The Lebanese capital of Beirut is more and more looking its old peaceful self as life continues to return to normal after the end of the civil war.
The Lebanese capital of Beirut is more and more looking its old peaceful self as life continues to return to normal after the end of the civil war. Many sporting, cultural and other activities are regularly taking place. On Friday (12 August) for instance, there was a major soccer match between Lebanese champions Nejmeh and visiting team from Damascus.
SYNOPSIS: The match was played at the sports City stadium, scene of many political gatherings during the war.
The stadium wore a festive look, helped by the splash of colour from club and national flags.
More the 3,000 spectators had come along to see Nejmeh take on Ouahda, a leading team from Damascus, capital of neighbouring Syria. Nejmeh, wearing orange jerseys and black shorts, and playing from left to right, launched an early attack which was thwarted. Military sentries were on duty but the attacks inside the arena were merely aimed at Putting a football into a net.
The soldiers, made sure the spectators' enthusiasm was confined to the terraces. The game -- the first soccer international of the year -- went ahead smoothly. But local troops, and members of the peacekeeping forces had to be visibly present -- just incase anything had gone amiss. During that war, the Sports City ground was a Palestinian stronghold and was later handed over to the Arab Peacekeeping forces. It is now back in Lebanese hands.
Nejmeh found they had a young, fast and agile team to contend with. While the Lebanese team had the better of exchanges in first half, they could not break through. By half time, neither team and had managed to score. After the interval, Nejmeh kept pressing forward, and Hassan Chatila scored twice for them in the 52nd and 82nd minutes.