Abandoned Mansion - Beirut
I saw this abandoned mansion last week from the street and went in with my friend Michel as translator in case we ran into anyone. It took a bit of jimmying to force the door, and inside we found piles and piles of of binders and dozens of black and white photos, all showing one man at various political events.

It turns out the mansion used to be the home of Takieddin el-Solh ( 1908 - 1988) Lebanese Sunni politician who served as Prime Minister from 1973-74, and 1980. The binders were full of voter lists and various political documents. I'm assuming he abandoned the place during the civil war and moved to a more secure location. The house is in the Sunni section, but was within easy artillery distance of the Green Line.

A few minutes after entering, a very large and very humorless Lebanese man showed up out of the bowels of the place and told us we could either leave or talk the Lebanese Security Forces. The place was right next to Saad Hariri's FutureTV headquarters, which Hizbollah set on fire last year, and they view anyone with a camera here as possible threat, especially big flashy DSLRs. His stated authority might or might not have been bullshit, but we managed to talk him into giving us 20 minutes (I've gone back, of course, but more slyly).

These things used to be belong to the Prime Minister of Lebanon, and he abandoned while the city tore itself to shreds during the war. Finding things like this is why I explore.
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