Day 1 (June 23) – Beirut

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This picture is really why I’m already loving this country. Pictured above are the Malakite Catholic church and the mosque built by Hariri. The small building between them, touching walls is the home of the Malakite priests.

Beirut really has everything. For instance, we had coffee here:

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Yeah, we were in a hurry.

We saw so many things today, from the Phoenecian period, to the Roman, Early Christian, Mamluk, Byzantine, Ottoman, to the present. Hariri’s memorial was particularly poignant, as was the Malakite Church pictured above. As ornate as the Greek Orthdox church we visited was, the Malakite church had an understated beauty that was just stunning.

The trip leaders are worried about shocking our systems too quickly with rich, Lebanese food, so they took us out for Italian today for lunch. It was a five-course meal of some of the best Italian food I have ever had: breads, salads, pizza, pasta, and dessert.

We’re on a break at the moment, but tonight, we will be going out for dinner and then to a music festival. I cannot wait!

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