Beirut, City of Lights

Finding color in the Lebanese capital

By / February 2017

The Syrian diplomat turned Beirut-based poet and publisher Nizar Qabbani conjured the resilience of the Lebanese capital in his poem, “Beirut, The Mistress of the World.” “Rise from under the rubble,” Qabbani wrote in the fallout of the Lebanese civil war:

Like a flower of Almond in April
Get over your sorrow
Since revolution grows in the wounds of grief
Rise in honor of the forests,
Rise in honor of the rivers
Rise in honor of humankind
Rise, O Beirut!

One of the oldest city’s in the world, Beirut is also among the Middle East’s most diverse, with sizable populations of many Muslim and Christian sects. Although the city continues to suffer bombings, a growing trash problem, and to feel increased strain from the Syrian refugee crisis, Beirut remains one of the Middle East’s most cosmopolitan places. Photographer Scott Lashinsky sends these pictures of Beirut’s many colors.

— Danny Wright


Photograph by Scott Lashinsky Beirut Souks is an upscale shopping center in downtown Beirut’s central district.


Photograph by Scott Lashinsky Lights adorn trees and balconies in Beirut’s upscale shopping district.


Photograph by Scott LashinskyLebanese beatboxer FZ, a member of the local hip-hop group Fareeq El Atrash, is reflected in a mirror at Joon on the Moon, a café and boutique in Beirut’s Ashrafieh neighborhood.


Photograph by Scott LashinskyA bolt of lightning zigzags across the winter sky in Beirut.


Photograph by Scott Lashinsky Christians comprise about 40 percent of Lebanon’s population. Brightly and colorfully illuminated churches and steeples can be seen throughout the capital.


Photograph by Scott Lashinsky Photograph by Scott Lashinsky


Scott Lashinsky, an EthnoTraveler contributor, is a photographer based in Jordan.