Is it safe to visit Beirut right now?
November 20, 2012 9:08 PM   Subscribe

Is Beirut safe right now to visit? I heard about the Ashrafieh bombing recently -- is that known as a not-so-safe area, or are attacks really an "anytime, anywhere, no safe zones" sort of thing? Aside from bombings, if there's an angry mob are they likely to react particularly violently toward Americans, or would we just blend into the scenery?
posted by Televangelist to Travel & Transportation around Beirut, Lebanon (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I am not a Middle Eastern politics expert and I've had limited exposure to Lebanon, so don't trust your safety to my advice and someone please correct me if what I'm saying is completely inaccurate. Ashrafieh is not a particularly volatile area of Beirut, in fact it's a well-known and fairly touristy area. Bombings and terrorist attacks are, unfortunately, usually just kind of "well that happened" things. This bombing definitely had a target in mind and it was not American-targeted violence, the region is just (as usual) highly unstable and volatile. Lebanon had not had a bombing for a little while, but with the Syria and now the Israel-Gaza issue, it's going to be less stable than before, being particularly prone to neighbor involvement. If this is your first time traveling to the region it's probably not the best time (although it's not the type of place that is going to fix itself up any time soon, sadly, so it's never going to be a perfectly safe time). Then again in a few weeks I'm going back to one of Lebanon's nearby countries which is seeing the start of some potential upheaval, so YMMdefinitelyV for how much insecurity you're personally willing to put with.
posted by Papagayo at 9:34 PM on November 20, 2012

I was there in July for the second time (work trip - we decided to continue rather than delay in case the situation deterioriated). It was extremely quiet in all tourist areas, hotels were basically empty, and in many areas there was a heavy military presence. Many tanks near the main bus depot bringing people from Syria, for instance. The biggest disruption you will likely encounter is semi-regular closing of the main road from the airport during demonstrations. Governments have been warning against travel there for some time, so it really is up to your comfort level, and whether your travel insurance will cover you should anything happen.
posted by wingless_angel at 12:48 AM on November 21, 2012

If it helps, my question about assessing security from the time I was deciding whether to go to Lebanon or not.
posted by wingless_angel at 12:50 AM on November 21, 2012

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