A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

museum piece, museum peace

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on June 4, 2008

This post is in honor of H’s mother, who works in Mathaf, which is named after Lebanon’s National Museum, which dominates the roundabout that gives the area its name.

Mathaf was a major and long-term area of fighting during the civil war – and its reputation seems to live on in the mind’s of todays fighters as well. After the “events” of early May, H’s mother and her co-workers were deeply impressed by the number of RPG shells and bullet casings the building’s concierge collected from their rooftop and grounds.

But Mathaf is apparently about to enjoy a new reputation, courtesy of a luxury condominium project whose press release was published in yesterday’s Daily Star. No longer a mere roundabout, it is now a “museum district”, with a suitably refined pedigree:

The museum district is a green paradise in the heart of Beirut.Trees decorate the streets, evoking images of an isolated suburban neighborhood. Parks offer a haven of serenity, only occasionally disrupted by birds chirping. Buildings from the 50s still standing in all their glory, creating a nostalgic feeling of Lebanon’s heyday. History not in books but staring at you while crossing the street.This is the charm of the museum district and about to be home of Convivium VII, two luxury residential buildings.

The two were a perfect match even before they were conceived. Byblos Real Estate Investment (BREI), the developer of the project, looks into the soul of a place before adding its touch.They don’t disregard the past when designing projects, but instead recapture its beauty in an innovative way. Needless to say the design will reflect the very essence of the place.

Perhaps “birds chirping” is the latest euphemism for “gunfire”? I like the sound of the museum district that the press release describes, but I wouldn’t buy an apartment in Convivium – the reality is too pressing.


2 Responses to “museum piece, museum peace”

  1. intlxpatr said

    What a great spin! OOps, I mean what great positioning/marketing.

  2. hahahahaha yes – a bit of both, I think. I wish Beirut were more green, and I wish there were more birds chirping – we all need a bit of nature. But Mathaf has a ways to go before it fits the image BREI claims it to have!

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