Nose Jobs, Princesses, and Beemers


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Middle East » Lebanon » Beirut
August 6th 2009
Published: August 8th 2009
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Beirut, the Paris of the Middle East, as it has been previously called seems to be reclaiming the title. The New York Times has ranked it #1 on its list of 44 places to visit in 2009 .

What is it that makes this a must-see place?

People walk around the streets with a bandage on their nose and bruised eyes as if it were trendy. Move over L.A.! Beirut is the new Silicon Valley of the World.

You need one nanny for each child you have. The nanny usually wears a "nanny outfit." Also, you can be spotted in public without your nanny taking care of your child! Who will feed, carry, change the diapers of the baby?! The nanny only hands over the baby so that you or your girlfriend(s) get several photo opps. After, you and your girlfriend(s) head out to the clubs, leaving your child to be cared for by the nanny. Anissa Rafehs article on Spotting a Beirut princess is hilarious, but has truth to it.

In Beirut, you only ride in style. Meaning taxis are almost all Mercedes, and everyone else has a BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Land Rover, Hummer or any other luxury car.

Party all night long! Sadly, I was not able to experience the the nightclub scene in Beirut, but the city is known for its parties until the morning. Maybe next time.

I can figure out what attracts me to this city, but I definitely know that I will be back to explore more.

Additional observations:
It is remarkable to see how quickly the city has bounced back from the 2006 war, which left much of downtown in rubble. New skyscrapers are up, the new dowtown has been completely revamped and is quickly filling up with cafes and designer stores.

Since Lebanon is such a small country (~4 million people), and Beirut is almost in the middle, this make it easy for day trips to various tourist attractions. Interesting to note that there are more ex-pats or Lebanese living outside of their country, about 15 million people, compared to the total population of Lebanon. And each summer, these ex-pats visit their home country.

Having to put on the training here hast allowed me to interact with many locals and learn from them. Although many of them are looking forward, they all share the same question, when will the next war occur?
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Newly re-built downtown
Growing up in the US, I never wondered if I would experience a war. However, living in a country that has experienced such violence and turmoil, like Lebanon, definitely has affected people. War is a reality that these people have to live with, but they seem to have a positive outlook on life.






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New MosqueNew Mosque
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Thanks to Rafik Hariri
New SkyscrapersNew Skyscrapers
New Skyscrapers

Recently built after the 2006 war.
Street ArtStreet Art
Street Art

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The elections took place two weeks before our training.


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