It was only last week when the assistant mayor of Paris claimed that Frigide Barjot’s former apartment “looks like Beirut” thanks to incomplete renovation work. France’s neighbors to the north could allow that article to pass without their own Beirut-like renovation failures.

Like a War Zone

THE General Election has left pensioners’ homes looking “like a war zone” while residents wait for insulation work to be completed under the UK Government’s flagship ECO scheme.

If there’s one thing I have learned over the years, it’s that if the introductory paragraph of a news article contains the phrase “like a war zone”, expect it to be accompanied by “it looks like Beirut”. Janice Burns’ article does not fail to make the transition.

Holes in the Wall

The problem was uncovered after pensioners in Lanarkshire were left with no cavity wall insulation for five weeks after Home Energy UK removed the old material and left their homes covered in holes, looking like “something out of Beirut”, after failing to return to finish the job.

What exactly is the problem? Well, the project was being funded by the tax payers but the company feared that a change in government (which did not happen) could lead to priority changes and therefore did not want to risk completing the work without confirmation that it will continue to be funded. You’d think the company would wait to ensure funding exists before even removing the old insulation; if you don’t have anything to replace it with, why remove it.

In any case, let’s head back to our problem. Holes in walls now equates to Beirut. I can understand where that’s coming from but at the same time, there are numerous other examples one can choose from.

The former Holiday Inn hotel in Beirut.

The former Holiday Inn hotel in Beirut – probably the most infamous example of bullet hole walls and Beirut.
By Catfish Ramblant from New York City, USA (IMG_4038) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Beirut comparison is later emphasized in the article thanks in part to a resident’s quote:

Neighbors Charlie, 72, and his wife Margaret, 70, said their 98-year-old house had been left looking like “Beirut” with numerous gaping holes up to four inches wide left on the outside of his house.

There may be still bullet-hole ridden buildings in Beirut but there has also been a large amount of renovation work done on buildings to erase their damages past.

National Museum of Beirut - Post repair from civil war damage.

National Museum of Beirut – Post repair from civil war damage.
By Elie plus (talk)Elie plus at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Alternatively, bullet holes can also bring out some great creative ideas like 7Up’s Wall of Music in remembrance of the start of Lebanon’s Civil War over 40 years ago.

Looks Like Beirut on Google Maps

This “looks like Beirut” source joins the myriad of similar phrases across the British Isles, giving British residents the ultimate lead to any other nationality in the world. Why don’t you take a look through the map below; you might an area near that has been labeled “Beirut”.

Lanarkshire on Looks Like Beirut Google Maps

Renovation Work Leaves Lanarkshire Homes Looking Like Beirut