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Lama Hajj 26 Jul 2015

Eight Of Our Favorite Moments From This Vintage Rally Driver Documentary

A short documentary from the 1974 Lebanese-Syrian rally has surfaced, and it is incredible. The rally, called ‘The Safari of the Middle East,’ was the 3rd of its kind to take place, and was organized by ASAL (Association Sportive Automobile Libanaise.) The almost 3,000 km route included a difficult drive from Beirut to the arid Syrian dessert, then through Damascus and south to Salkhad then north to Palmyra – all of which would be completed in three long days and two hard nights.

There is something really special about watching this documentary; it serves as a great look into what Lebanon was a mere few months before the breakout of the civil war that caused so many of the scars we still see today.

Here were our favorite moments from the documentary, but you should really watch it for yourself!

Seeing old shots of the Beirut shoreline, unobstructed by skyscrapers

Seeing footage of Lebanese men, sideburns and bellbottom pants in full swing

Getting to see real footage from the souks that dominated Downtown Beirut

More sideburns, and a ton of unflattering pants

Seeing Lebanese people screaming during each pit stops, verifying that we’ve always been a chaotic and endearingly loud group of people

The pimp cars, decked out with cool designs and kits

Vintage shots of Phoenicia Hotel that prove how great Beirut was

When Lebanese rally driver Joe Hindi won the whole thing, and he chugged champagne while being hoisted around on people’s shoulders

And you can watch part II of the documentary here: