Beirut – A City Without Addresses!
In Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, inhabitants use reference points like famous shops and cinemas for directions. Street names exist, but almost no one knows them.
It is Saturday afternoon in Beirut and the roads are more crowded than usual. At one of the steps of the ancient city, a number of people are meeting for an event of urban art.
“You know that little shop on the corner where there is always a sleeping dog out there? Well, I’m here,” said a participant in the event, speaking on his mobile phone! This type of information was more than enough to locate the spot he was standing at in one of the city’s most famous streets.
When you go to Beirut for the first time to find a friend, you can only do it by knowing details, places and small landmarks – not official street names or house numbers, as nobody ever uses them.
The real problem is that these marks can be of any kind: from huge and crumbling buildings to shops, boutiques and restaurants known. A little less vague, of course, than the golden retriever sleeping in the sun, but still not what you’d call precision geolocation!
In addition, some of these reference sites have vanished long time ago, but still survive thanks to their referential function. This is the case of the old theater Medina, absolutely not to be confused with the new theater Medina, still standing but located twenty minutes from the old one.