48h in Beirut

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On my journey to Syria and back, I spent 48 hours in the beautiful capital of the tiny Lebanon, mostly just wandering through the city and capturing its singular atmosphere.

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Visiting Berlin and want to bring back a memory? Or are you visiting back home and don’t want to return empty handed? Here are a few souvenir ideas that don’t suck.

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Damascus 2019

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After 10 years of not returning to Syria, I traveled to Damascus in March 2019, crossing the border from Beirut.

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Zoo Berlin

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The Zoo Berlin is Germany’s oldest zoological garden and home to the world’s largest variety of species. Almost 20,000 animals of around 1,400 species live in the 33-hectare zoo. They include elephants, giraffes, gorillas, and Germany’s only giant pandas: Meng Meng and Jiao Qing. I wouldn’t usually visit any zoological garden unless with children, but during our stay at Das Stue Hotel, we were offered the chance to use the secret backdoor into the Tiergarten and didn’t want to waste the opportunity. I hadn’t been to the zoo before, so it felt like a good time. If anything, the Zoo Berlin is quite the historical landmark. Not only does it have one of the most comprehensive collections of species in the world – it’s also been through many political stages since its inauguration in 1844. Although many parts of it have been renovated, you can still see traces of history in the architecture of the park. To Zoo or not to Zoo I have very mixed feelings about zoological gardens. After reading Life of Pi a couple of years ago, I was somehow convinced that an animal’s life in a zoo isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be….

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