Iconic Beirut Restaurant Never Closed During the Civil War, Just Closed due to Coronavirus

Via Hasan Shaaban/Twitter

There is something pretty crazy about these last 2 years in Lebanon’s history. The number of crises piling up on top of each other in such a manner is too much for this small country that has seen its fair share of trials and dramas.

Increasing prices, revolution, debt defaulting, people being kicked out of their jobs, currency devaluation, and anything that can happen happened. Or so we had assumed until the Coronavirus showed up to top them all.

Lebanese Revolution – The Associated Press | Al-Jazeera

And before it showed up, despite all the previous challenges, Beirut’s world-famous sandwich shop and restaurant Barbar never closed.

The Coronavirus, however, now that was just too much.

As the World Health Organization called the virus a worldwide pandemic and the Lebanese government declared a national health emergency where everything will be closed for 14 days, it is about time that this world-famous shop will close its doors for the very first time since its opening in 1979.

Beirut under lockdown – Nabil Ismail

Barbar is notable for its resilience. It managed to stay open during wartime, most notably the Lebanese Civil War, the Israel-Hezbollah war of 2006, and the infamous 7 May 2008 war when Hezbollah raided many neighborhoods in Beirut, including Hamra where the shop is located.

Throughout all of that, the restaurant never closed for even a day!

However, Coronavirus is a different beast, one you can’t see but after it’s too late; a highly infectious virus that can go undetected for 14 days and maybe even more, as it spreads through the world.

It has so far infected 175,817 people and claimed 6,717 lives worldwide, according to Worldometers on March 16th (16:35 GMT).

Even a restaurant as resilient and sturdy as Barbar cannot stay open during such a monumental crisis.

Barbar Restaurant in Hamra – Lebanon Charlo Seychell

While all that sounds scary, there is no reason to panic. Coronavirus is a serious problem, but it’s not beyond our capabilities.

The thought of this high number of cases sounds scary on the surface, but the world has also had over 77,000 recoveries and scientists around the world are getting closer and closer to finding a solution.

China, from where the virus is said to have originated and that has been under the fiercest duress, has already its outbreak under control. It has already also moved into helping other affected countries, like Italy and even Lebanon on a smaller scale.

The World Health Organization has released a list of symptoms that you should watch out for. If you or anyone you know shows these symptoms, make sure to contact the following health resources.

We have a dedicated coronavirus section where you can find the latest news/updates about the pandemic in Lebanon, inform yourself with WHO-verified resources, and track the number of cases in Lebanon in real-time. Click here.

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