The Beirut hippodrome is a place free from religion. The park, one of Beirut's very few green spaces, is located in the heart of the city, on the green line that once separated Christian and Muslim neighborhoods during the Lebanese civil war from 1975 to 1990. The hippodrome was one of the most common points to cross from one side to the other. Rumor has it that clandestine races were arranged when there was a lull in the battles.
Today it's a meeting place for several hundred men of all ages: Muslims, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Every Sunday afternoon they come here to bet on the horse they believe to be the fastest. Some see it as gambling, others see it as a possibility to make money, and the rest simply don't have anything else to do.
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