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HOTELS What A „Holiday Inn“!

Posted by on 5. Januar 2016

Holiday Inn

This was once a posh hotel ...

OH, I REMEMBER IT AS A POSH HOTEL, THIS „HOLIDAY INN“ in BEIRUT: A huge building, overlooking the warm and blue Mediterranean. With a rotating restaurant on the highest floor and probably the most luxurious hotel of the chain. Some days ago I stood in front of it, speechless – it’s a ruin since 1991, since the civil war ended (officially), occupied by the military on all floors, howitzers sticking out from the empty windows (not a single piece of glass in the building), machine guns covering the skyline of the Lebanese capital in all directions. Trees are growing in the facade, and tanks are luring in the former entrance and the parking spaces around. You can’t get close, soldier will prevent it by pointing their Kalashnikovs at you, and you take an unknown risk if you lift your camera or mobile phone to your eyes. The army occupied the „Holiday Inn“ because it has a formerly unknown strategic value, it towers over Beirut, from here a sharpshooter (with gun or canon) can eliminate terrorists in almost any street – and even pulverize single houses. That’s why the government didn’t allow the company to restore this hotel. And if you stand in front of it, regard the narrow sides of the facades: Bold climbers, talented artist have decorated it with sweet graffitis, from bottom to top. How they did it with the army inside is a miracle, and how the managed to scale the „Holiday Inn“ as well. But it’s a demonstration, a moving cry for peace …

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