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The "picnic festival" took place in 12 locations around Beirut, to demand the reopening of Horsh Beirut to all! A coalition of 12 NGOs took over specific locations and turned them into a green space for a day!
Why is Horsh Beirut so important?
It is the largest green space in Beirut.
It is public property, and belongs to EVERYONE.
Yet it has been CLOSED to the public for more than TWENTY years, and only a few people are granted access to it.
After completing the renovation of Horsh Beirut ten years ago, the Municipality of Beirut has not yet opened it to the public, and has never provided a legitimate or acceptable reason for this decision.
A coalition of NGO's are going to take over 12 spots in Beirut, to demand a clear decision from the Municipality of Beirut to open Horsh Beirut, and to provide the public with a date for its opening, keeping in mind that a full study was given to the Municipality on how it can be protected from damage and be maintained. The inalienable right to public spaces means full right to access Horsh Beirut, without exception.
The campaigners will not stop campaigning for the right to public spaces in Beirut. Having access to public green spaces is essential; especially, in crowded and polluted cities like Beirut. It is a basic social and public health need, and provides an essential space for interaction among citizens who are usually separated by political and sectarian divides.