Monday, February 24, 2014

What does that crumbling villa in Achrafieh say? (UPDATE)

Nestled in that quiet area in Achrafieh, its doors supposedly blocked but other pathways giving way to go inside, this crumbling villa - which once sat with unobstructed views (but now is surrounded by hideous buildings) - is a sad melancholic example of faded glories. You know, it is easy to ask the neighbors about its story - probably it belonged to some rich family and its heirs are squabbling about inheritance - but frankly I always go back to that lovely poem my Nazek Al Mala'ika which goes "what does the river say? Let the shroud of secrecy thick, if the Chrysanthemum ever revealed its secrets, its tender aroma would be meaningless"... What does the villa say? "let the shroud of secrecy thick".
And now I have to lift that shroud it seems!
Interesting, after posting the images above it has transpired that the villa was used as HQ for the Hourrass Al Arz ultra right wing militia during the war (until 1981-82) and below is a picture of the villa in 1957 which was posted on Panoramio by a user called Jupio (real name Juup Dalles):
The image  by Mr. Dalles seems to be taken from the ravine right under the villa which is now filled by many buildings which have blocked its view.


Anonymous said...

This villa was used by " Hourass El Arz" as a HO till 1981 or 1982..........

Tarek Chemaly said...

Thanks for the info! Really appreciated.

BS said...

That is another picture of the place:

There was a short documentary about it made 2 years ago.
Try to find it online.
Ill try to look it up as well.

Tarek Chemaly said...

Yes! How odd, I did see that photo before (and others from the same angle) but it never occurred to me that this is indeed the villa in question - the photo was taken from the bottom of the ravine which is right opposite the place (now blocked by several buildings as a matter of fact.