Hamra, which is located in West Beirut and dates back to the late 19th century, is a very active neighborhood and one of the most well-liked centers for evening entertainment. Originally home to Sunnis and Orthodox Christians, it today draws a diverse population from many racial and religious backgrounds, as evidenced by the locations of churches and mosques. Historically, Beirut's intellectual life was concentrated on this banking and commercial district; this activity persisted even during the Civil War. Restaurants have been drawn to the neighborhood since 2005; whereas they used to all be on Hamra Street, they are now dispersed over the entire region. Along with offering a variety of dining options, Hamra Street also offers superb shopping. Hamra Street Festival:
Every year in the fall, the Prime Minister sponsors the opening of the Hamra Streets Festival. The purpose of this friendly and cultural event is to highlight the rich diversity of culture and art that exists in Lebanon in general and on Hamra Street in particular. The festival features a wide range of events and activities that cater to people of all ages. The festival promotes amateur musicians, artists, and freelancers across all artistic disciplines and offers flexible entry requirements. After 8:30 p.m. every night, a wide range of professional musicians take the stage while amateurs rule the stages throughout the day. More activities in the festival:
-Promotional deals from the restaurants, shops, and coffee shops on Hamra Street. -The largest event in Lebanon on three stages; around 40 local professional bands from RAP, Electro, Jazz, Rock, Blues, Fusion, and Oriental were announced; this diversity of bands truly represents Lebanon! -With the help of the Lebanese Handicraft Group, artists and amateur crafters will have the opportunity to display their creations, such as T-shirt print mugs, craftspeople at work, jewelry, accessories, etc. -NGO and Awareness Stand: Organizations including Arc-en-Ciel, Nahawa al Mouwatiniyeh, Ahlieh School, and Lebanese School For The Blind and Deaf will be present. -Photographic and artistic works exhibitions on every street featuring the photographs of our contestants as well as Laki Hamra'I/Spread Minds and Mazen Jannoun. -Artists will have the chance to display their works all along Hamra Street. -Short Movies Hamra screenings in zawareebs: Short films, mostly created by LAU, IESAV, and other university students. The greatest short documentary will be chosen through a contest.