Few would deny that Tripoli is the most strained of Lebanese cities and the most appealing to extremist and Salafist movements. Even so, the northern city has another face to display to its visitors: Churches are proof of how much the city’s Muslim inhabitant’s care for pluralism, even if it is more symbolic than anything. One street in the city’s Zahiriyyeh area is known as Churches Street, as more than six churches – the majority of which are ancient – are located on it. These include the Saint Nicolas Church, the Saint George Church (Greek Orthodox), the Saint George Church (Greek Catholic), the Saint Mikhail Church (Maronite), and the Saint Joseph Church (Syriac Catholic). One can also find on nearby Nuns Street an evangelical church, as well as a small church for the Latin community.


Zahiriyyeh native Johnny Nahhas, director of the Al-Rai Centre for Studies, told NOW in an interview: “Christians in Tripoli lead the same life as Christians in Kesserwan. Church bells are heard every Sunday and they go to mass without being bothered by anyone. Even though I work in Beirut, I return to my city every day and insist on spending the night in it.” [Link]