A Weekend in the Shouf

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There is a certain serenity that settles on the mountains of the Shouf where land, sky and the blue horizon congregate. Behind the huge public square or midan, the Kharj Barracks, a beautiful architectural structure with an open courtyard and surrounded by volts stands still untouched by modernity. This massive structure was built by Fakhreddine II in 1616 as a munitions warehouse and barracks and remodeled into a food storehouse mainly for soldiers under Bechir III Chehab (1840 – 1842). It has taken a new life now, restored, this monument is the stunning setting of the French Cultural Center where cultural and social events take place. We spent a night there with the kids watching football. It was one of those nights where the open dark skies, the stars so clearly visible, and the crescent of the moon stood next to each other peacefully painting a picture perfect night. Sitting in its womb, one could get a sense of the culture and people that still inhabit this land.

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