Originally opened in 1957 by Zawkan Nasr, this hotel has persistently stood as one of the only remaining architectural remnants of the tradition and beauty of pre-Civil War Beirut, surviving war and conflict, time, and competition from contemporary international hotel chains seeking to replace such local remnants of history and tradition.
From its entrance, below a covered, stone passage on Monot Street across from the mouth-watering smells of famous Beiruty Falafel Sahyun, to its brilliant stained-glass half-arch window before its front door, to its grand, welcoming lobby with three imposing arched windows opening out onto a balcony from which the exciting sounds and smells of Beirut life swell, to its vividly warm and exciting colored guest rooms reflecting the life of the city itself, this hotel is undoubtedly an important piece of Beirut’s cultural heritage which has stood the test of time in a city that has seen so much change.
Zawkan left the hotel to his son, who along with his wife and two children run and manage the hotel today, providing a true Lebanese hosting experience to guests from around the world. The Nasr family not only continues to preserve the hotel’s cultural heritage as custodians and owners of the hotel, but they are also the building’s permanent residents, as the hotel has served as the home of the four-member family. Thus, the damage suffered following the explosion not only destroyed a source of livelihood, but a home for this family.
As Beirut begins to recover in the coming days, weeks, months and years and those who have lost their lives are mourned, we must also fight to preserve the culture and history of Beirut's citizens embodied in buildings like Nouveau Hotel du Liban such to preserve the memory of the Beirut they all loved.
As the Nasr family copes with the loss of their city, hotel, and home, we can show them support by gathering the funds necessary to preserve the cultural heritage of The Nouveau Hotel du Liban and ensure that even in the face of the terrible tragedy of the August 4th explosion, this hotel will continue forth and celebrate the tradition and history of Beirut.
Funds donated will go towards not only the necessary repairs and restorations needed as shown in the images, but also measures for structural safety and foundational repairs that have left the building vulnerable in the wake of the explosion (i.e. rebuilding and placing iron in the ceiling, for example).
Since crowdfunding is not supported in Lebanon, I, Layla Abi-Falah (niece and cousin to the Nasr family members residing in Virginia, USA), am raising money for the Hotel through a personal account (the personal account of my aunt, May Bttadini). She will then transfer the donated money to the Nasr family (specifically to Salam Nasr, son of owner Omar Nasr) through a fresh money account in Lebanon so they can begin use of the money as banks in Lebanon are blocking the money of non-fresh money accounts in the midst of the economic and political crisis. I will share the confirmation picture of the transfer once the fundraiser and transfer are completed.
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