Racing in Beirut?

THERE are suggestions from the Middle East that Lebanon would like to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix. The country - which has been at peace since the end of the Civil War in 1990 - is keen to restore the international image it used to enjoy as one of the most glamorous spots in the Mediterranean with the Casino de Liban and a thriving tourist trade. Unfortunately, the world looks at Beirut these days as a symbol of strife and bloodshed.

The Lebanese government has been trying to attract foreign investment to help the rebuild the war-ravaged economy and Grand Prix racing appears to fulfill the necessary criteria. The Lebanese have also been trying to get a deal to run offshore powerboat events.

There are still the occasional problems in the south of Lebanon between Palestinian guerrilla fighters and Israeli forces but rebuilding work in central Beirut - which was almost totally destroyed in the 15-year conflict - is pushing ahead.

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