I should write an ode to rebar, since it plays such an important role in the contemporary architecture of this city.
Rebar, Wikipedia tells me, is short for "reinforcing bar", it is the length of steel that becomes the "reinforcing" part of reinforced concrete. In Australia it is called reo. I mention this because Julie asked and quite unexpectedly, Wikipedia explained that our terms differ.
Here you see it in tidy bundles, draped in the back of the dump truck like so much limp spaghetti. Hard to believe it, but yes, steel bends like that. Rebar is delivered to construction sites as you see it here, in enormous trucks that can barely pass through the streets. When the truck reaches its destination, it literally dumps the rebar out onto the side of the road, making an amazing, enormous racket that sounds something like a cross between an amplified cat fight and a whirring table saw.
In Beirut, rebar is fabricated into size specific grids on-site. You form it, cut, bend and weld it into a network, a lattice, a kind of open grid. And then you pour concrete all over it. Bingo. Reinforced concrete.