Downtown Beirut Â the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to archeology. After a blogger (link) andÂ Daily Star journalistsÂ were assaulted for taking pictures at the District S site, it turned out a nearby site, where the Roman gate and road were discovered, was more important than originally perceived.
Our ministry of culture Gaby Layoun has no problem in allowing the demolitions at the site in question to continue. But new evidence is now surfacing according toÂ this sourceÂ that the site in question may contain Lebanonâ€™s first and oldest Church. And yes, that possible Church is part of the things that are going to be destroyed as well.
What will replace the Roman gate and road as well as the potential Church? A five star hotel and mall. Because thatâ€™s precisely what Downtown Beirut is so desperately lacking. After all, why would any tourist in their right mind want to see anything in Beirut that doesnâ€™t revolve around the Zaitunay Bays and the Solidere edition of Downtown Beirut?
Gaby Layoun is well on his way to be Lebanonâ€™s prime minister of culture to allow the most transgressions against Lebanonâ€™s culture. From theÂ Roman hippodrome, theÂ Phoenician port,Amin Maaloufâ€™s houseÂ and theÂ constant destruction of AchrafiehÂ to the current site at hand. Of course, all of the aforementioned entities are not Â things that can be milked electorally for them to be anything substantial for Layoun and his friends. Roman hippodrome and Christian rights sure doesnâ€™t sound catchy enough.
We, as Lebanese, have apparently no right to at least have the parts of our history that are discovered be fully studied and documented because it will ruin the plans of multi-billionaires who are paying our government in droves to turn a blind eye to every single transgression taking place.
Itâ€™s not only about stone, mosaics and ancient significance. Itâ€™s about this monumental carelessness and barbarism with which authorities handle every single situation in this country, including ruins and culture and houses and highways. And quite honestly, Iâ€™ve come to expect nothing less of people who probably find the pillars of Baalbek are enough for this tiny country.