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Travel Tips / Five Cities Begging for Your Attention / Beirut Travel / Lebanon Travel / Chanize Thorpe / → All Tags
Call us champions of the underdog, but we’ve got an overall affinity for places that are often overlooked in the travel world. Some have had rough pasts or are a tad slow on the tourist track, but they just want a little love. Here’s the lowdown on five cities eager for the chance to win you over.
City 5 of 5: Beirut, Lebanon.
Why Go to Beirut: Let’s address the pink elephant in the room—there are those who associate the “B” in Beirut for “bomb” of the bursting-in-air variety. And there’s no point in denying the undercurrent of uncertainty along with the the Hezbollah presence in this Middle East city. Still, the country continues to actively court intrepid travelers (though not so much those who’ve previously visited Israel). That said, in order to appreciate Lebanon’s capital, adopt a we malo attitude (that's Arabic for "so what?"). Apparently that’s how locals keep on keeping on.
Everyone wants to be on the edge of a comeback these days. The city of Beirut isn't releasing a new single or belatedly confiding in Diane Sawyer, but that hasn't stopped the Guardian from proclaiming that Lebanon's capital is "back... and it's beautiful." We'd feel guilty reading this objectifying headline in a different context, but we guess it's okay to do to a city.
Writer Carole Cadwalladr has a bit of history with the old lady, having written a guidebook to the country with her friend back in 1995. Now she declares it "the Elizabeth Taylor of the Mediterranean... if you replaced the words 'alcohol' with 'Israel' and 'a string of unsuitable marriages' with '15 years of civil war.'" That's a comeback? Oh wait, and it has two new hotels and the seal of approval of the New York Times, which is where the metaphor begins to fall apart.