The news about the sudden destruction of the ancient Phoenician port in Beirut has flooded the news and the Lebanese blogosphere over the last couple of days. Everybody seems to be against move and some are even asking the minister of culture Gaby Layoun to resign over it.
But let’s be real for a second, downtown Beirut all lay over Phoenician ruins and much more! At the end, it was destroyed and rebuilt 7 times over its 5,000 year history, so the least you can find is ruins WHEREVER you dig around the city! Should we preserve everything we find and halt all construction works for ever? And let’s assume that we’ve succeeded in actually preserving them and turning these site into touristic places, will Khaleeji people be interested in visiting them? In fact, I see them enjoying places like Zaitounay Bay much more than the ancient ruins near the Grand Serail!
Still, don’t get me wrong, I’m not calling to erase our history, but why can’t we be more practical? I know the developers at the Phoenician port did wrong by suddenly demolishing that Phoenician port, but why for instance didn’t we give them the option to maybe move that port to another place instead of totally halting their plans?