There seems to be little entertainment in this town, if you look at these people. At least 10 people were watching how this road worker flattened a piece of newly laid tarmac. Tar is called 'zift', or 'ziffit' in Arabic, which is also used as a derogatory remark. When someone is considered a piece of s***, he or she is called 'zift'. Some of Beirut's more traditional architecture, dating back from colonial French times, mixed with Ottoman bits. The wrought iron balconies and wooden shutters. They don't build like this anymore, and the definitely do not preserve and restore either. People just live here until the place falls apart, or until they can sell the land to someone who will demolish it and replace it with a 12 story apartment building.
Another example. Still inhabited, but probably not for long. Real estate prices in Beirut are - despite the economic slump in the world - are rocketing sky-high.
Beirut was listed as one of the top ten liveliest cities in the world by the lonely planet list of the top ten cities for 2009. But that is probably a bit of an urban legend. It isn't 2009 yet, and we sure as hell don't feature on the 2008 list either; Damascus does. We do feature on this Lonely Planet list though. And we make the #1 place as well.
Pre-schoolers with their teacher in the park on a Satuday morning. Most schools still require some sort of uniform.