What Lebanon Was Like Before The War


Ever wondered what before the war was like? After the 45th anniversary of the civil war, we decided to take a trip to the past and see what was like before those days.

#1 Jounieh, 1950

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Jounieh, 1950. Recolored by me.

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As seen in the pictures (swipe for the original), ’s pollution problem was non-existent. The beach was clear and clean from waste, plastic bottles, and candy wrappers.

#2 Araya Train Station, 1968

A 408km railway once connected cities across . The train stations have been inactive since the days of the war. Some were destroyed or removed to build over, and others still remain as historic relics. This specific train station in Araya is sometimes used as a filming location.

 #3 Raouche, 1966 

The Raouche Rocks have always been a sight of attraction, but how much fame is too much? Being once a quiet place to relax, this has now become one of the busiest corners in – a true tourist location.

#4 Barakat Building, Sodeco, 1971

The Barakat building has been restored and is now a museum named Beit Beirut where many artists showcase their projects. It has become a cultural center celebrating the history of .

#5 Tripoli, 1971

Tripoli was once famous for its ample orchards of lemons and oranges which aroma hovered all over the city, mingling with the sweet scent of jasmine that abounded in the gardens and balconies.

#6 American University Hospital, 1955

The American University Hospital (AUH) is now known as American University Medical Center (AUBMC). It is one of the best hospitals in .

#7 International Airport, 1962

Before being destroyed in the civil war, the airport was known as International Airport. Today, it is called Rafik Hariri International Airport as a tribute to the former prime minister who rebuilt it.

#8 Manara, 1971

Al-Manara touted the view of open space with greenery, which has now been exchanged with tall buildings and heavy traffic.

#9 International College of , 1962

International College of (IC) is still a prestigious school today and is proud to have brought up many successful graduates.

#10 Martyrs’ Square, , 1960s

Martyrs’ Square was a popular center where you could find buses or taxis, have coffee at a cafe, visit its small hotels and cinemas. During the war, it became the point that divided the city in half.

A competition was launched to design a new square and open it to the sea. Today, the square is a couple of parking lots devoid of the greenery and liveliness it used to have. It has recently become the center for the October 17 revolution.

#11 Man in the market, 1969

The traditional flat-topped red hat called the Fez or “tarboosh” was commonly worn by men in . Here you can see a man wearing one and reading a newspaper in the market. Some souks in retained that old souk style, such at the souks in Tripoli.

#12 Gold Souk, 1972

The souks of , like Souk al-Tawileh and Souk al-Jamil, were frequented by Lebanese and European shoppers alike. This is the Lebanese-born model Mona Ross in the Goldsmith’s souk. Fashion trends from the 70s have been making a comeback in recent years.

#13 AUB Student, 1966

An elegant student posing on campus between classes. Knee-length skirts were the latest dresscode of fashion forward young ladies, especially in fashion hubs like .

#14 St. George Hotel, 1967

Built in the late 1920s, the Saint George Hotel was alive and bustling until being severely damaged in the civil war, then again during the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

#15 MEA Check-in Counter, 1969

The check-in counter at International Airport looks completely different today.

Let that simplicity fool you not. airport was back then as active as the capital that was a magnet of entertainment, fashion, art, a venue for international movie shootings, and the regular host of numerous celebrities and prominent visitors.

And here is what “in motion” was like in 1968:

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