|Who needs fireworks when you have AK-47s with tracers?|
The Middle East isn't usually what comes to mind first when it comes to nightlife. For obvious reasons. But there is usually an exception that proves the rule. It is called Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. I decided to celebrate last New Year's eve here.
|Byblos is one of the world's oldest cities.|
We later ended up in Armenia Street, the number one spot for bars. The nightclubs are located in the marina or in Gemmayzeh Street.
|I've been to Lebanon twice. I will be back.|
|Yes, definitely worth a look.|
|Fishing is a favourite pastime.|
The super friendly people and the cool and often full bars just add to the attraction. Their hospitality is legendary, and local bar patrons are always curious about foreign visitors. Many of them are however genuinly surprised.
"Why did you come here?" we were asked, repeatedly. They are very well aware of their country's rough reputation abroad. But I never once felt unsafe, rather the contrary. And neither should you. That you stop to travel is precisely what fear loving terrorists want, and the risk is as low in Beirut as in New York, Paris or London. Despite of a violent past.
First published in Mainichi, Japan.
|Pick your religion.|
|"Thank Dad 4". At last, an honest boat name.|
|Almost got me.|
|A free taste before you buy.|