Destroying Beirut’s Culture: Achrafieh’s Mar Mitr Construction Site

It’s sad to see Beirut losing its culture with all these new buildings replacing better looking older ones daily. It hurts to see your capital slowly turn from a city with architectural taste to a concrete mess. But I never thought I’d see a construction site in the middle of a cemetery – let alone one of the most famous cemeteries of Achrafieh: Mar Mitr.

As I walked back from ABC with a friend yesterday, that friend (being the staunch Orthodox that he is) wanted to visit Mar Mitr for a few minutes. So I wandered around the mausoleums, which I find breathtaking, only to find a horrific site. Next to where people like Gebran Tueini are buried is what appears to be an extension of the church next to the cemeteries. And since space is sort of limited, what did those in charge think as the next best thing? Build on top of the mausoleums of course.

So instead of Mar Mitr being a collection of these:

It now has this to add to its “flavor”:

You’d think the block of concrete forming the Spinneys parking lot next to the cemetery would be enough. Apparently not. You know, sometimes a church is just good the way it is. I’m pretty sure extending the Mar Mitr church isn’t of a vital necessity.