The Sun Is In Our Eyes

Tripoli, Lebanon, Nov 2005: Tripoli is the largest city in northern Lebanon and the second-largest city in the country. Situated 85 kilometres (53 miles) north of the capital Beirut, old Tripoli dates back to at least the 14th century BCE. It is home to the largest fortress in Lebanon- the Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles- and is the second largest city (behind Cairo) in Mamluk architectural heritage.

In ancient times, it was the center of a Phoenician confederation which included Tyre, Sidon and Arados- hence the name Tripoli- meaning “triple city” in Greek. Later on it was controlled successively by the Assyrian, Persian, Roman, and Byzantine Empires: the Seljuk Empire, Crusader States, the Mamluks, the Ottoman Empire and France.

I had arrived from the North, sharing a taxi down the coast from the Syrian port of Tartus, eventually crossing the border into Lebanon. After finding accomodation I visited the nearby Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles. The impressive fortress gave way to spectacular views of the city. Pigeon fanciers were notable in Tripoli, as I filmed what I saw as the sun went down…

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