Samir Kassir's Beirut PDF

By Samir Kassir

ISBN-10: 0520947177

ISBN-13: 9780520947177

Largely praised because the definitive background of Beirut, this is often the tale of a urban that has stood on the crossroads of Mediterranean civilization for greater than 4 thousand years. The final significant paintings accomplished via Samir Kassir prior to his tragic demise in 2005, Beirut is a journey de strength that takes the reader from the traditional to the trendy international, providing a blinding landscape of the city's Seleucid, Roman, Arab, Ottoman, and French incarnations. Kassir vividly describes Beirut's staggering progress within the 19th and 20th centuries, focusing on its emergence after the second one international conflict as a sophisticated capital till its close to destruction through the devastating Lebanese civil warfare of 1975-1990. Generously illustrated and eloquently written, Beirut illuminates modern problems with modernity and democracy whereas even as memorably recreating the ambience of 1 of the world's so much picturesque, dynamic, and resilient towns.

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Sample text

Yet it was at this moment that the people of Beirut, at least those who had endured the siege in June and July, were to show the greatest dignity in adversity—until shortly afterward, in September, when other Beiruti, and other Lebanese, inflicted a terrible stain upon the city’s honor: the massacre at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. There, in the space of forty-eight hours, more than a thousand Palestinian and Lebanese civilians perished as the Israeli occupiers turned a blind eye to the slaughter.

Even if one were to try only to situate it geographically, the alchemy of words could not be avoided. Inevitably one is forced to resort to a formula that was destined to appear in every tourist guide: between sea and mountain. An indispensable phrase—how else can one describe a city built on a cape and dominated over its full extent by a steep and commanding barrier? From whichever side one considers it, Beirut depends for its effects on the dramatic juncture of the land, at varying elevations, with the Mediterranean.

Plans were drawn up for reconstructing the center of the city. But in each case the lull in the fighting turned out to be only an interlude, lasting scarcely more than a year and a half at most; in the meantime the war contin- The Eyes of the Mind 23 ued elsewhere, and the line of demarcation eventually came to be reinstated. The violence ceased on other occasions as well, more briefly but not less hopefully. And then there were periods of neither war nor peace, or, more exactly, of semi-war and semi-peace—periods that, taken together, probably accounted for the better part of the fifteen years of the conflict.

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Beirut by Samir Kassir

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