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Horsh Beirut (Beirut’s Forest) is an urban park in Beirut. It is also known by the name Horsh El Snoubar or the Pine Forest.
Since the 13th century, the Horsh has suffered frequent abuse especially by the armies of the Crusaders, Mamluks, Ottomans, and the Allies of World War II to build ships and weapons.
Large parts of the pine forest were segmented-out to become an Ottoman Casino in 1917 (which became the Pine Residence later during the French Mandate of Lebanon).
During recent history, the site was bombed to burn by Israeli jet fighters during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Much of it was also turned into a Palestinian refugee camp.
Horsh Beirut has been reconstructed after the end of the Lebanese Civil War and it has been closed for the general public for about 25 years.
However, it ended up being reopened to the public in 2015, which was considered a victory for civil society after constantly demanding its reopening.
The site is now a public park that can hold private and public events. It is a green peaceful forest in the buzz of a concrete jungle!
You can also check our short clip on Horsh Beirut: