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A different take on Manara
A different take on Manara
Sara Lebbos

Do you think the Corniche is all joggers and couples enjoying the romantic seafront? Well, it turns out it’s not. Actually, that little strip is a wonderful place with lots of people to meet and things to do. Just take a look for yourself, we bet you didn’t know Manara could be so interesting.

Let's go out and discover the corniche from Hard rock Café to Rawda café (we do love our cafés here in Lebanon).

Ever the charmer, Mohammed will tell you stories about his days in the navy. Apparently he was quite the ladies’ man… Today, when’s he’s not serving coffee to joggers or chatting with tourists in English or Arabic, he keeps busy making appearances as an extra in T.V. commercials. Don’t hesitate to make a stop, the coffee’s delicious (he says there’s Viagra in it… who knows). Moreover, we guarantee that you’ll have more fun than in any coffee shop.

Be impressed

These skilled college students will surely impress you with their style and don’t think they’ll shy away  from the camera. They’re quite used to it as tourists and journalists often come take their pictures. We don’t know if our camera bugged them as they remained nice and polite but they do have the cool attitude of stars accustomed to the limelight. Skateboarding on the median strip between opposing traffic lanes does not faze them either. Simply put, they just want to skate. Actually they did try to find a proper spot to practice in but the authorities didn’t help.

Meet new people

Two Iraqi gentlemen are enjoying the serene setting of the beautiful seafront. Away from all the turmoil of their homeland, it turns out they are actually in Beirut for a medical procedure. Every afternoon they come here just for the view. If you happen to pass by while they’re still in town, you can stop by and talk for a while they’ll enjoy the company. Just be prepared to answer all sorts of questions about Beirut as these are two very curious tourists.

Feel overwhelmed

The amusement park next to Rawda café is without a doubt a very bizarre place. Around nightfall it feels like the set of a Tim Burton movie or any bad 1950’s horror movie. You’ll also come across Chucky the evil doll and other equally cute characters. During the week the park is usually deserted apart from a couple of employees who will hopefully ask if you want to try one of the rides. On Sundays you’ll find some families enjoying themselves but the real thrill is just looking at the big mannequin constituting the centerpiece for a merry-go-round. Our Lady of Beirut truly does rock, she’s larger than life, and not just in size.

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