Is it possible to feel nostalgia for a time you’ve never known? An experience you’ve never had? Yes, and the feeling has a name in the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. It is anemoia.
It is not uncommon to experience anemoia. You’ll probably experience it looking at pictures of old Lebanon, when it was ripe in its golden age.
To the newer generations, a pre-war Lebanon sounds like a fantasy.
Legends are told of 24-hour electricity and of the latest technology and design. Streets with traffic lights, decent public transportation, and a railroad alongside the coast sound like a dream.
But life before the war was very much a reality, one that our parents or grandparents were lucky to experience: Lebanon’s golden age.
#1 Lebanon in the 1960s by British film producer Harold Baim
For prime anemoia, watch the longer version at the end.
#2 Bustling Beirut in the early ’60s
#3 Footage of the classic MEA plane, the old airport, and Beirut in the ’60s
#4 A summer holiday in Beirut four years before the civil war.
#5 Peaceful Lebanon in the mid-’50s.
#6 Longer version of Haim’s rare footage describing Lebanon.
The effects of the war still reflect on Lebanon today, a country unable to move on from its trauma, but young Lebanese are holding on to hope that, one day, Lebnen rah yerja3.