An idyllic hillside overlooks a bay of fairy beauty,
an Eden where the shepherds of Arcadia might well
have played on their flutes the most entrancing
A deep nostalgia draws me to this place where as
children we used to run and play and explore the
unspoiled wilderness. I felt I could no longer breathe,
suffocated by emotion, when during the years of
the nineteen-fifties I saw the roaring bulldozers
plunge their broad blades deep into the flank of
the rising slope. Town planning and development,
progress, the changing times, all made their demands.
Here it was that the Casino of Lebanon, commonly
known by its French name Casino du Liban, an immense
building dominating the scenery, a palace with polyvalent
halls for congresses and receptions,
was to rise up. It was to be served by a highway
running between the Lebanese capital Beirut and
Tripoli, the great city of the north of the country,
and the whole environment was to be changed with
the green countryside, nature and cultivated fields
giving way to tar, concrete and noise!
Everybody was talking about the wonderful edifice
that was soon to mark the landscape, with its lights
at night reflected in the dark waters of the bay
spread out at its feet. Such was to be Le Casino
du Liban, twelve miles from Beirut and just to the
north of the town of Jounieh in Maameltein, after
which the bay is named.
Here were to be held celebrations of national and
international importance: the election of Miss Lebanon
and even of Miss Europe, spectacles, operas, plays,
film projections, concerts, ballets, festivals,
parades, fashion shows, seminars, and congresses.
The Casino is an eminent attraction for gamblers,
with many halls for roulette, slot machines, and
card tables, served by spacious and greatly varied
restaurants with both Lebanese and European cuisine.
There are other halls adapted for weddings and suchlike
joyous occasions, dancehalls, and nightclubs, with
the added beauty of the terraces giving wide views
over gardens and the bay. The surfaces exceed 35,000
square meters, some twelve thousand square feet,
not counting the parking lots.
The Casino is in a state of continued renovation,
redecoration and repair. Staff members numbered
in their hundreds are employed night and day in
the many supporting services. The Casino is a tourist
center for drawing thousands, from the poorest to
the very wealthiest, though each in their place.
The restaurants are for everybody, as are the spectacles.
As for those multi-millionaires who wish to gamble
away their fortunes, they can have rooms reserved
for them, rooms having their particular names, the
Ambassadorsí Hall among others.
Joseph Matar - Translation from the French:
du Liban - Interior view: >> View
Movie << (2014-01-15)
du Liban - Exterior view: >> View
Movie << (2014-02-01)