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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2007, 9:21 PM
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A MUST SEE: CHARLES CUSHMAN: Beirut, 1965- 90 high-quality color photos

Much like Dresden, Beruit is a formerly cosmopolitan metropolis, the mention of whose name in present times is more likely to bring to mind images of bombed out ruins and war, than images of vibrancy, beauty, uniqueness and history. Dresden used to be known for its beatiful porcelain dolls and china, and Beruit used to be called the Paris of the Middle East, Lebanon was known for its cedar forests instead of Hizbullah terrorists, and it was a popular mediterranean resort. It was well along its way to rebuilding that image before the Israeli war rained bombs on its poor neighborhoods (largely sparing the wealthy and tourist areas) and further set back Lebanon's image internationally.

So here's a look at the cosmopolitan aspect of the Middle East we don't think about much anymore, a culture struggling to stay in existence after more than 30 years of war and religious fanaticism.

Brought to you by Charles Cushman, who surely was an SSP forumer who somehow managed to go back in time and photograph city scenes in the middle decades of the 20th century, and leave his archive to Indiana University for us to find here in the future.

1. From top of Excelsior Hotel BEIRUT



2. Mediterranean in morning form top of Excelsior Hotel



3. BEIRUT apartment house in MINET EL HOSN



4. BEIRUT Minet el Hosn section rasperry colored apartment house near Sea



5. Residential section near Sea Minet El Hosn section of Beirut



6. MINET EL HOSN section BEIRUT



7. BEIRUT water front



8. Evening sunlight along sea wall of BEIRUT



9. Along sea-toward Prince David Restaurant



10. Sea front



11. Sea front with Hotel St. George



12. Narrow building Port area



13. Minaret of Mosque Marechal Foch



14. Minaret of Mosque Marechal Foch, showing street



15. Mosque near Parliament Square



16. Sidewalk vendor Parliament Square



17. Parliament Square



18. Arabs, Parliament Square



19. Parliament Square



20. Parliament Square



21. Sidewalk merchant, Parliament Square



22. Sidewalk merchant, Parliament Square, with customer



23. Native market



24. Native at market



25. BEIRUT seen from mountain road south east



26. BEIRUT from mountain road S.E. of city

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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2007, 9:53 PM
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27. Lebanese valley and mountains seen from moving coach nor-eastwards Beirut to Baalbek



28. Group in small town along road from Beirut to Damascus



29. Central Lebanon seen from moving coach. Baalbek to Beirut



30. Central Lebanon seen from coach traveling from Baalbek to Beirut



31. Same rock as earlier, without fisherman:



32. Native gentleman, BEIRUT



33. Fishers and net



34. 3 children and chaperon



35. Open house



36. BEIRUT (These captions aren't mine, for the most part. Either Cushman or his archivist had miketoronto-type issues with capitalisation)



37. House with balcony



38. BEIRUT



39. Narrow street; high buildings



40. Tram on Parliament Square



41. Trolley car:



...more to come.
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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2007, 9:56 PM
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Cool
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  #4  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2007, 11:18 PM
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Beirut still has pockets of its former glory, and nearby cities in Turkey and Syria also have some of the "glamour" of the past, but its no longer an area cosmopolitan westerners visit.
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2007, 9:28 AM
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42. Beirut street scenes- Redheaded fatty (their caption)



43. Natives, Parliament Square



44. City center



45. Coal-oil Johnny



46. Along Beirut-Damascus highway



47. A little shrine in a flower garden



48. Hotels along sea front from top of Starco Bldg. North



49. View up coast:



50. Mediterranean sea



51. Roofs seen from top of Starco Bldg.



52. View northward



53. View south of Starco Bldg.



54. Narrowest in Beirut: building of Ceucle fe l'Union Francaise



55. Green-clad rocks



56. Green-covered rocks along shore



57. Odd stone building



58. BEIRUT



59. BEIRUT



60. BEIRUT balconies

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  #6  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2007, 10:09 AM
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61. Waterfront cove and rocks



62. Yellow bldg. With 2 balconies



63. A narrow court



64. Tenement



65. Street scenes- shopping street



66. Kalifa girls BEIRUT beach



67. A once proud building, Ras Beirut



68. Arab in Ras Beirut



69. Native woman, Ras Beirut



70. Sunday morning near mosque, Ras Beirut



71. Pigeon Rock



72. Pigeon Rocks



73. New buildings near Pigeon rocks



76. Pigeon Rocks



77. Hibiscus



78. Little girl in Hamra



79. Crescent vendor



80. Freak turret



81. Arab with strange hat



82. Drying nets Beirut sea front



83. Old apartment building



84. Old apt. building



85. Arab school boys



86. Sea front



87. Construction workers- Old style



88. Rue de Paris - old apt. bldg.



89. Street sign RUE IBN SINA



90. "...and I do like to end the show with a kind of "Oh" feeling..."

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  #7  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2007, 3:10 PM
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jeje, i saw these on the test forum!!! good pics.
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  #8  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2007, 4:34 PM
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beirut, freekin beirut. Fabulous....
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  #9  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2007, 4:32 AM
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I don't appreciate the biased, unnecessary political aside against Israel in the first post...

Nice to see these photos, a real special atmosphere. Nevertheless, I was a little disappointed not to see much of the "lost paradise" that we always hear used to be there before the civil war of the 1980s. But then again, maybe Cushman wasn't trying to make postcards for tourists, either.
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2007, 6:07 AM
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Nice photos! Hard to think it's 1965...
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  #11  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2007, 12:12 PM
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Great thread! I love the Cushman photos, nice that you put this together. Some funny captions too!
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  #12  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2007, 2:15 PM
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Awesome! Thanks
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  #13  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2007, 3:11 PM
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Looking thru this once again - I love the look of the old men wearing fez. I wonder if you still see that.
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  #14  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2007, 5:27 PM
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^thanks for bringing this back Olga. I love the people pictures too- only a few forumers can capture shots like that (Serge, Sasso and Kilgore come to mind). It's amazing that this guy was an amateur, these are straight out of National Geographic.
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  #15  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2007, 1:00 AM
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thanks for finding these, my dad still speaks well of 1960s Beirut (best city in Asia.) too bad you injected your own political two cents.

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  #16  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2007, 1:22 PM
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these are great! unfortunately, its a side of Beirut we wont get to see again, at least for a while. A lot of funny captions and great pictures.

These kids are funny.

Except for Mohamed Atta Jr. over there on the left.
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  #17  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2007, 2:20 PM
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Great thread. I need to go visit some friends over there one day soon.
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  #18  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2007, 3:26 PM
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It's like the Cote D'Azur with minarets.
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  #19  
Old Posted May 31, 2007, 9:27 PM
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Thanks for this thread of really rare and amazing pics. Being a young Beiruti myself, seeing these images shows me snapshots of what life and the scenery was like before I was born. The city, although not as modern or western as it is today, had a special peaceful charm about it when 18+ ethno-religious groups co-existed and appreciated the raw beauty of their surroundings.

I agree with the forumer who said he wished these pics showed more of the paradise lost, because they really dont show the full picture of how cosmopolitan and posh it was for its time (it was the most modern city in the middle east while Dubai was nothing but a desert) and rather focused on the lower-class of society (which is ok!) and Gulf Arab visitors.

I will post some comparison pics soon...

Last edited by Beiruti; May 31, 2007 at 9:38 PM.
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  #20  
Old Posted May 31, 2007, 10:42 PM
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1960s




2007

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