It must be a slow news day at the Scunthorpe Telegraph as a conversation with a visitor on the state of the town center has developed into a 100-word “news article” complete with a Beirut punch:

A visitor to Scunthorpe town centre was shocked by the amount of litter. Phil North, from Brigg, visited the steel town and parked in the Mary Street car park.

“I had to walk through a tenfoot to get to a particular shop and I was absolutely disgusted with the amount of litter in that alley and the yards opening onto it,” he said. “It looked like Downtown Beirut.

The remaining 40 words of the article, which is actually a further quote, has the visitor inquiring on why nothing is being done to clean the garbage. Not sure when exactly the equivalent of a Facebook Share/Twitter Retweet has been elevated to news article status, but as one commenter beautifully puts it:

So Nigel – some bloke you were chatting to in the pub makes an off the cuff remark and you see it as an opportunity to post a “news” story about it.

Nevertheless, a “looks like Beirut” comment is still my target though it seems that I have been beaten to it by another commenter, FOL_London (stands for Friends of Lebanon – who seem to do what I am doing but with comments as FOL has popped up on a few other Beirut-jab news articles):

“It looked like Downtown Beirut.” This comparison simply doesn’t match the description. It has been nearly 25 years since the civil war that spawned this cliche. Downtown Beirut is now a beautifully crafted and well kept area that is popular with locals and tourists alike. Go ahead and google images or view some youtubes. But stick to the current decade. In general, Beirut is both safe and beautiful.

Here’s a photo to support FOL_London’s claim:

This is apparently how the center of Scunthorpe looks like. Photo of downtown Beirut.

Downtown Beirut by Ahmad Hashim via Flickr
Taken on October 14, 2011

With only a name, Phil North, and nothing else to go by, I’ll have to send a Looks Like Beirut certificate to theĀ Scunthorpe Telegraph journalist, Nigel Fisher.

Looks Like Beirut on Google Maps

Feeling ‘nostalgic’ and want to visit places that other people describe as Beirut? I’ve got “looks like Beirut” comments mapped across world. Check it out, you might find a place near year that has been described as the Lebanese capital.