I recently posted about the lifting of the 18 month sit-in protest in downtown Beirut. The security put in place to guard the government against these nefarious and underhanded protesters made it really difficult to get into downtown, and most of the shops there had closed down for a lack of business.
Well downtown Beirut has rebounded with a vengeance. Heaps of cafes and restaurants have already re-opened, and Beirutis have been flocking in. At night the area – which is closed off to traffic – has been packed with people. We were down there the other night and Prime Minister Siniora came wandering through to check it all out.
I still find it quite surreal that we can now walk unfettered through areas which only a week ago were rendered offlimits by Hizballah supporters. Now that the razor wire and armed goons are gone, it’s actually a really nice area!
The best bit for me is I can just mosey on down the hill from the office and grab a primo frescati ice coffee from Costa if I need a refreshingly cool beverage to break up the day.
Of course the walk back up the hill is a bit of a bugger and now that it’s getting over 30 degrees I tend to be a slick ball of greasy man-sweat when I get back in the office.
A small price to pay for freedom.