If there’s one thing we know for sure about the Lebanese, it’s that many of them never forget their roots. And even if they wanted to—how could they? Nostalgia hides behind every corner. In Beirut, the city stands a living monument to its own past. Roman columns rise alongside the ultra-modern in Parliament Square. Glitzy new apartment buildings coexist with pockmarked old houses once just as glitzy and new.
The nostalgia is unmistakable in the pages of Old Beirut, a photo blog run by Bilal El Houri. Hoping to preserve Beirut’s old treasures “one image at a time,” El Houri collects photographs from the nineteenth century on into the 1970s. As the city changes, Old Beirut reminds us where it came from. More than that, it encourages us to bring El Houri’s preservation project to the streets.
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