5 things to do in and around Tyre

Le­banon’s his­toric south­ern city is well known for its im­pres­sive ru­ins and long stretch of sandy beach, but there is so much more to see. LT re­veals five al­ter­na­tive things to do in the Tyre re­gion this sum­mer

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Glass blow­ing her­itage

On your way down South, make a stop at the an­cient town of Sarafand, lo­cated about half­way on the road be­tween Saida and Tyre. Arche­o­log­i­cal ex­ca­va­tions in Sarafand, show the town was once an im­por­tant cen­ter of in­dustr y with ev­i­dence of glass and porce­lain pro­duc­tion, and the tra­di­tion of glass blow­ing con­tin­u­ing to this day. And r ight next to the re­mains of old pot­ter y kilns and work­shops is the Sarafand Glass Fac­tor y (03 906091, Sarafand) of the Khalife fam­ily – where fa­ther, brother, son and daugh­ter still pro­duce blown-glass items to­day. Only a few years ago the work­shop was at r isk of closing, with the com­pe­ti­tion of cheap China-made glass im­ports and de­clin­ing num­bers of for­eign tour ists to Le­banon tak­ing a hit on the busi­ness. But af ter the Green Glass Re­cy­cling Ini­tia­tive ggrile­banon) par tnered up with them to re­cy­cle the waste beer bot­tles that usu­ally end their life in land­fills, busi­ness is now boom­ing. “Just two years ago we would only open for work a few days a month. But af ter get­ting a con­tract with Al­maza a few months ago we be­came so busy, work­ing al­most 24 hours a day,” says Rima Khalife, a mem­ber of the fam­ily busi­ness. “They make seven mil­lion bot­tles of rub­bish a year and we re­cy­cle the glass and make glasses from it. For ever y eight bot­tles of waste, we make one re­cy­cled glass.” At the work­shop you can see first­hand the glass­blow­ing tra­di­tion in process. Af­ter­wards stop by the small shop, where they sell their ar ti­san prod­ucts – from bowls, vases and glasses to chan­de­liers and lamps.

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