Across the border from Syria, in a forgotten Lebanese city, sits an unexpected building, the Grand Hotel Palmyra.
Just across the border from war-torn Syria, in a forgotten city, is an unexpected sight: the Hotel Palmyra.
This hotel is different than others because time has washed away the walls, time has left this impact. It is, it is a journey into the past. So many people has passed through this hotel.
This hotel has been here since 1874. And this is why we try to keep it as it is. The city of Baalbek has changed, of course. It's feeling the impact of the war on one side of the borders, but it's also feeling the effects of economic depression that's affecting the whole country. At one point, there were no visitors to speak of, and that was very difficult.
The hotel used to be a haven for visitors because of the ancient Roman ruins just outside its doors.
It is a constant reminder of the importance of Baalbek. And this is something that was not accidentally built here. If I wanted to describe the view in front of me daily, when I look out of the window, when I come to the hotel, I'd be speechless. And generally, it's hard for me to be speechless.
The smell of this hotel is of carpets, old walls, and uh, rusty faucets, but that makes me smile. And this is, I think, essentially what memories are all about.
The old personnel that has been here since the '50s and some, from the '60s, have stayed with us
because, to them, it's home.
And this is the feeling that keeps them going, even with tourism dwindling in this region.
We have never closed the doors of the hotel. No one has a right to touch Hotel Palmyra, except for time.