Beachtime in Lebanon

Speaking of Lebanon, it looks like some are doing their best to forget last year's war in Lebanon. Lebanon actually has more than 120 miles of seashore with scores of sun-filled beaches. Yeah... it's probably not on the top of most people's lists as a beach location but Beirut was once a cosmopolitan and thriving city before the Syrians rolled into town. The city's current situation is complex but perhaps the city and country will recapture their old glory. Anthony Bourdain, world-famous chef and host of No Reservations, was in Beirut when war broke out in 2006. He describes one of the reasons why they visited Beirut before war tore the city apart...

I can only describe it as being like South Beach or Los Angeles. In addition to some of the best Middle Eastern food the already wonderful Lebanese classics, there was every variety of Asian fusion, European and American, that you would expect of any modern sophisticated major western city.

Lebanese contacts were effusive, bursting with pride, "enthusiastically and persistently trying to get us to come. The Lebanese food was already said to be the best in the Middle East and by all accounts Beirut was newly resurgent, shockingly tolerant in the days since the Hariri assassination, relatively peaceful between groups. By all accounts it had returned to its one-time status as the "Paris of the Orient."

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