The Lebanese hair cut

March 21, 2011

I went for a hair cut on Wednesday.  I walked about two miles to a place I had been previously, as the guy did a really good job. I was a bit worried, that the shop may not be open after all that walk. Anyway it was open thankfully, but it was a different barber!! 

There was one guy just finishing getting his hair done, which was really short anyway. The barber carefully snipped round his hair, for around 10 minutes,  like it was a sculpture or something. I though fine, at least he takes a pride in his job.

Just as I sat down in the chair two other people appeared also wanting haircuts. My haircut took 4 minutes !!!!  It was OK,  just…  But it was nowhere near as neat as the previous time.  No more haircuts for me in the Lebanon !!

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Beirut traffic

March 12, 2011

 

I have spent quite a few months in Beirut over the last year and whilst walking around, or travelling in cars I have seen some amazing sights on the roads. Normal cars with up to ten adults and children inside. A car with the boot lid up and three children sat there. motorbikes doing wheelies along the motorway and other streets. A scooter doing a wheelie !!

Madness

 

Motorcyclists here are not required to wear helmets and very few do. Apart from that no one bothers about wearing any other protective gear. The man on the scooter above is overtaking a car I was travelling in. He seems to be sending a text whilst holding on with one hand .

Mad bikers

 

One day whilst walking alongside the motorway, I saw a motorbike with two people on board roar past at about 100 KPH doing a wheelie. There was quite a lot of traffic on the road and the once again, no one on the bike was wearing a helmet or any protective gear. I was slow getting my camera out, other wise I would have had a very spectacular shot. The picture above is taken at distance but you can still see what is happening.


Beirut

March 9, 2011

Pigeon rocks

 

There are many interesting things to see in Beirut and the Lebanon. It may not be the kind of place you would want to spend two weeks, but there is plenty to do and see in a short stay of around five or six days. The best places to visit I found were: The Jeita Grotto; Our lady of the Lebanon; Byblos; Anjar, Baalbek, and Pigeon rocks. The walking tour of Beirut is a great way to see and find out a tremendous amount about this city and its history.

Al Amin mosque

There are many fantastic churches and mosques in Beirut. The largest of these in Beirut is called the Al-Amin mosque on the edge of Martyrs square right in the centre of the city. I had never been in a mosque before, so this was an amazing experience for me. Anyone is allowed to go inside and amazingly… take pictures. You have to take your shoes off at the entrance and carry these to a special shoe storage place at the far end.

Inside the mosque, the whole floor is covered in a rich deep pile carpet, that has the pattern of thousands of prayer mats. The artwork on the dome and the massive chandelier are very beautiful. At the front prayers were being conducted and there were half a dozen worshipers there. The preacher is on the same level as the congregation which was different, as I had only previously seen preachers up in pulpits. I must say, there is a very relaxed and quite magical feel inside the mosque and I felt better for having visited the place.

Al Omari Mosque

 
 
Also located in downtown Beirut is the Al Omari Mosque. This is quite a remarkable building as it was first built in 1150 by the Crusaders as the Cathederal of St John.  It was then converted to a Mosque in 1291 by the Mamluks.  However the building still points in its original direction which is almost Easterly so not in the direction of Mecca which is South. 
 
 

Designer shops at Beirut Souks

 

A brand new shopping area crammed full of expensive designer shops has been build in downtown Beirut in an area know as the Souks. The whole area like the rest of downtown Beirut is spotlessly clean with not a peice of litter to be seen anywhere.