Beirut is “unorganized chaos”:

Beirut is what I call unorganised chaos. But it works. I don’t know how, but it works. The only thing is we have a major problem with urban planning.

Never knew chaos could be organized? Also, is that really the only thing we have a problem with? I’m quoting Galal Mahmoud, founder of GM Architects when asked by Middle East Architect magazine about the changes taking place in Beirut.

He goes on to explain Beirut in a UAE-context:

The UAE has gone to the other extreme of over planning, whereas in Lebanon we have no planning whatsoever. We just build wherever we can. We have an issue with providing the city with the basic requirements of a city – pavements for people to walk on, proper streets, green spaces. Everyone is building high rises, which will create a lot of collateral problems, in terms of traffic and pollution. No one is thinking in advance. We also have a lot of problems with the environment. Even though we have a fantastic environment, it is being destroyed gradually.

Galal Mahmoud - in an interview with Middle East Architect (Arabian Business)

Galal Mahmoud - in an interview with Middle East Architect (Arabian Business)

On a side note, you won’t see political news on this blog for one reason only – because there are others who would do an immensely better job at analyzing and reporting the situation than I could ever do. So if you want to know what’s going on without losing your mind, then I recommend my three favorite spots for Lebanese politics – the condensed version:

If anything, you should read at least those three – you’ll be set for life.