Monday, 4 October 2010

The British Press and Lebanon

There’s been a recent rash of travel articles written about Beirut, or Lebanon, in the British press.

Here’s another, in the Independent, which rates The Four Seasons.

The Guardian’s been in on the action recently, too. Here’s a short plug, and also a piece on Beiruti cuisine with a short “Where to stay, what to do” section.

I’d like to point the following out to my colleague at The Beirut Spring:

The buildings range from the occasional pretty Arabian apartment block with French-style ironwork to hundreds of ugly white and pastel concrete buildings and spectacular modern developments, while gold mosques and big churches poke out wherever they can.

It’s not just the Americans.

But, thankfully, kind of, the Guardian also got out of the big smoke and talked about The Bekaa, here.

Although, the use of the word tribe is a little odd.

Methinks there’s an effort being made to get Beirut into the press. Alternatively, the British travel press have cottoned on to the fact that Lebanon is very much "now" in terms of interesting holiday spots. Let's face it, if you got told to go away and lose yourself at the Four Seasons with their 24-hr butler service, I'd imagine you'd jump at the chance. A lot of this kind of stuff is paid for, the Four Seasons piece being a prime example I'm willing to bet. Not that that matters in terms of getting Beirut on the map.

My point is, for such a small country, and one that's been in the press a lot recently, it seems a little odd that Lebanon's popping up all the time. Odd, but good. As long as they're mentioning the right type of columns.

But either way, it’s nice to see the city, and the country, highlighted for reasons other than to say, “Beirut’s a fleshpot, go and drink.”