Views from the Holiday Inn, Geopolitics, urban war and memory in Beirut

Project: Research


The project studies the everyday reality of civil war, and in particular of urban, asymmetric conflict through the case of Beirut's former Holiday Inn hotel which became part of the urban frontline during the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990). Today, its shell still stands out in Beirut’s post-war skyline, but its stories remain untold, buried by the official amnesia towards Lebanon's recent past.
Hotels are more than sites for business and tourism: they are also sites of (geo)political experiences for inhabitants and visitors alike: peace summits take place in international hotels, spies use hotel bars and lobbies as their information platforms, journalists take over 'safe' hotels in war zones, and hotels are terrorists' 'soft targets' par excellence.
By collecting the memories of people whose past experiences are linked to the Holiday Inn (former staff, guests, local residents, former combatants) before and during the civil war, this project provides the public with a lens onto the to day-to-day development of an urban conflict which determined the physical and social division of the city for almost two decades.
A digital archive will result.
Effective start/end date1/05/1131/12/12


British Academy: £7,301


Research outputs

ID: 21702370