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More than 1,000 people gathered in Downtown Beirut Saturday for an open air market that captured the capital's pre-war aura in a formidable response to a businessman who had two days earlier asked protesters to leave the district because they were "cheapening" it.Those who attended the "Abu Rakhussa", or flea market, said they came to reclaim Downtown Beirut from high-class businessmen who turned the district into an exclusive quarter after the 1975-1990 Lebanese Civil War.Downtown Beirut was bustling before Lebanon's civil war despite the country's grave inequalities. In 1994, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri established property development company Solidere to head the reconstruction of Beirut's center, which pushed out hundreds of working-class tenants.
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