BAALBEK, Lebanon (AP) — Lebanon’s renowned Baalbek festival is back, held in front of a live audience for the first time since 2019, despite the country’s economic meltdown and the coronavirus pandemic. French pianist Simon Ghraichy performed in front of a full house on Sunday night in what organizers described as a night of hope for Lebanon’s revival. The annual festival in the ancient northeastern city of soaring Roman columns has long attracted celebrities from around the world. It had taken a major hit as a result of Lebanon’s ongoing, nearly 3-year economic crisis and the pandemic, which had forced organizers to broadcast live from the site without an audience in 2020 and 2021. Inside the city’s mesmerizing acropolis, French-Iranian oriental dancer Rana Gorgani twirled to Ghraichy’s piano playing.