If its walls could speak, they would rather sing. They’d sing the tunes of world-famous musicians who once filled its rooms with their voices.
The walls would recall the history it has survived, enduring two world wars and the 15-year Lebanese civil war.
Or perhaps they would read the tales and poems of famous writers and poets who often stayed for visits.
Constructed in 1874, the mystical and historical Palmyra Hotel with windows overlooking ancient Roman temples in Baalbek once hosted kings, queens, emperors, and empresses.
Prominent historical figures roamed its quarters, and many defining events took place in its area, such as the signing of the Declaration of Great Lebanon.
Famous guests who visited Lebanon for concerts and festivals stayed at the hotel, among them Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone.
Even Albert Einstein has once walked its floors!
The Palmyra has never once closed its doors, not even in the war. However, like many Lebanese institutions, it is currently facing real issues remaining open.
It no longer hosts flocks of royal and famous guests who come seeking luxury as they did in the past. Instead, its tourists come for a taste of history and to take a journey back in time.
But with the economy’s crash and the pandemic affecting the world, the hotel is now left struggling and holding on to hope.
When everything else fails, a heart still beats. And Lebanon, struck by ongoing clashes and recurring economic collapses, is and will always be still beating.
“صامدون” (steadfast, patient, determined) has become the motto of Lebanese revolutionaries, because just like the pillars of Baalbek, they have endured so much, yet remain hopeful, and continue to fight for a better future.
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