“In this century of steam and electricity everything is being transformed… even places: already in the ancient Plain of Sharon is heard the whistle of the locomotive… The immortal road to Damascus which witnessed the conversion of the Apostle Paul has become no more than a vulgar railway!
The moment is probably not far off, when the holy Mount of Olives and Tabor will each possess it funicular like Mount Righi [outside Lucerne]!
Before that happens, before Progress has completed its destructive work, before this present – which is still the past – has disappeared forever, we have tried, so to speak, to fix and immobilize it in a series of photographic views…”
Beirut, ca. 18981
Exhibit curated by Joseph E. Malikian
Photograph on the cover of this exhibit by Jurgi Saboungi, ca. 1880.
Charney, Gavin, E.S., The Image of the East: Nineteenth-Century Near Eastern Photographs by Bonfils, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1982), 1