Horsh Beirut

You probably have seen this at several places in Beirut “ليش حرش بيروت مسكر؟” (Why is Beirut park closed?) among other stencils as well, which appear to be part of a campaign to open Beirut park to the public.

You might be surprised, but I’m actually with keeping people away from this park until they really deserve it. I mean look at all the public spaces in Beirut, are we treating them good? The corniche at Ain El-Mrayseh for example looks like one big shisha cafe now! Young boys come in their 1990 BMW and Golf cars, turn up their radios to Ali El-Deek songs, set their shishas, and start dancing Dabke! Wala anawran min heik.

The possibilities are endless with what they may do to Horsh Beirut. Littering? BBQ parties on weekends? Ripping out the plants?

So until we learn how to treat our public spaces really good, keep Horsh Beirut closed please!


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16 Responses to Horsh Beirut

  1. Hisham Assaad February 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    I am with and against this.
    I am with you on the idea of ignorant people disturbing the beauty of it (whether by loud noises, smoke, cars or just their presence) and ruining everything there as it is happening to every public place we have, min cornishe Ain el mrayseh, la marina w corniche dbayeh, and even to biel waterfront (where i saw litter everywhere despite the presence of guards and garbage bins)

    I am against:
    we want public places where we can hang out for free, we can sit and work, read, walk or simply look at things. But the bad thing here, already existing spaces are being mistreated and lack supervision and control.

    Therefore, for the time being, i prefer it remain closed until we have a civilized community that would respect the freedom of other.

  2. L. February 21, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    yes, nya2 the people who will ruin the park. they deserve to be severely punished. please dawleh close the park. we only want cement buildings. and yii the lower class listens to ali deek. nya2 3an jad

    • Rami February 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

      Who mentioned a thing about lower class and buildings?!

      The photo above is actually taken in Horsh Beirut, would you like it if it gets ruined?

      On the contrary to what you said, I want more green spaces in Beirut instead of buildings, and it’s my right to refuse listening to bad dabke songs at these places, and it’s also YOUR duty not to turn up your radio so loud! Have you been to public parks at other countries? Do you really think what people do here is normal?

  3. D February 21, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    Advocating closing it is not the solution. You open it, then police it if you don’t like the ensuing activity. And calling people that smoke Shisha, dance dabke and listen to a particular genre of music nawar is classist/racist at best.

    • Rami February 22, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

      I actually called them nawar not because of their music taste, but because they disturb everyone around them with what they do.

      • Reyno February 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

        I think an Entrancee Fee would make some difference..its good to keep some saved green areas in Beirut..

  4. Afifoo (@afifo0) February 22, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    it doesn’t have to be completely shut off, or completely open: there are more creative alternatives to benefit the public from their parc. And the main problem is a weak state unable to push forward an education about littering campaign forward..

  5. nightS February 22, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    IMHO, I don’t see anything wrong with Ain El-Mrayseh(with all what everyone does there) =)
    And there’s no better place to throw a BBQ party at than a public park!

    Public parks should be open to the public and the only rule would be “Don’t Litter”. That’s it!

    • Habib June 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

      Well said. The use of “they” i.e. nawar, lower class, abusive people, underserving people, people who smoke shisha and god forbid make BBQ, etc. etc. is such an unfortunate stereotype, which goes to the heart of the Lebanese dilemma of viewing your fellow countrymen as animals. Public parks are actually made for family, fun, music bbq, all that stuff. Check out any park in the USA. I can’t imagine a Sunday in a park without the smell of BBQ and sound of stereos. Have you seen the Will Smith video “Summertime”???
      Unfortunately so many Lebanese are raised to think they are better than the “nawar” when actually the rich “clean” super rich Lebanese mafia do much more harm than anyone in this country. Its really a shame to use the word “they” to refer to people unlike yourself. Thats a huge complex for so many Lebanese people. We need to get to know and respect each other, regardless of tastes, income, religion, etc.

  6. LebExile February 22, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    I am for opening the park. Not only is it a good escape for the city dwellers, it can become a place where people of different walks can mingle and interact.
    If litter is the problem, make designated picnic area’s , walking trails, and have plenty of bins – and a small army of sukleen workers.
    They can begin by opening it on designated days – like saturdays for example, and test the waters. If people make a mess of it and abuse it, then, take the privilege away, and make a point of taking it away cause of the abuse.
    People will then police it themselves if they see others littering so they won’t lose the privilege of having the park.
    The whole point of having public spaces is so people can relax and unwind from the stresses of work, or enjoy a family day out.
    The most important thing though is that they cannot charge an admission fee, and probably thats whats holding them back!

  7. R February 22, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    it should be a place like NY central park (im not saying exactly) where there should be no noise only peace and quiet away from the visual pollution and concrete buildings at least to see ONLY grass and trees, we hear enough ppl listening to loud music on the streets and traffic noise
    ppl go to such parks for those purposes and not for partying (we have enough places for that), but to have some peace and quiet under the sun on a good day

  8. Marillionlb February 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    from what I heard, the park was closed off mainly because of vandalism (people carving the trees) and throwing rubbish everywhere. Moreover some illegal actions were taking place. The question of opening the park is tied to the demand the baladiyeh made for an extra amount of manpower in order to patrol the park.
    I remember watching a segment on it on one of the local TV station, but cannot remember which one.

  9. Mohammad Ayoub February 26, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    Dear All,

    Its very simple to put rules and save the park. like you cant smoke. Is it that difficult?

    I dont agree that people are bad, I agree that there is no Dawlee. there is no law to protect people and the spaces we have.

    Do you know that all the public spaces is stolen by a few people who have a power? now you pay to use ur public rights
    The problem is in the local authorities and the government, because they are proving day by day that the people ma byelba2loun she, kermeel heek they let the monsters take all our rights.

    We can easily prove that the people ma lebe2loun she, but we can say 2eza el 3alam ma 3am ya3erfo yetsarafo ya3ne feh meshekle bel solta w lezem tensheel.

    what i have a right as a citizin in beirut? la raseef walla shere3 walla garden walla ba7er, what i have?
    Meen hamash Lebanon TV? lebanese university? public transporataion? ser2et el mashe3at? el downtown? is it el 3alam? aw nees 3endoun nfouz? hamasho kel she byermouz lal dawle la tsayter el tawayef?

    Plz joun us in the common effort to save our park and open it to the public


  10. Erik Vincenti Zakhia June 1, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    I see it like you Rami!
    I’ve also written something about it in my blog http://bluelebanon.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/why-horsh-beirut-should-not-completely-open-25-2/

  11. joanna June 11, 2012 at 5:48 am #

    Has anyone considered the Natural Reserve approach? no one litters in the Chouf or Besharreh Cedar Forests, or Jaziret el Nakhil.


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