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A small group of tourists gathered in front of Beirut Souks Tuesday evening. Sari Haddad, a guide with Free Walking Tours Beirut, began his usual account of the waves of invaders and colonial powers that passed through Lebanon before its establishment as an independent state in 1943 . The tour continued, as usual, through the Downtown area, where Haddad spoke about Beirut's "golden era" of cultural and intellectual life in the 1950s and 1960s, the Civil War and postwar reconstruction. Now Haddad's tour contains a new chapter.Baalbacki said the guides never considered halting the tours.Before continuing through the square, Haddad explained more about its history as a public space.One of them showed a woman's face and streaming hair, so Haddad explained the leading role that women have taken in the protests.As they continued to the area where various groups have set up tents, a man -- a member of a group of Army veterans who have been active during the protests -- approached to show the tourists an antique coin. Haddad paused to point out the French mandate-era Grand Theater -- once again sealed off -- before ending the tour at Riad al-Solh Square, where a small crowd had gathered.
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