Mar Makhael does possess a unique social and urban fabric.
During the past fifty years, the quarter was mainly inhabited by Armenians and characterised as a closely kniw communal fabric, dominated by light industries.
But, in 2007, according to a study by GAIA – Heritage, designers, architecture firms, art galleries, arts and crafts shops popped up to create a vibrant community. The soaring rent prices of Gemmayzeh, pushed the new generation to go just down the street, where the rents are affordable and everything is just around the corner. Predictably, restaurants and bars followed. A booming, emerging neighborhood attracting young professionals to affordable urban lifestyles.
On the other side of the coin, the residents, who are mostly above the age of 55 and around 50% of them are renters who mostly benefit from old rent controlled rates. Those residents, are displaced without real alternatives. Valet parking in every possible spot, sidewalks are crowded and flirt flourishing.
East Beirut. Popular and trendy.
More than 100 coffee shops, bars and lounges are stuffed into this small neighbourhood in and around Gouraud Street. Most don’t open until the evening and none really get hopping until after dark. The neighbourhood is an explicit reminder of how close different groups in Beirut live together. While Gemmayzeh is a decidedly Christian neighbourhood the Al Omari Mosque can be seen glowing blue and gold from nearly everywhere on the Strip.
One of the oldest and most charming residential neighborhoods of Beirut.
Once upon a time a farmland for rich families of Beirut, Achrafieh, is now a combination of newly developed, old buildings and historical remnants. A short walk from Hamra, Gemmayzeh and Mar Makhael. Home to Sursock House Museum!
The casual shopping street of Beirut. Mainstream chain shops, local stores, socks and phones, Internet and coffee, tv and onion rings, its all here. The busiest street is the melting pot of the city. It is where business meets with good shawarma and international dance festivals.
In the midst of newly reconstructed Downtown highrises, visitors find themselves standing in front of ancient Roman baths where archaeologists are excavating 2,000 year old mosaics.
Beirut Central District is the financial center of Lebanon, as well as the historical and geographical center of its capital. Severely damaged during the 15 year long civil war, it’s reconstruction constitutes one of the most ambitious urban redevelopment projects anywhere in the world.
You can peruse contemporary art galleries on Rue Gouraud before studying Phoenician antiquities at the National Museum. Shop in the chic new Souks downtown to experience traditional motifs well blended with newfound modern appeal and a number of luxury brand stores.
Go antique hunting in the Saifi village, walk in cobble stone little streets and take as many pictures as possible along the cute gardens.
Martyr’s Square sits on what used to be the Green Line, a dividing line of no man’s land separating Beirut’s predominantly Christian east and Muslim west during the civil war.