Holiday In Beirut

Beirut, Lebanon, November 2005: While holidaying in Beirut in 2005- my first venture downtown inevitably ended under the towering, war ravaged hulk of the Holiday Inn…

The Holiday Inn was just one of the many hotels that became infamous during the conflict known as the Battle of the Hotels or (Front des Hotels) a brutal conflict in central Beirut (1975-77) that occured early on in the Lebanese Civil War...

This was the first full scale confrontation between the leftist Muslim Lebanese National Movement(LNM)- plus the PLO militia…. versus the Christian Lebanese Front phalanges.

The battle was for control of the strategic hotel district of central Beirut- it rapidly spread to other areas, as did the war in general…

It began in October 1975 when Muslim fighters of the INM occupied the Murr Tower- and the Christian phalange KRF retaliated and occupied the Holiday Inn, St George’s and the Phoenicia Hotels.

Most of the hotels were then occupied- and over the next few years a tit-for-tat barrage of gun, mortar and sniper fire obliterated the downtown hotel area into a jigsaw…

The Holiday Inn was the only war ravaged hotel left standing when I visited 20 years later…

And as far as I’m aware the ruined skyscraper is still standing…

Canon EOS 1N/Canon EOS D30


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