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November 13, 2019
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This Man Built Probably The Thinnest House In Beirut To Block His Brother’s View Of The Sea

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The growing population of many regions makes urban developers scratch their heads in an attempt to make room for everyone. With land being expensive and short in supply, the only logical option is to build tall structures rather than wide. This solution has produced many rather ‘skinny’ and sometimes even funny looking buildings all over the world. However, even though this may seem like a logical explanation, not every building is built narrow just to make use of all available space. As it turns out, probably the narrowest building in Beirut, Lebanon, was built not because of the lack of space, but out of pettiness.

Image credits: Sandra Rishani

The thin house, which measures around 60 centimeters (2 feet) at its narrowest and around 4 meters (13 feet) at its widest point, is called Al Ba’sa in Arabic which translates to The Grudge.

Image credits: Sage Welte

The name of this wall-like structure hints to its history. According to the story well known for the locals, the house was built in the 1950s as an aftermath of a feud between two brothers.

Image credits: Sandra Rishani

Back in the day, siblings inherited the land from their father. However, they couldn’t agree on what to build on the land. The argument was made even worse when one portion of the land was cut off by various municipal infrastructure projects, leaving it oddly shaped and close to the road.

Image credits: Sandra Rishani

The brother to whom the oddly-shaped land belonged to decided to demonstrate his pettiness or ingenuity — depending on one’s perspective — and built the extremely narrow, yet habitable structure.

Image credits: Sandra Rishani

Why he would do such a thing, you may ask? Well, as it turns out, the large building was in a perfect location to block the million-dollar-view to the sea, which previously could be easily seen from the house of his brother.

Image credits: Sandra Rishani

After the building was erected, it was all of what the brother could see from his house, which resulted in decreased property value. Thus, the skinny building became an embodiment of a grudge between two siblings.

Image credits: Sandra Rishani

For a very long time, the building, which only has two apartments on each floor, served as a brothel and later became a refugee shelter for families fleeing war.

Image credits: Sandra Rishani

Today, the building is inhabited and serves as a reminder of a long-lasting feud. It appears that the building will stay put for a long time, as according to the local law it is placed on a lot that is too small to build on, so it makes more sense to leave it as is.

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