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The Lebanese Ministry of Culture Collection
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AL NAHDA – The Lebanese Renaissance 1840-1880
The series of reforms (Tanzimat) issued by the Ottomans between 1839 and 1876, along with low import duties, the establishment of the Ottoman Imperial Bank in 1850, the construction of the new wharf and the Beirut-Damascus road, and the population surge following the 1860 Lebanon conflict, made Beirut the unrivaled port city of the Levant.
The mid-19th century also marked the beginning of the Nahda, or intellectual renaissance movement that imported ideas from Europe and applied them to endeavors promoting progress and modernity in the Arab world. Lebanon actively participated in this intellectual discourse.