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October 9th, 2019 - 11:57 AM
Hamra Street or Rue Hamra is one of the main streets of the city of Beirut, Lebanon, and is the bustling cultural heart of Beirut due to the concentration of sidewalk cafes, restaurants, shopping stores, boutiques, banks, street vendors, newspaper kiosks and it’s nightlife. It’s located in the neighbourhood of the same name, Hamra it’s technical name is Rue 31.
In the 1950s and '60s Beirut first began its transformation from a provincial port of ancient ruins and sleepy souks to the glamorous Mediterranean Eastern capital it is today. In the 1960s, cafes drew intellectuals from the nearby American University of Beirut, who argued about radical politics and Palestine over cigarettes and coffee. The district was also the epicentre of Lebanon's first diverse arts scene, anchored by filmmakers leaving a changing Egypt and painters schooled in Europe’s workshops.
During 1975 – 1990 Lebanon suffered a 15 year civil war, there was an exodus of almost one million people from Lebanon as a result of the war but the people have worked hard to rebuild their homes and lives and despite it’s scars of the war Beirut is a city that has refused to die and is alive with determination, pride and much spirit. Like any country it still has it’s problems but it offers much fascinating historical landmarks, beaches, mountains, delicious cuisine and night life,
A country still so beautiful today, it remains a haven for Artists to capture it’s beauty just as much as Artists did back in the 19th century. In celebration of this loved Mediterranean Middle Eastern jewel, filled with historical culture and much beauty to explore, and yet which is still not widely recognised and not considered as a holiday destination, I decided to expose this chic cultural City and celebrate it by depicting a vibrant painting scene of the famous “Hamra Street” entitled: Nightime in Hamra Street Beirut Lebanon (2017) to be exhibited worldwide and enjoyed forever.
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The Artist, R Lawrence (l''orientaliste)