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October 1996 Issue
The Geographical Review
October 1996, Vol. 86(4), pp. 487-504.
Economic Recovery and Reconstruction
in Postwar Beirut
Dona J. Stewart
After sixteen years of brutal civil war Beirut is being rebuilt. In this article I note the causes of the city's destruction and examine the fundamental demographic shifts that lie behind Lebanon's internal power struggle. Current reconstruction plans, already being implemented, call for a new, peaceful Beirut. Despite their aspirations, the plans fail to address the underlying tensions in Lebanese society, which is divided along religious and socioeconomic lines. Finally, I assess the likelihood of Beirut's economic recovery, given the current regional political situtation.
Keywords: economic recovery, Lebanon, Middle East, reconstruction