Thread: On The Square
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:02 PM   #170
lightgiver
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Lightbulb Martyrs' Square


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Martyrs' Square (Arabic: ساحة الشهداء‎ Sahet el Shouhada, French: Place des Martyrs) is a square in the heart of downtown Beirut, Lebanon, next to the Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque..Its central statue commemorates Lebanese nationalists who were hanged during World War I by the Ottomans..Some remains of the old Cinema Opera building (now a Virgin Megastore) and the bronze Martyrs statue are the only features left of the Martyrs' Square.. The statue, which was inaugurated on March 6, 1960, is the work of Italian sculptor Renato Marino Mazzacurati.. The statue, riddled with bullet holes, has become a symbol for all that was destroyed during the Lebanese Civil War..The Martyrs' Square is a common location for protests and demonstrations, among the more notable demonstrations were the 2005 anti-Syrian protests of the Cedar Revolution and 2007 anti-government opposition protests led by Hezbollah and The Free Patriotic Movement..The Lebanese Civil War (Arabic: الحرب الأهلية اللبنانية‎ - Al-Ḥarb al-Ahliyyah al-Libnāniyyah) was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon, lasting from 1975 to 1990 and resulting in an estimated 120,000 fatalities. Today, approximately 76,000 people remain displaced within Lebanon.. There was also a mass exodus of almost one million people from Lebanon as a result of the war...

Quote:
Martyrs' Day (Arabic: عيد الشهداء‎) is a Syrian and Lebanese national holiday commemorating the Syrian and Lebanese nationalists executed in Damascus and Beirut on May 6, 1916 by Jamal Pasha, also known as 'Al Jazzar' or 'The Butcher', the Ottoman wāli of Greater Syria.. They were executed in both the Marjeh Square in Damascus and Burj Square in Beirut. Both plazas have since been renamed Martyrs' Square..The outbreak of World War I brought Greater Syria further problems. The Turkish government abolished Lebanon's semi-autonomous status and appointed Jamal Pasha, then minister of the navy, as the commander in chief of the Turkish forces in Greater Syria, with discretionary powers. Known for his harshness, Jamal Pasha was nicknamed "Al Jazzar", or "The Butcher." He militarily occupied Lebanon and indirectly killed a quarter of its population by starvation..Indeed, in February 1915, frustrated by his unsuccessful attack on the British forces protecting the Suez Canal, Jamal Pasha initiated a blockade of the entire eastern Mediterranean coast to prevent supplies from reaching his enemies. Lebanon suffered more than any other Ottoman province. The blockade resulted in a grave food shortage with swarms of locust invading Lebanon. The result was famine, followed by plague, which killed more than a quarter of the population..The martyrs of May 6, 1916 have been immortalized in Lebanese history textbooks, and historical events leading to their hanging are often compulsively memorized by school children..Martyrs' Square in Beirut has become an even more pivotal landmark for Lebanese people for it held the famous 2005 Cedar Revolution following the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri..On 14 February 2005, Hariri was killed when explosives equivalent to around 1,800 kilograms (4,000 lb) of TNT concealed inside a parked Mitsubishi van were detonated as his motorcade drove near the St. George Hotel in Beirut..Another 22 people lost their lives in the explosion.. Among the dead were several of Hariri's bodyguards and his friend and former Minister of the Economy Bassel Fleihan. Hariri was buried along with his bodyguards, who died in the bombing, in a location near Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque..According to the architect, Azmi Fakhuri, the blue-domed mosque has an Ottoman inspiration, copying the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul..Hariri was considered as the principal actor in the widespread corruption that plagued Lebanon during the Syrian occupation. His wealth grew from less than $1 billion when he was appointed prime minister in 1992, to over $16 billion when he died.. The Company for the Development and Reconstruction of Beirut's Central District, known as Solidere, in which Hariri is the primary shareholder, expropriated most property in the central business district of Beirut, compensating each owner with shares in the company, were worth as little as 15% of the property's value..According to a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation news investigation, the special UN investigation team had found strong evidence for the responsibility of Hezbollah in the assassination..Hariri was well regarded among international leaders, for example, he was a close friend of French President Jacques Chirac.. Chirac was one of the first foreign dignitaries to offer condolences to Hariri's widow in person at her home in Beirut...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martyrs%27_Square,_Beirut
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Last edited by lightgiver; 06-08-2014 at 09:13 PM.
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