Ghabi is where you get if you start at Doueihy, Sassine, and coast all the way downhill. I like the change in scenery as you get closer to the river which marks the boundary of Beirut. It feels like a pocket of village life in the city.
Last week, Beirut pulled out the stops to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Rafiq Hariri’s death and huge spectator stands were erected for the parades and performances downtown. We decided to escape the crowds and roadblocks, and head south for the weekend. We followed the coast until Sidon, Hariri’s home town, and then turned inland past Nabatiye and across the Litani River. Here I brandish proof of my newborn nationality before a sign announcing that foreign nationals need to obtain permission to cross from the Ministry of the Interior.
We stop in a village within sight of Israel. Chickens peck on the grassy verges and sheep graze on the rocky hillsides. Mount Hermon looms white in the dusk. As we wander down the main street, lined with cream stone buildings and various small stores, we realise this is a special kind of village. Read the rest of this entry »