Imagine a Beirut where people spent more time upside down (above).
Where the police protected us from cars instead of each other:
Where the army could watch us slam dunks instead of load RPGs:
Where boys showed off with skates instead of reckless driving:
Where pedestrians ruled:
And the road was yours:
Where protestors expressed themselves with love:
And the men with machine guns accepted:
Where the streets were full of feet, not screeching tires:
Where a souk still looked like a souk:
And the honey had your name on it:
Where members of parliament rode on segways, not armored motorcades:
Stopped to engage constituents more often:
And made less noise about their visits:
Imagine a Beirut where the streets were lined with green:
And people could chill in the grass:
Where security men settled scores with board games:
Where all the manouche was made from whole wheat dough:
And recycling was the norm:
Of course all this was yesterday, not a figment of my imagination. It was part of the car-free day sponsored by the Discover Ashrafieh
I tip my hat to the organizers and I hope other neighborhood leaders across Lebanon will take similar initiatives. Yes there have been some, but we could always use more. Above all, these events should be heavily advertised and inclusive, encouraging people to discover neighborhoods they would not normally visit.
Sure, many will say this is a long shot from reality, but a boy can dream–and he should!