Why I Want To See Beirut (And So Should You)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ever since I saw the “No Reservations” Beirut episode last year, I’ve been wanting to go myself (despite the fact that half the episode was spent watching Tony try to leave the city as war was erupting outside). Who wouldn’t be curious about the “Paris of the East,” a city known for its cosmopolitan flair, hoppin’ nightlife, thriving culture, and, yeah, amazing food?

And I’m not the only one. In fact, travel to Lebanon in 2009  increased a whopping 39% from 2008, with 1,851,081 visitors entering the country.

This week the UK Times decided to check out the turnaround of fortune for this notoriously party-friendly city.

It is hard for people who visit the shiny, refurbished Beirut of today to understand how remarkable the transformation has been. The shops are back, parliament has reopened and most of the ruins on show today — with the exception of the bullet-scarred Holiday Inn — are of the Roman variety.

Rumor has it, Tony’s going back to the city this year to see what he missed. He’s not the only one.

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