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Beirut: The name of this Middle Eastern city reminds most people of the Civil War, the Green Line, and the recent explosions. But if you walk the path of history, you will see that there are some untold stories hidden in the city. Which gives one look for another Beirut.
The word 'bir' in Arabic means 'well' or 'spring', according to many, the name Beirut comes from there. The history of the city is first known from the fourteenth-century Cuneiform inscriptions found in Tel-al-Amarna, Egypt. The Egyptian ruler, Pharaoh Amenhotep IV, wrote the letter asking for help in the fight against the Hittites.
The transformation of Beirut began with the hand of Alexander the Great. It is said that the foundations of the Greco-Roman Empire began to form soon after his capture. Commercial ports, military bases, large palaces, theaters all developed one by one in the style of Greece and Rome. From 201 to 300 AD, the city became as important as Athens. It was in this city that the Justinian Code, the bearer of the Western legal system, originated. However, in 551 AD, a devastating earthquake and tsunami almost destroyed the city.
Beirut fell to Muslim Arab rulers in 635 AD, but the city was captured by Christian crusaders in 1110 AD. After 8 years of empire, the Crusaders were defeated by Saladin in 116 AD and the city came under Islamic rule. But only six years later, he was defeated by the king of Cyprus. Finally, in 1291, the Mamluks of Muslim descent put an end to Christian rule.
Then, in 1517, the mighty Turkish-Ottomans occupied Beirut. They made an agreement with the aristocracy of the city. According to the agreement, the amirs of the city could enjoy some autonomy in return for a certain amount of tax. When the amirs started conspiring to revolt in the eighteenth century, the flames reached Europe. In 1840, the city was recaptured by British and Ottoman armies in a simultaneous bombing, fearing that the center of power would deviate. Beirut and Lebanon exchanged with Europe. Gradually the Beirut business became the heart of trade and education culture. The Syrian Protestant College was established in 18 AD by a joint venture between Syria and the United States. Which is now known as the famous 'American University of Beirut' in the Middle East.
From the world war to the sixties
At the end of World War I, Turkish rule in Beirut ended due to wartime famine and rebellion, followed by British military rule and later French rule. It was during this time that Beirut was recognized as the capital of Lebanon. Due to its port during World War II, Beirut became an important city. The city had a special role in providing food, medicine and soldiers. By 1958, Beirut had become one of the most important centers of trade and banking in the Middle East. From economic stability to deeper communication with other countries of the world- this is the time to start. With the rise of the middle class, the spread of education, the travel system improved so much that superstars from Europe and America used to come and spend time in Beirut. That is why it was named 'Paris of the East'.
Sitting down to analyze this time, two views emerge,
According to a group of people, Beirut was a luxury for the rich at that time. Big hotels, theaters, cafes, clubs were the heart of the city. The city thought only of the rich, it was cruel to the poor who set foot in the city from the countryside.
According to another party, Beirut was then a military and political arena. Opinions, rebellions, arms exchanges and the seeds of civil war were all sown at that time. Liberation of Palestine, the Arab Nationalist Movement is all in the city.
From a neutral point of view, it is clear that both are true. The city's economy was getting richer and richer for the various businesses of the merchants, the spread of education was increasing, and as a result, the political and social consciousness was also increasing. If you want to analyze Beirut in 1970 in one word, you can't think of anything but 'city of free thought'. That city can change at any moment and surprise you.
Duration of the Civil War
However, the nickname 'Paris of the East' was fleeting. The name was erased in the nearly 15 years of civil war that began in 1975. Beirut first saw what bloody history could be in this civil war. In 1958, Fouad Chehab became President of Lebanon and decided to further develop Beirut and Lebanon. But the political decision he made to make that progress gradually turned into corruption and oppression. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) launched a conspiracy against Israel in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. Israel launched a covert operation, accusing the Lebanese government of aiding and abetting it. Meanwhile, Maronite became active in the north of the country. Conflicts began between the PL and R Maronite tribes. Beirut became the epicenter of anarchism in this ongoing communal riot. Meanwhile, the infamous 'Green Line' was created only by MuslimsTo share with Christians. The line fell like a scar through the city. Definite death once passed. Meanwhile, Israel started bombing. Massacres, murders, suicide attacks in the streets of Beirut. Intolerance finally began to stagnate through the Taif Treaty, signed in 1989. The war ended in 1990, but the wounds remain in a bullet hole in the wall and in a collapsed economic situation.
Although the panic of the 2006 civil war subsided, it returned to the Israeli-Hezbollah terrorist group. The people of Beirut understand that they still have to deal with many storms.
If we look at the history of Beirut, it is clear that its rise was never smooth. The city has been built with a lot of fights, a lot of injuries on the chest. That fight has not stopped yet. In the alleys of the city, it is flowing in the veins of the people. That is why the people of Beirut do not break down easily, because they know that sunrise is impossible after every storm.