Nestled in Beirut, facing Sanayeh park, lies the National Lebanese Library Foundation, the building of which dates back to 1907.
It, along with its Ottoman architectural elements, used to be an art school at first, as it made sense to have it next to a hospital (which is the Ministry of Interior Affairs now) and facing a park. However, with time, the building started hosting the Law Faculty of the Lebanese University between 1959 – 2006. After a donation from the Emir of Qatar back then, the building closed for restoring it into a National Library, which was only opened years later in 2018. However, with the start of COVID-19, the October 2019 Lebanese Revolution, and the 4th of August blast that happened in the Port of Beirut, the library closed its doors. Luckily, it got renovated after the blast and opened its doors on 10 February 2022 once again.
The National Lebanese Library Foundation serves its visitors with 4 different floors – currently, only the reading hall is accessible currently.
I have visited the national library, but it only stays open till 2:00 P.M. on weekdays and closes on weekends. Not to mention that there is no wifi, and electricity goes off most of the time due to the current electricity crisis in Lebanon.
Honestly, the National Lebanese Library needs the attention and funds from the government to make its opening hours more accessible to the youth!