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Guardians of the sea: Beirut’s lighthouse family

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Date: Monday, March 14, 2016
By: Dana Abed
Source: The Daily Star

BEIRUT: For more than 150 years, one family, from father to son, has been in charge of lighting the Manara (lighthouse) of Ras Beirut. The Cheblis took it upon themselves to keep the shore marked out brightly and keep ships safe as they approach Beirut.
The first Manara was built a few meters away from where the iconic black and white one stands on a hill above the water. In the 1840s, under the reign of the Ottoman Empire, the first lighthouse was built and stood around 25 meters tall, burning kerosene for light.
“It was very hard to manage,” said Victor Chebli, the latest generation of lighthouse keeper, “My father used to gather 2 or 3 gallons of Kerosene every day and carry it up the stairs in the dark to light the lamp.”
Victor, who lives with his family in a house adjacent to the black and white Manara after inheriting the job from his farther, proudly tells…