Beirut city center presents an appeal to people from all
walks of life. Queen Noor of Jordan was welcomed by SOLIDERE
chairman-general manager Nasser Chammaa.
Other visitors included former president of Lebanon Amine
Gemayel, as well as official delegations from the US state
department, Kuwait municipality, the protocol department at the
Senegal prime minister's office, the Middle East department at South
Africa's foreign affairs ministry; the Cyprus internal affairs
ministry, and an economic delegation from Czechoslavakia.
From international financial institutions came representatives
of the World Bank, Citibank, Finance Stability Institute
(Switzerland), Merrill Lynch, National Bank of Canada, Banco
Atlatico, Islamic Bank of Dubai, Bank of Bahrain, REFCO financial
company and Capital Markets Group Inc. Business visitors included
such companies as Saudi Airlines, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation,
Siemens, Crang & Boake Inc and Societé des Alcools.
Delegations also came from Communauté de l'Agglomération
Dijonnaise, Lions International, Bayern Munich, Dresden University
engineering school, Bonn University geography department, and
France's Ecole Supérieure des Affaires. Finally, the media was
represented by crews from Dubai business television; as well as
journalists from the Wall Street Journal, Le Figaro and de Telegraaf.
As usual, a large number of tourists, residents and Lebanese
expatriates visited the downtown area during the summer months.
events occurred during the quarter. A torch-lighting ceremony
celebrating the Millennium took place on July 9 in Martyrs' Square,
in the presence of representatives from Egypt, Jordan, Syria and
Lebanon. The J M Auctions public auction, held in the Sehnaoui
building in Riad El Solh street from July 25 to 28, featured more
than 1500 pieces of antiques, jewelry and collectors' items. The
Barghout flea market, extended by popular demand, continued to
attract large crowds to the end of August.
A gymkhana biking challenge rallied a crowd of amateurs on
September 17. Organized by the American University of Beirut health
sciences alumni chapter and LEO Cosmopolis Beirut Club, it aimed at
raising the awareness of bicycles as a healthy alternative to cars.
The city center streets, traffic-free on Sunday, were the perfect
setting for this event, with Scouts of Lebanon on duty to direct the
bikers. Gymkhana participants, and later passers-by took the
occasion to express ecological ideas on a large bulletin board.
On ordinary days too, the space was claimed by the Lebanese youth
for physical exercise, walking, jogging, roller skating,
riding bicycles or even playing ball. The city center
continues to be favored for its cafés, its squares and gardens, and
its landscaped streets bordered with beautiful buildings, which lend
themselves to open-air activities.
In addition to its interactive science museum and Microsoft
electronic library, Planet Discovery offered special attractions
during the summer. Exciting programs, including magicians, jugglers
and puppet shows, entertained children every Friday morning
throughout the school holidays.