Invisible boundaries..

I’ve been walking a lot recently for one reason or another..

And without fail,,I’m always surprised at just how many invisible boundaries exist all over the city.  Possibly the most tangible (at least for me) is when I make my way from my apartment in Hamra, down through Ain Mreisse, and onto the Corniche.  It’s like passing through three different worlds..really..

I was walking on the Corniche today, when I stopped to peer over the railing..this is what I saw..

When it struck me..a LOT of Lebanese..let’s say of a certain “class” completely cut off/disregard some of the most beautiful parts of the city just because it’s not “the thing to do,” or they “can’t be seen there.”  But let me just say one thing..the people in the pictures above aren’t the ones paying a 30,000LL entrance fee for something that should be free – the sun and the sea.


Filed under life in Lebanon

19 responses to “Invisible boundaries..

  1. jimmy

    Sadly some of the Lebanese do like to pay even for such things to feel good.

  2. MW

    You forgot to mention the main reason people of a certain “class” will never be seen swimming there, sewers. Yeah, imagine swimming next to crap waterfalls coming from most of Beirut’s nasty toilets. What a nasty tan! 😛

    • So, you’re telling me that the people sitting at Riviera or La Plage (a couple of hundred of meters away), don’t share the same Ocean? And maybe not everyone goes into the water..maybe they just like to sit and soak up the sun?

      • MW

        I didn’t say that the Ocean is not polluted in Beirut. I just wanted to say that the sewers are dumped directly there, and when people go to Riviera they go for the pool and luxury services not the polluted waters of Beirut. The same applies to La Plage and other places in that area, and the waters there are not directly polluted by huge waste pipes. If you want to talk about unfairness regarding paying for something which is basically free, ask yourself one question: Are you willing to go to Ramlet El Bayda wearing a bikini and staying there for 2 hours minimum knowing that all the perverts in Beirut are staring at you ?

    • Simon

      Sorry mate, that’s not true, pple of a certain “class” pass so much money at certain places just to be seen there…
      Beiruts sea water is equally poluted…

  3. You should REALLY visit Tyre’s beaches. It’s the best in Leb if you ask me. It’s been a while since I’ve been there but I remember they only charge you for the parking space. It’s clean, cheap and the sand is absolutely amazing!

  4. Simon

    The Lebanese law prohibits any beach resort to fence off the beach, and they have to provide access to any person. By law they have to remain clear, approximately 10meters or so, from the water… I know this because i’m part owner of a beach resort in Lebanon.

    We bought the land and resort, which was built back in the days and the owners fenced off the beach. The council made us put gates so we give pple to access the beach only (not pools on private land). As soon as we did so, paying customers (of a certain “class”) started complaining, forcing us to close the gates (which was possible through the exchange of certain white envelopes with council members)

    Law is only applicable to the resorts that don’t have any political backing! you are expected to bribe local members and government or else they give u hell!

  5. I’ve gone and sat there a few times. But for me, when it comes to tanning/swimming there, it’s more about it being awkward as people walking on the Corniche (as you were) can look over and see everything. It feels too out there and exposed to me.

  6. It is so sad to see this happening to certain class of people in Lebanon. The beach should be free for any one to enjoy. Rebel for free beach access is a must among many freedoms that need reform in Lebanon.

  7. Youssef Chaker

    Inner Beirut vs Ashrafieh vs Dahieh:
    Beirut vs anything outside of beirut: invisible boundaries?
    French educated vs non French educated: invisible boundaries?
    Public school vs private school: invisible boundaries?
    Dual citizen vs non dual citizen: invisible boundaries?

    it’s hard for me to think of our world today, whether in Lebanon or any where else, as a society of different people clustered together struggling with the perpetual push against the invisible boundaries that separate them from everyone else. The old adage ‘divide and conquer’ is in full swing with the major players being anyone who has the means (money, power, etc) and the enemy is everyone else.

    In Lebanon, a certain class has been stripped of everything, including honor and dignity, hence the lack of shame in flaunting that disparity in the classes right in your face. This makes the divide more obvious where it could have been disguised anywhere else in the world.

    This is not a matter of public vs private beaches. Pools vs polluted sea. Bikinis vs fully clothed. It’s a much bigger issue, an issue that requires a shift in mentality and philosophy in regards of our fellow human being.

  8. Jim

    Nothing new that is normal in country her politician is polluted so every thing managed by polluted should be polluted

  9. jo mahmah

    With all the new pubs, sometimes its hard to remember that Lebanon is actually a 3rd world country.

  10. Pingback: The foreigners’ guide to moving to Beirut, part 1 | This is Beirut

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