Middle Eastern cities have always had their charm. They have been an inspiration to numerous books, movies, and songs. They combine this mixture between history and modernism that makes them very alluring in a way. This is an introduction to 3 different cities in the Middle East worth exploring..
Beirut has always had something special about it. We have grown up listening to the magical voice of Fairouz singing to Lebanon, and somehow this passion of hers has transformed to each one of us making the country a part of our hearts forever..
Lebanon has this strangely overwhelming effect of making and breaking your heart, all at the same time. Walking around the streets, seeing the torn buildings which bring back memories of pain and destruction, yet they have found their way to peace again. Greenery has grown around the buildings and they became part of the vaguely beautiful ambience of the city. Its like Beirut has healed, but decided to leave this crack in its heart to remind itself that some things are immortal, even in the darkest times, just like the beauty of Lebanon..
The vibrant nights of Beirut, the delicious food, and above all, the sound of legendary Fairuz always playing in the background will all be memories for any visitor of the city..
Petra, the Forgotten City
It makes no difference whether you are the greatest traveler of all times, or an amateur who barely leaves the country, a visit to Petra will always leave an incredible impression on you. This is a remarkable sight from every aspect, and a true homage to the spirit of mankind, its beauty, wisdom and capacity for creating culture. Petra is truly one of the last manmade wonders of the world that should be seen by anyone who can go; the giant rock carvings in this amazing landscape are truly spectacular.
The story of the ancient city is as legendary as the first Image you come across after passing the long entryway leading to the place. In the 3rd century BC, Arabian nomads called the Nabataeans began settling there. Petra grew into a center for the spice trade, filled with marvellous temples, tombs and aqueducts. The city was captured by the Romans and passed to Byzantine rule, and then was abandoned and lost for centuries. Only to be re-discovered again in the 19th century. The Treasury was named so as it was believed to have treasures hidden inside. They say, the Bedouins used to shoot at the facade thinking that the treasure was hidden in it as well as the gold. Despite of that, the Monastery is the most impressive building of the en- tire complex. Reaching 50 meters into the air, it is also the largest in all of the city.
Petra’s magic lies not only in its ability to survive the test of time, but in standing with all its glory as a witness to history as it changes. It really earned its title being one of the 7 World Wonders
Dreaming of Chefchaouen
Morocco really lives up to its expectations when it comes to beauty, mystique, and exotic hues. Just walking around the streets of the cities is like a dream. The country has amazing destinations; each and every city has a different taste, smell, and color. Among those impressive places are; Casablanca, which is the business center of Morocco. Further to the south is Al-Jadida, with its Portuguese influence and lovely forts. Fes which has the best cozy markets and the cutest small alleys. Then there’s Tangier that has the most spectacular view for the Mediterranean. And of course, Marrakesh, which is one flying carpet away from being in a Disney movie..
Above all, the city that took my breath away was Chefchaouen, the small blue city (or rather town) in the middle of the Rif mountains is a destination that shouldn’t be missed. Even though its so small and calm, walking around the streets and alleys can be a great source of pleasure by itself. Like any other Moroccan city, its divided into the two parts; the new town and the old town (where all the magic happens). In the old town, Madinat Kadima, all the buildings with no exceptions are painted in different shades of blue. I don’t know whether its the waterfalls, the strategic situation, or the vibrant colors, but its so breezy, and it has this refreshing sensation that is very different than any other place in Morocco. Its even more refreshing than the cities located by the seas and oceans there. The buildings level up gradually, and watching the sun disappears into the horizon is such a lovely experience. It is truly a land of magnificent fantasy.