Sun Setting over Lebanese Mountains

It can be dreamy, to watch the sunset. But it can also be awakening.

To a day, when the road started from the suburban area in northern Beirut, Rabieh, up towards the Cornet Chahwan town in the Mounts of Lebanon. We parked to overlook the magical Mediterranean Sea. The sun was on a straight angle towards the sea, forming a shiny magical luster that ends in merging the skies and the sea. The trees automatically became darkened, and the shadows of the clouds imprints over the waters, forming an illusion. It was the perfect start of the day, a perfect form of meditation.

We then started to go upscale, passing by Ain Aar, Bikfaya, Beit Chabab,towards Zaarour. We came across this stunning building that reminded me of the Renaissance architecture, it turned out to be an old tobacco manufacture. We then stopped by Beit Chabab and walked around its old village before we reached to our final stop Zaarour to watch the sunset.

We walked into the edges of the mountain, and sat between the clouds, as the sun started to set over the mountains, forming different shadows between every curve of each mountain, blending their presence into one another. It truly felt like waves of sound turned into a visual experience, tuning in the shadows together, forming a melody. The colors of the sky started to divide into levels, forming lines on top of one another like rose petals, with the sun fully circle, located in the very heart and center of the sky, looked like it was surrounded with warmth, while it was spreading eternal love.

 

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24 hours in Lebanon

“All you have shall some day be given. Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors. You often say, “I will give, but only to the deserving” The trees in your orchid say not so, nor the flocks in your posture. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish…”Jibran khalil Jibran

Always start your day with coffee, turkish, espresso, american, arabian, just start it off fresh. Then start walking, down town Beirut, Hamra, Ein Mreisse, Rass Beirut, Zaitunay Bay, Beirut Souks, Saifi Village, Gammayzeh, Monot, Achrafieh, Mar Mikhael, Bourk Hammoud. Just walk where the wind takes you, look at the authentic streets, the old carriages, the people running in the morning along the port, people fishing, experience things you have never imagined you ever will. Speak to the locals, listen to their stories, eat their food, look into their eyes, look for the art, the graffiti, the music, be spontaneous, pray in a temple, which ever one that calls upon you. Get into a house, have more coffee at their balcony, walk some more, keep a smile on even if you see anyone frowning, take a cab to the closest beach town, Batroun, Jiyeh, Jbeil, Jounieh, Faraya, Tyre. Swim if the weather is fantastic, read a book if it is a little cold, drive around a close by mountain town, Zarour, Arz, Laklouk, Faraya, Tannourine, overlook Beirut from above. Head back downtown, join a protest, there must be one around, listen to the people chant, wave their flags. Walk again between the old streets, watch their sunset, and try to find a Lebanese dabkeh or traditional dance near by at night. Enjoy Lebanon.

For more on Beirut Beach Towns 

A Mediterranean city dipped in Rose Water – Beirut – الى بيروت –

 

Where ever you are, in what ever circumstances you find your self, always strive to be a lover, a passionate lover. When love becomes your possession, you will will always be a lover – in the grave, at the resurrection, in paradise, forever. When you plant wheat, it will surely be wheat that grows; wheat will be in the storehouse, and wheat will be in the oven. “Rumi”

Beirut is dipped in Rose water, because their people are passionately in love with it. It is dipped in rose water, because where ever you go, you see people speaking passionately about it. Beirut speaks love in every corner, it is furnished with Rose water. It has witnessed miracles, surviving its continuous agonies; the people of Beirut know exactly how to keep healing it. They are lovers to it. And once you decide to visit Beirut, look into its history, but let its history power you with hope. It is joyous, no matter how upset it is, it maintains its joy, because of the love, the people of Beirut, pour into it. Because they are aware of every little wound, and they are aware that love is the answer, and with love, Beirut can survive all of it.

What does life look like in Beirut? – كيف شكل العيشة في بيروت ؟

Forget about politics, am here to talk about the city of Beirut.

Where modern architecture is embedded with the old. Beirut is rich in history. The citizens  of Beirut take good care of it. You walk between its streets to see modern on top of vintage. It gives you the feeling that layers of stories are topped one on top of the other. They leave the old in it, and just glue the new like plastic surgery on top of it.

Art and culture.

Beirut makes you feel at home, even if you are not Lebanese, you will still feel home. It may let you feel in chaos, as it is a very busy fast paced city, it can let you walk slow, but then it runs over you.

There is so much to find in Beirut, scattered hiding around the corners, ask about new areas, hip shops, look for them and browse them. There is too much of everything, and it is always changing, just don’t stop yourself from exploring the cities deepest wonders.

And once your anywhere, just look at the art that surrounds you. Beirut is full of art.

The Scent of Jasmine & Cardamom in Tripoli – رآحة الياسمين و الهيل في مدينة طرابلس

Tripoli is so poetic; it is just like Jasmine and Cardamom mixed together and sprayed between the tree leaves. This city is ancient wonderland located Northern side of Lebanon. I have a weakness for architectural art. I would walk all day for it, I would stand still and look at it for hours, I can leave everything, find a bench and sit as I gaze at it. If I sound like you, then book your next destination to Tripoli, Lebanon.

You will experience understanding the mixology between architectural art, or maybe not truly understand it, but sense it. I am unfamiliar with architecture studies myself, but I am obsessed with it. I have seen art in Tripoli that dates back to the Mamluk times, Art Nouveau, Islamic Art and of course Ottomans. You walk the old city of Tripoli and it is just like a walk through history. There is also a Spanish Breeze as you explore the city, I felt like I was somewhere in Spain several times as I was exploring Tripoli.

I have taken few photos below of the Old city of Tripoli, Grand Mosque Mansouri Mosque, a popular dish by the name Maghrbieh, a popular dessert by the name Ma’jouka, a famous game that the elderly enjoy playing by the name Doma that is very similar to chess, and the Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles or Qal’at Sanjil Castle.

What about Byblos in the Mount side of Lebanon? عن جبيل في لبنان

If you have been to Lebanon, you sure have been to Byblos, and if you haven’t then here is a little bit about it. A beautiful destination, small very old and authentic Mediterranean city located north of Beirut. Byblos is eye gazing, so much to see all around, the old houses, stairs, the old market, the old trees, the sea, the skies, it is truly one of the places that is hard to find the right words to describe it. And then in the evening, it is sleepless. People from all over Lebanon head towards this authentic city to enjoy their evening outdoors.

Go there, find ancient temples, find the Byblos castle, find the Medieval city wall, find the Mamluk Mosque, find St John the Baptist church, and if you are there during the summer try to attend their annual summer festival.

A little bit about my first day in Tripoli – Lebanon | عن رحلتي في طرابلس لبنان

Old, authentic, and a great exploration. I spent my first day in Tripoli just browsing around the city to take a glimpse of what it is about. Just to estimate the amount of time I need to explore, and it sure is one of those cities that need at least a good week to find the best of the best inside out. It has so much to offer, but things are a little buried under.

In my photos you will first see a great spacious exhibition area that used to hold alot of concerts in the past and theater shows. Today it is used as an automobile exhibition. We then went for a quick roam around the old city of Tripoli, where the market is, and the old mosques and churches reside. The architecture in Tripoli is brilliant, you will see the Islamic art, the arabesque, the Ottomans, very similar to architecture resemblance found in old Palestine.

We then had lunch at one of the most popular restaurants “Akra”, that can be visited for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. It serves traditional dishes of Tripoli and the Middle East like; Hummus, Fatet Hummus and Fool. After which we walked towards “Khan al Saboun” Soap house to shop for some hand made authentic soaps that are made with lavender, rose, olive oil and more scents and herbal spices. We then went for some Arabic ice-cream from the Mina area as we enjoyed watching one of the most beautiful sunsets to take place ever.

Best part of the day was the evening of it, we ended it at one of the most famous arabian desert making shop “Al Halab”, we had knafeh with chocolate and some lahmeh bajeen. Delicious.