Place des Martyres series consists of about 300 works on paper created between 1971 and 1974. They depict a sequence of love and sensual scenes reflecting sexualized imagery of interacting figures in the red-light district of pre-civil war Beirut city center of el Bourj, named Sahat al Shouhada, Martyrs Place, in French Place des Martyrs, in memory of the journalists and political figures who were hanged there in 1915-16 by order of the Turkish governor general for speaking out against Ottoman rule.
Situated at the heart of Beirut central district, pre-1975 civil war el Bourj featured flower-bed gardens and stately date palm trees lining the airy broad streets. The place enjoyed the dominance of cafés, shops, boutiques, hotels, restaurants, bars, theaters, cinemas, and the gathering of political figures, famous personalities, prominent business-men and beautiful women. Travelers to the south, north, Tripoli, Bekaa, Damascus, Aleppo, Hama, and the neighboring cities and towns had to come to el Bourj to take transportation by train, bus, car or train. Ships docking the nearby port brought visitors, sailors and soldiers from various countries. People strolled and walked about in the busy place and under the multi colored neon signs and dazzling lights. Many men came to indulge in non-committal transaction for the gratification and fulfillment of their needs, desires, and erotic dreams and fantasies where sexuality was readily available and provided by les demoiselles de la Place des Martyres comprising attractive and pleasant courtesans working in night clubs at the variety of regulated brothels along Moutnabi Street adjoining el Bourj.
During the civil war of 1975-90, the entire district was completely destroyed, and el Bourj stood as la martyre, a martyr of the war.
The title of the series uses the French feminine gender Place des Martyres in reference to the particular figures and
place represented in the subject matter.