Achrafieh

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ABC Mall in Achrafieh
Modern buildings in Achrafieh
The "Old" and "New" of Achrafieh
Sassine Square, the heart of Achrafieh

Achrafieh (Arabic: الأشرفية‎; French: Achrafieh; Armenian: Աշրաֆիեհ) also spelled Ashrafieh and Ashrafiyeh, is one of the oldest districts of Beirut, Lebanon.

Overview[edit]

Achrafieh is located in eastern Beirut. It is the name of a district and a sector, or neighbourhood, within that district. It is essentially a residential area characterized by narrow winding streets, coffee shops and prestigious large apartment and office buildings. It is a prime location for investment and tourism.

Until the 1930s, Achrafieh was largely composed of farmland owned and farmed by several Greek Orthodox Christian families. The Lebanese government, which at the time was under French Mandate, partitioned the land in Achrafieh to build roads and highways, forcing these families to eventually sell large parts of their land.

Prominent locations and popular sights in the area include: Sassine Square, an important political, social and commercial focal points of the Lebanese capital; St Nicolas (where important buildings include the Sursock House, Sursock Museum, the Sofil building and the Ivory building); and Tabaris Square/ Abdel Wahab (among its important buildings: 812 Tabaris, Achrafieh Tower, Yared buildings, Metropolis, L'Hermitage, Sight II, Beirut Heights, Fayad Buildings, Fal Towers, Jardins de Tabaris, 54).

During Lebanon’s 1975-1990 Civil War, a substantial portion of Achrafieh’s architectural heritage was wiped out. Even now, and despite efforts by non-profit organisations, demolition teams continue to tear down old houses and bulldoze hundred-year-old gardens in Achrafieh and surrounding neighbourhoods in east as well as west Beirut to make way for new towers. Modern skyscrapers are replacing these old mansions, overshadowing the few heritage sites left.

Sodeco Square in Achrafieh's Nasra (Nazareth) neighbourhood is home to Lebanon's tallest tower, Sama Beirut.

A new bill however was passed in 2017 by the Lebanese government to protect heritage sites around the city, marking a historical turning point for activists who have pressed for legislative action since the end of the war.

During the Lebanese Civil War Achrafieh became a major strategic base for Christian forces. Large numbers of Lebanese Forces militiamen were stationed there, led by former Lebanese president Bachir Gemayel, and as such formed part of Christian East Beirut.

Education[edit]

Schools and universities:

Notable People from Achrafieh[edit]

Notable Neighbourhoods and Streets[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Home page. Grand Lycée Franco-Libanais. Retrieved on December 13, 2016. "Rue Beni Assaf B.P. 165-636 Achrafieh 1100 2060 - Beyrouth"
  2. ^ Home page

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°53′15.21″N 35°31′14.72″E / 33.8875583°N 35.5207556°E / 33.8875583; 35.5207556