Picnic at Horsh Beirut

We had an amazing start to our day on January 21st.

As part of their campaign to re-open Horsh Beirut, Nahnoo called for a public picnic there on a sunny saturday. The park is beautiful; trees and greenary are truly therapeutical ! We never felt happier inside of Beirut. We had a nice tour by Zahra who takes care of gardening the park, and she gave us insights on some of the park’s nicest green secrets !

So, the question remains, why is Horsh Beirut still closed to the public ?

Stencil on the wall of the park. "Why is Horsh Beirut closed to the public? Because of sectarianism" (Photo courtesy of Beirut.com)

As much as we think the answer given in this stencil is a pretext, we think that the opening of the park should be done with vigilance.
We will leave experts on the subject tell you more about the reasons given by the municipality not to open the park to the public, but what we know is this:
Public Spaces in Beirut are getting fewer and fewer, and this is not a way a city should be. People from different backgrounds should be able to have spaces where they could interact. This beautiful green spaces shouldn’t just be reserved to an elite, people over 35years old, foreigners, or people who “look” like they won’t do trouble.
There’s no doubt that us Lebanese don’t yet have the culture of taking care of public property. But this can be learned. If the park stays closed, how will the people ever learn that what is public should be treasured ? How will the people get educated towards better manners toward trees and flowers ?
Opening the park should be a process. There should be clear rules, and there should be a big number of security guards who will work to make sure every rule is respected. They are many solutions to make people more aware and to discipline them in the park.

And keeping it closed is definitely NOT one of these solutions.

 

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2 Responses to Picnic at Horsh Beirut

  1. The same goes in Tripoli. Although it is not a classic park, it is a huge fair with grass and trees, and it is “closed” to the public. If you are foreign, over 35, and have a certain look (e.g. middle-class at least)–as you say–the guard won’t give you any trouble. It’s too bad, because the space is well-maintained and there are lovely trees to sit under.

  2. This website really has all of the info I needed concerning this subject and
    didn’t know who to ask.

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