, I’m supporting Chamoun, Geagea, Gemayel, Hariri and people from different sects. We, and the leaders, learned a lot from the war so they won’t go back,” he said.

But Kamal Haddad, 57-year-old owner of a nearby antique shop, says that the chances for war are not unlikely. “This is Lebanon, something is bound to erupt every 10 or 15 years. To stop war, you have to stop sectarianism.”

But Mohammad says he will never accept a Lebanon whose president is not Christian. “This is our guarantee.”

Kamal fled the war to Saudi Arabia, while Roudi Sawma, who lives on Monot Street, stayed. On how he did it, he said, “We adapt. In war, people split. Some sold weapons and others sold coffins. But at night, they went out and partied together.”

“We used to get drunk,” says Tony Al Kosta, local hairdresser who does not stop smiling, even when he talks about war.

“Whether we die or not does not matter. We love life and it’s the only way we know how to live, even if we are in the middle of war,” he added.

Kamal said: “You get used to it day by day. At first you are careful and then you start to know when the bullets are shot and what time fighting stops.”

“To forget the war, you need to forget the country,” Roudy said, because people are susceptible to political and sectarian divisions that take them to opposing extremes.

“But even if the whole world conspired against the Lebanese, if they were not willing to pick up arms, they will not,” Merhi argued. “And this is what Rafik Hariri was, a man who was Lebanese above all.”

Another civil war may be unlikely, but another May 7 is entirely possible, they agreed.

“So what can we do? We tell our children to love the country,” Roudy said.

Tony added: “If the youth want to fight, let them do it after we’ve passed away. You’re still a young lady, you’re going to have to witness a war.”

It is a heritage building like the Barakat Building that will initiate a process of national healing, Hallak hopes.

“[Sunday’s parliamentary] elections were peaceful, but there is hatred inside people, you can read it in their slogans. There is no forgiveness and no reconciliation. The Barakat Building shows you that the city offers you things that you can love, and that Beirut is beautiful. It tells you that on Abdul Wahab Al Englizi Street, you will find an orange tree that’s 90 years old. It will tell you that Furn Al Shubbak area started with a man opening a bakery. These things are part of us regardless of which sect we are,” she said.

“They ask us: ‘You want to remind us of the war?’ Of course we want to,” Hallak said. “People are so drained by the war that all they want to do is stay in their houses, go to nightclubs and cafes. There is little say in what should happen to the city because all efforts to change have been a failure. Hopefully with this little success story, people will start to believe.”
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Old October 11th, 2009, 10:42 AM   #16
jader3283
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they started work on it, and are moving fast.

Picture taken end of September:


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Old April 8th, 2010, 04:54 PM   #17
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Hariri to Lebanese: Get Ready to Head to Polling Stations
Premier Saad Hariri has stressed that the municipal elections would be held on time and urged the Lebanese to "head to polling stations."
"Be ready to cast your ballots as everyone should be sure from this moment on that the elections will be held on time," Hariri said during a ceremony to launch "Beit Beirut" project at the Grand Serail on Wednesday.

The project, which was launched by Beirut municipality in cooperation with its French counterpart, is a museum located inside a historical building in the Beirut neighborhood of Sodeco to commemorate the 1975-1990 Civil War.
Hariri said the elections will be held starting May 2 based on the current law "because it is clear that reforms won't be adopted at the appropriate time."

"I do not support one Lebanese faction over another but I am not neutral when it comes to Lebanon's right to determine its fate, freedom, sovereignty and friendship with its neighbors," Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe said after Hariri's speech.

The prime minister later threw a dinner banquet in Delanoe's honor.



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Old April 9th, 2010, 03:35 PM   #18
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By iSoura, April 9th 2010.




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Old April 9th, 2010, 04:53 PM   #19
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courtesy of BeitBeirut.org


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Old April 9th, 2010, 06:08 PM   #20
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Absolutely GORGEOUS

At the same time, I wished the addition was a bit more..... umm... mutated? abstract? Just something to trouble the continuity of the building.

Nonetheless.. I like.
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