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The city that refuses to die

Beirut was known for its wild parties and vibrant cultural life. Now the umbrella drinks are gone, but the people are hoping for a new heyday. Before Israel's bombing, Beirut was about to rise. Residents hope the city can again become an economic, cultural and intellectual center in the Middle East.

[Beirut] Wide avenues of sidewalk cafes, theaters, galleries and nightclubs where you could sip dry martinis alongside Hollywood stars like Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor while hearing Ella Fitzgerald sing. Beirut in the 1960s was known for its wild parties and bustling cultural life, and referred to as the Pearl of the Middle East, Middle East Paris and the Arab world's response to Monte Carlo.

- Beirut was absolutely fantastic at that time. When I was on holiday in Norway, I experienced the country as backwards. It kind of hung around a bit. Beirut was much more modern, says Norwegian Alice Ludvigsen, who was born and raised in Beirut.

In the 1960s, Beirut was a modern world city. As a teenager, Ludvigsen participated in the youth uprising in 1968 and went to a concert with the Indian guitar player. . .

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