The Living Museum

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The shops’ goods pave the broken road, soothing the wavy maze of the old souk. Covered in blemishes, riddled with secret treasures, the shadows live in contrast to the midday sun. Juxtaposition of modern day life and the beauty of a Mamluk era unfold amongst its tiny alleyways. Poised in the blameless blue sky, Tripoli’s old souk actively survives with its old quarter gracing this land with its stunning architecture as the Mediterranean breeze still beats as it did centuries ago across its limbs.

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The Ghost of Tripoli

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As twilight softly kisses the horizon, a sturdy breeze plays mischievously in this derelict beauty only a short distance from the center of Tripoli, to the south of the city, bordering enormous, intense apartments blocs. Forgotten domes and empty seats are taken captive by the resilient flowers that grow amidst this deserted space. Like little shreds of hope they peek out just above the ground, holding firmly to the dream of what was once an almost picturesque reality that has drifted into abandonment.

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Among the Old Alleys of El Mina

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On the way to Tripoli, as you drive pass by Chekka, the feel of the country changes and you will directly notice that modernity has not laid its extending hands from this point forward. The road to Tripoli feels like life’s long journey, where one leaves life’s excesses and moves to a less hectic and chaotic state of being. The highway is calmer and the sky opens up to a horizon of a forgotten shoreline.

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The Fall of Tripoli

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Lebanon’s second largest city is famous for its medieval Mamluk architecture, including a bustling and labyrinthine souk that is considered the best in the country. Home to the largest fortress in Lebanon, the Citadel of Raymond Saint-Gilles, it’s the second largest city (behind Cairo) in Mamluk architectural heritage. In ancient times, it was the center of a Phoenician confederation, which included Tyre, Sidon and Arados, hence the name Tripolis, meaning triple city in Greek, which the Arabs changed to Trablous.

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