Almost all Lebanese parents and grandparents tell us about Lebanon’s Golden Age: the economy was flourishing and tourists from all over the world were visiting the country. Beirut was also known as Paris of the Middle East.
Unfortunately, the civil war broke out, and people were left with memories. Let’s step back in time and see what Lebanon was like before.
Casino Du Liban (mid 1960s)
During the golden age, Lebanon was a popular destination among tourists. Casino du Liban received a gambling license in 1957.
The casino became a popular and glamorous attraction not only to locals but also to tourists since gambling was prohibited in most countries in the Middle East.
Byblos Bank – Hamra (1973)
In the 1950s, Lebanon was the banking center of the Middle East, and the country had a high national income.
Middle East Airlines (1966)
Middle East Airlines is Lebanon’s national flag-carrier airline. It was founded in 1945 and began operating in 1946.
In the beginning, the airline offered flights to Syria, Cyprus, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other destinations in the Gulf. It added new destinations to Europe, West Africa, and other cities in the Middle East in 1963.
Araya, Mount Lebanon (1967)
Lebanon’s railway was 400 km long. It connected Beirut to Damascus and Haifa. The system was built in the 1890s by a French company when Lebanon was under the Ottoman rule. Today, there is nothing left but station buildings and trains in ruins.
Tramway – Martyrs’ Square (1962)
Lebanon’s public transport was developed, and people could go anywhere using the train, the tramway, and the bus.
American University of Beirut (1960)
The American University of Beirut was founded in 1866 and became one of the leading higher education institutions in Lebanon.
Tabarja Beach (1965)
Miss Universe Georgina Rizk in Phoenicia Hotel (1971)
The Lebanese model Georgina Rizk was crowned Miss Universe in 1971. She is Lebanon’s first and so far only Miss Universe. She is also the first woman from the Middle East to win this title. The pageant was held on July 24 in Miami.
Jounieh and Harissa (late 1950s)
Lebanon was greener and cleaner.
Casino Du Liban (1960)
History was made when the casino opened in Lebanon. The media coverage was massive, and people were excited about a place that features gambling rooms, restaurants, and reception halls.
Phoenicia Hotel (1960s)
Phoenicia Hotel is one of the most famous hotels in Lebanon. Located in Beirut, it opened in 1961 and hosted royalties, world leaders, and celebrities. This hotel is a landmark in Lebanon. It hosted stars such as Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve, Marlon Brando, Jacques Brel, and many more.
Al Burj Square (1952)
Café – Beirut (1960)
Beirut Hippodrome (1950s)
Horse racing was a popular activity before.
Fairouz and Nasri Shameddine in Biya3 El Khawatem (1965)
It was common to buy a ticket to watch Fairouz sing. The Lebanese icon performed in iconic plays and concerts in Lebanon, the Middle East, and North America. She has sold over 80 million records worldwide.