Interesting map showing how Beirut’s central district was reclaimed by its people in the first few days of the revolution..

Antoine Atallah:

“After it was occupied, appropriated and reorganized by protesters and the general public. Describing how it became Al-Balad again. 

In a unique and amazing moment, the first since the end of the civil war and the Solidere take-over that followed, the Central District became again a place built by the people, for the people. Open to all, an inclusive space welcoming to all segments of society and especially to the middle class, the underprivileged and the disenfranchised. A space for debate, for discussion, for the meeting of people from all walks of life and all communities, from which political culture, common discourse and a shared identity can arise.

In an area that was turned into a smoothed and bright, but shallow and empty showcase for the political and financial elite, excluding the vast majority of the Lebanese people, that same people took over and drew out a new urban plan. They experimented their right to the city. And did beautifully, organically. Cities hate voids and in this new state of permissiveness, the voids of the central district were filled with all components of a normal city: commercial spaces, spaces of debate and politics, spaces of music and festivities, spaces of logistics and amenities, spaces of gatherings, of promenade, of rest, of madness and joy.”

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