Article published in Mimarlik Kulturu Dergisi, 2000.
“A Letter from Beirut” deals with the rebuilding of Beirut’s city center. At the end of the 17 year long civil war, Beirut was divided in half: West Beirut, mainly inhabited by Moslem, and East Beirut, mainly inhabited by Christian. The center, which was a raging battlefield throughout the war, became a no man’s land.
Before the war the city center of Beirut was the throbbing heart of the city as it was the location of the main souks and transportation hub for the whole country. The city center was rich with a variety of Ottoman and French mandate buildings.
Under the pretext of urgency and speed, the reconstruction process of the whole city center was given over to one private real estate company, which proceeded to sweep away the old fabric to make way for new construction. However, the excavations for the new projects had an unexpected consequence.