I just stumbled upon this interesting Al Jadeed TV report about Lebanon’s old trolley car or “tramway” system. The reporter visits an exhibit where researchers talk about the impact of the tramway by displaying old route maps and gathering memories about the lines. The researcher explains that the advent of the tramway was very influential on the perception of time, punctuality and orderliness. Unlike today’s buses and shared taxis, the tramway only stopped in certain places and at certain times, he says.
Several people are also interviewed about their memories. Interestingly, one woman recalls that the tramway was seen as demonic in that it was interpreted by some as contradicting religious beliefs.
The good news is that this exhibit is open again this week, beginning with the grand opening tomorrow at UNESCO palace at 3PM. It runs from December 2-10 according to the Facebook event page.
With endless traffic, choking fumes and chaos on the roads, safe and reliable public transport is desperately needed in Beirut today. See this previous post on one of the initiatives to make this happen and how you can help support them.