Tag Archives: save beirut heritage

Farewell Cafe Gemmayze…

I didn’t know you long, but I know you will be missed.

Cafe Gemmayze

Wish this one could've been saved..

Cafe Gemmayze

Crowd.

Cafe Gemmayze

Backgammon at Cafe Gemmayze.

Cafe Gemmayze

Live music.

Cafe Gemmayze

Final farewells.

Farewell Cafe Gemmayze.

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Say goodbye to Cafe Gemmayze

Goodbye Cafe Gemmazye

Say Goodbye to Cafe Gemmayze

As many of you know, Cafe Gemmayze (known to locals as Ahwet el Ezez) will be closing its doors for good tomorrow.  Although it’s being relocated to Antelias, it is losing its historic place in Gemmayze where it has stood for 90 years.  So, to give the cafe and long time owner the goodbye they deserve, a double event hosted by the Save Beirut Heritage Group is taking place tomorrow, Wednesday January 5th, 2011 at Cafe Gemmayze.

First, around 7:30pm, a symbolic “3aza”, will be served where locals & regulars are invited to share their stories about Cafe Gemmazye around one last cup of coffee.  A home made short film on Cafe Gemmayze will be shown during this time as well.

Then, toward the end the evening, and in the spirit of Ahwet el Ezez love for local artists, a concert will be held featuring ZEID & THE WINGS, ADONIS, and TINA YAMOUT.  Prince Giorgio will also be playing music from Lebanon’s golden days.  This part of the event is LL20,000 (or $13) . No profit is being made for Save Beirut Hertage, fees will just cover the necessary costs to organize & set up the event.

Tickets are on sale at Café Gemmayzé, and at The Tequila Pub Gemmayze, and include one beer.
For more info or reservations , call 71 319 167

Visit Save Beirut Heritage’s Facebook Group and Goodbye Cafe Gemmazye’s Event Page to learn more.

 

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Lebanese? Give up their cars for bikes? Naaaahhh..

I’ve been thinking a lot about the environment recently..mainly because for the first time in my life, I’m aware of the car fumes I’m breathing in everyday (and the almost immediate resultant headaches), the horrific stench of Beirut river (the sewage that flows from Hazmieh to Quarantina), and the piles of garbage lying on the streets and floating in the sea..

Yes.. I am aware of the numerous  organizations like IndyAct, Save Beirut Heritage, and Public Design Intervention: Beirut, who are all lobbying for change, and who willingly volunteer their time, efforts, and resources to support sustainable and environmentally friendly initiatives in Beirut..

IndyAct Beirut

IndyAct Campaign photo credit: cache.dailylife.com

public transportation in Lebanon

Fast Forward - campaign for Public Transportation in Lebanon photo credit: Fast Forward Facebook page

Sustainable Lebanon

Campaign "Enjoy your green space" by Nadine Feghaly and Dima Boulad photo credit: Design Intervention Beirut Facebook page.

And YES while these are very worthy causes that I whole heartedly support..I think something important is being overlooked: the fact that many of the people who are contributing heavily to the pollution problem in Beirut 1. are not aware of how much harm they are causing the environment and 2.  even if they were, they don’t have the means to fix it.  (This is excluding industrial factory owners, land developers, and urban planners who really should know better, and make a mockery of the law by blatantly defying it.)

I think I became aware of this problem when I was complaining about everyone’s really bad brakes in Lebanon, and asking my friends how people could let their brakes get soo bad and soo noisy.. To which they would reply, “Really Danielle, these people can barely afford to pay for their gas, and you expect them to fix their brakes?!”

But,  for one second, let me reign this back in..and get back to the point..

Can I, or anyone for that matter, really expect the service driver, who I’m paying less than $1 to take me to and from work everyday to give a damn about the harm his 30 year old Mercedes Benz is causing the environment..when likely he has other, more immediate worries on his mind?  And what about the other 30,000 taxi drivers JUST LIKE HIM!

And let’s just say for one second.. that Lebanon does manages to institute a public transportation system..what will happen to these taxi drivers who depend on us for their very livelihood, what will they do?  And how difficult will it be to implement a public transportation system in a country who’s society is soo obsessed with defining themselves through material possessions, especially their cars??  I’m not saying that it will never happen, but realistically speaking, I don’t see it happening any time soon..

The situation requires a more immediate solution.

What is this “immediate” solution I so loftily speak of?  Well..in my humble opinion, in a case like this..we cannot expect the pollution problem in Beirut to resolve itself, nor can we depend on people, who have been living  in this destructive manner for the majority of their lives, to suddenly change their behavior to save something as intangible (to them) as “the environment!”….

Air pollution Beirut

Pollution in Beirut photocredit: bloggingbeirut.com

The government MUST institute regulations regarding CO2 emissions.. and people must be forced to comply if Beirut is to continue to prosper..and for those who simply cannot afford to comply, the government must provide an alternative solution!! Ok, so maybe just maybe, my solution is as lofty an ideal as expecting all of Beirut to start riding bicycles..but really, what do you think is the best solution?

How can such a grave problem continue to be ignored by legislators?  I don’t understand it?  The very livelihood of Beirut depends on it.

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