It’s an overused and oft abused metaphor that Beirut is the Paris of the Middle East,  but the phrase seemed to ring true Sunday – at least in a section of Ashrafieh. With pedestrianized streets, people cycling everywhere, and art littering the sidewalks, all part of the Ashrafieh 2020 initiative, the area seemed positively bohemian. Sunday’s “Discover Ashrafieh,” a car-free event, was the launch of the eight-year project that  aims to “reinvent Ashrafieh as a breathable, welcoming and friendly neighborhood.”  

While initially spearheaded by Beirut MP Nadim Gemayel, a member of the Kataeb (Phalange) party, the campaign is apolitical, and is now being run by a committee comprising 20 local residents. [DailyStar]


You can read more about Achrafieh2020 project and pictures of the event [Here].