It’s definitely cool to have Beirut among the top destinations for tourists to visit in 2012. But it would also be cooler if editors, for once, focus on other cool stuff to do in Lebanon than Beirut’s nightlife scene. Don’t you think?
You’ll adore Beirut’s juxtaposition of old and new, traditional and downright funkiness. Restored Roman baths stand in the midst of the business district, surrounded by gleaming skyscrapers and an Ottoman palace. At Music Hall, in an old cinema hall, fez-wearing traditional musicians play Arabic ballads for their 15-minute spot, after an ’80s cover band, while cocktail-dress Beiruti women belly dance with their designer-jeans-clad partners supping cocktails. Soldiers with machine guns keep one eye on families drinking coffee at midnight, with squealing kids playing, on pedestrianized Place de L’Etoile square. Le Gray luxury boutique hotel sits a moment’s walk from the bombed-out Holiday Inn, still bullet-ridden from 1976 Lebanon Civil War.
You can check the full list here.