Vintage Ain Mreisseh

Beirut is a city of change. Not too long ago I found some evidence of that, an on-line stash of pictures of Beirut taken in 1965. If you have the time go ahead and follow this link and browse around. It'll show you around 80 pictures of Beirut back in the day.

What amazes me about these pictures is how little I recognize. So much has changed. But this one looked very familiar.

Those distinctive rotund balconies are still there, and it looks like parking in this part of town has always been a problem.

Other elements of the surroundings have transformed. There are lots of new (and tall) buildings, and the facades have changed. The tall yellow towers carry electrical wires, though it looks like the wooden one (attached to the side of the building in the center) in the first picture is still there now.

It's a little hard to see, but yeah, that's McDonalds and Hard Rock Cafe down the road.

I could do a lot more like this, pairing shots of the old Beirut (that I can track down) with a current image. If you'd like to see others like this, let me know in the comments.


  1. That is a very interesting idea and I certainly would look forward to seeing more of these comparisons. But hey, a lot of work, hm?

  2. Yeah yeah yeah ... I love this sort of then and now shot. Only one exta tree in 45 years is not so good though. And I thought our electricity transporters would ugly!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I'm personally a fan of buried electrical lines like they have in Germany. I've often thought that the US should do that coast to coast, removing a blight from the landscape, employing people, etc.

    I've got a few more of these that I'll try to do properly. They are a lot of work, but the result is fun to see, I think.

  4. I love these. It's amazing how much changes and stays the same over time.