Manila is a city of reinvention. Either through the forces of nature (earthquake, typhoons...) or through the forces of man (World War II, lack of heritage architecture protection laws...), Manila still finds itself caught in a neverending cycle of death and rebirth. Another such city is Beirut. Like Manila, it was also one of the world's most beautiful cities. And like Manila, it too finds itself being pummeled to the ground by the hands of both fate and man. So in honor of this city that was once called the Paris of the Middle East, let me link you to Downtown Beirut, a site that shows you how Lebanon managed to pick itself out of the ashes of hell and how they are sadly finding themselves slipping back into it once again. Note: The second link is very graphic. Not for the faint of heart at all.