“Beirut – Peace
to Beirut with all my heart
(“Beirut” by Fairuz – lyrics by Joseph Harb, quoted in Postcards from Lebanon).
ChI has been in and out of Beirut on and off since before the Civil War, and the amazing thing about it is its “plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose” – it really does retain its extraordinary joie de vivre, and chic urban lifestyle, come hell (which did indeed come) or high water.
When times are good, it’s a fantastic place to hang out in and have fun, and to experience the pleasures of both the senses and the intellect - (Beirut was for a long time the intellectual capital of the Arab world, and some would say it still is).
When times are less good, there is courage, and sometimes even bread and jasmine, despite it all. And when trouble comes, it seems to make the party spirit more intense than ever.
Rated by Monocle as No 4 in the world’s great places to live (Monocle 15, vol 2 July/August 2008).
ChI Stays At...
• Four Points
Sheraton in rue Verdun – 21st century minimalism, comfort and
Author: Emma Hooper