top of page

Title: Notebook volume 72: Missing Lebanese wars

Attributed date: 1989

Attributed to: Dr Fadl Fakhouri

This document is attributed to Dr. Fadl Fakhouri, one of Lebanon's leading historians.  The historian donated 226 notebooks, 2 shorts films, and 24 black and white photographs to The Atlas Group in the early 1990s.

It is a little known fact that the major historians of the Lebanese wars were avid gamblers. It is said that they met every Sunday at the race track -- Marxists and Islamists bet on races one through seven; Maronite nationalists and socialists on races eight through fifteen.


Race after race, the historians stood behind the track photographer, whose job was to image the winning horse as it crossed the finish line, to record the photo-finish. It is also said that they convinced (some say bribed) the photographer to snap only one picture as the winning horse arrived.


Each historian wagered on precisely when --how many fractions of a second before or after the horse crossed the finish line -- the photographer would expose his frame.


Each of the following notebook pages includes a photograph clipped from the post-race-day issue of the newspaper, An-Nahar. They include Dr Fakhouri’s notations on the race’s distance and duration, the winning time of the winning horse, calculations of averages, the historians’ initials with their respective bets, the time discrepancy predicted by the winning historian.


Written on each page is also a brief paragraph in English. Dr Fakhouri’s widow, Zainab Fakhouri, has attributed these to her husband’s habit of including short descriptions of the winning historians in his notebooks.

bottom of page