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BEIRUT STRENGTH

Conflict and an influx of refugees have changed the Lebanese capital- and not always for the worse

@Wendell23

IT’S 10 YEARS since I lived in Beirut as a journalist, reporting on the war between the Shiite militant group Hezbollah and Israel in 2006. I had been back a couple of times but never for very long, and this spring, when I found myself there for almost a month, I took long walks to reorient myself. Much felt familiar to me, but much had changed. Beirut is a city that never stops building over itself; empty lots had sprouted new neighborhoods, and shiny towers of serried glass balconies rose on the hillsides. New tribes of hipsters and Syrian refugees had settled in the crannies between run-down neighborhoods and old, abandoned factories.

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