Notice how the trunk is really slender, whereas the foliage spreads out like an umbrella? Of course, this is a young tree, so the folliage will expand even more. On the other hand, the trunk thickens only by a bit (I've seen a few of the adult trees). The result is a tree that does not take too much space from Beirut's already narrow sidewalks, yet provides cover to pedestrians from the sun. In other words, here you have a tree that makes Beirut at least a little more pedestrian-friendly.
Here's how a few recently-planted trees look on a streatch of sidewalk.
Now I wish to present you with a contrast. In fact, a perfect example of how good intensions can go horribly wrong!
The trees on this sidewalk were probably planted by the owners of the restuarant (that is to the left of the picture). Aesthetically, the trees could be appealing. However, in a practical sense the trees are aweful!
During the day, the only living things they protect from Beirut's scorching sun are children, pets and vermin. As for adults, the trees are so short, that they turn the sidewalk into an obstable course. Consequently, rather than making the sidewalk more pedestrian-friendly they, in this case, push adults (and tall children) onto a street that cars barely squeeze through.
Considering that the trees in the first two pictures are newer, and appear to be part of a systematic government effort, I am a bit pleased! As I said in the beginning of this entry, at least someone around here is making some good decisions!