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Beirut will rise again!
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After the tragic explosion in Beirut, hundred thousands of persons are left homeless.

 

BASSMA commits once again to stand next to Lebanese families through the House Renovation Program,
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We rely on a dedicated team of volunteers and count on your generous donations to renovate damaged houses.

 

Together we can draw back smiles on people’s faces and restore their dignity.

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Achrafieh Residents Save Their Park
07. Jun 2013
source: www.iloubnan.info
Residents of Geitaoui, in Achrafieh, got a big surprise at 8.00 A.M on the morning of June 7, as they found bulldozers ready to tear down their neighborhood hang out spot. Jesuits Park, with its colorful benches, tall trees and busy playground was just about to be demolished.

 

“Spontaneously, people started coming down to the park and blocked the entrance. I´m so proud of these people. They are really an example of good citizens and this shows that a new conscience is happening in the city,” said Giorgio Tarraf, co-founder of Save Beirut Heritage.

The men behind the heavy machinery flagged a permit from the Beirut municipality, saying that the park would give room to a three- floor underground parking lot. The park was meant to be restored after the building was complete but the people refused to give up their beloved park because with parking spaces, traffic is sure to follow. Also, it would be a long time before the park would be given back to the people. 

“Why would you want to bring in traffic to a tiny residential area and destroy the garden? People don´t want more paid parking spaces, they need more quite and green spaces. We just have a few public parks, let them be,” said Tarraf.

The protest was peaceful a one, with about 50 people blocking the entrance, sending the bulldozer on its way. An older man, who would like to remain anonymous, was at the park when it happened. He said that people were angry but neither violent nor loud, they simply stood their ground to protect the territory.

Jesuits Park is a popular green square, where people gather at the end of the day, sit under the tall trees and socialize. It seems that the park is dear to most people in the neighborhood but not everyone has the same priorities. A local, named George, who runs a shop opposite the park, heard about the incident in the otherwise calm and uneventful area. All of his working day he usually looks out at the greenery and in the late afternoon it gets crowded with families and children’s laughter. He said that he loves the park but that new parking spaces actually are necessary.

“I wouldn´t mind if they built the parking spaces as long as they give us back the park in the end,” he said.

Iloubnan has, without success, tried to reach the Beirut municipality for a comment. It is not known if the project of demolishing Jesuits Park will continue.
image: www.iloubnan.info
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