ABOUT BAALBECK STUDIOS AND OTHER LEBANESE SITES OF MEMORY

By Monika Borgmann & Lokman Slim 

© UMAM D&R, 2013

No tears to be shed, no eulogies to be given. Once upon a time, there was Baalbeck Studios, a thriving and contributing actor in Lebanon’s progressive and booming business sector, which had the ability to unite the often-disparate areas of industry and the arts.

Eons before, when Scheherazade told the story of the many adventures of Sinbad the Sailor, she concluded the tale by describing that while Sinbad lived on for some time after he returned home safely from his last voyage, death, “the terminator of delights and the separator of companions,” prevailed inexorably over his human frailties. Stated otherwise, Sinbad’s death rather than his return home marked the real end of his lifetime of adventures. The point of this quote from the mythical storyteller is not made as a rhetorical courtesy. Instead, Scheherazade instructs us that a decisive end will indeed befall all stories and sagas regardless of how exciting and engrossing they may be.

Such was the case for the Lebanese as Baalbeck Studios’ final days, then hours, ticked down into oblivion. The event was like a page taken from One Thousand and One Lebanese Nights: a set of “travels” undertaken by other adventurers, which ultimately ended in the demise of that uniquely Lebanese institution.

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