This guide tries hard to offer an original take on Beirut. Digging deep into its cultural and historical wealth, offering all sorts of thematic trails, from Fin de Siècle to Post War, to plenty of suggestions on new boutique hotels, up and coming designers and soon to open restaurants. We’ve also included interviews with ambassadors, antique dealers and writers on what makes Beirut unique, as well as in depth articles on everything from architecture to theatre and food. Quite frankly, it will be hard to come up with a more complete picture of this enduring city.
Few cities can compete with Damascus’ historical and cultural wealth. A city of saints and sultans, its Old City (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is said to be the oldest continually inhabited metropolis in the world with its souks and archaeological treasures standing as testaments to its 5,000 year history. At the time of the guide’s publication, in 2010, we talked about visiting the city before “the winds of change alter the character of the prized souks, the beautiful mosque and the hidden Ottoman palaces.” These have come faster than expected. While Syria undergoes a violent upheaval, we can all but hope for a speedy return to peace. After all, even the brutal Mongol onslaught, was followed by a period of prosperity. Until we can go back to Damascus, in all quietude, read our guide that offers rare insights on this enthralling city’s people and history.