Hariri Offers to Help Renovate Tripoli's Syria Street

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Al-Mustaqbal Movement leader MP Saad Hariri on Wednesday expressed willingness to offer financial aid aimed at conducting repair works in Tripoli's Syria Street, the scene of fierce clashes over the past years that left scores of casualties.

According to the Hariri-owned Future TV, the former premier sent a letter to Prime Minister Tammam Salam, offering a “grant to renovate Syria Street in Tripoli.”

The message was conveyed by Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi, who hails from the northern city, MTV said.

On April 13, the minister had announced that Hariri was “seriously thinking of turning Syria Street into a … piece of art, similar to what martyr premier Rafik Hariri did in Beirut” after the civil war.

“Military conflict, fighting, wars and shelling will be things that belong to the past,” Rifi said at the time.

The aptly named Syria Street separates the impoverished neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen, which fought around 20 rounds of deadly sectarian battles between 2008 and 2014.

Badly damaged buildings, some abandoned, straddle the street, creating an atmosphere of fear and neglect, despite the presence of several army vehicles and checkpoints along the thoroughfare.

Once filled with military barricades, the street flanks the al-Bazar and Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhoods and the city's vegetable market.

The war in Syria had aggravated decades-old sectarian and political tensions between the Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen neighborhoods.

But since April 1, a strict and unprecedented security plan in the city has managed to restore calm and put an end to fighting, amid the fleeing and arrest of many of the two districts' top gunmen.

Jabal Mohsen, where most of the population belongs to Syrian President Bashar Assad's Alawite sect, has long backed the Damascus regime.

Majority-Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh, however, supports the rebels who have been fighting to overthrow Assad for the past three years.

The war-scarred neighborhoods saw their first clashes in 1976, when Alawites and supporters of then Syrian president Hafez Assad fought against the Palestinian Liberation Organization then headquartered in Lebanon.

In the 1980s, the front changed to pit pro-Assad fighters against the Islamist Tawhid movement, which was strong in Bab al-Tabbaneh.

Then in 1986, when Syrian troops entered Bab al-Tabbaneh, they and their Lebanese backers killed hundreds of people in a massacre remembered to this day.



Comments 13
Thumb ex-fpm 14 May 2014, 19:54

The first thing they should do is change the name of the street from Syria street to Lebanon street or Peace street.

Missing jeff070 14 May 2014, 20:48

Why not Hariri? as long as the minority of the Alawites are protected and resolution is found for the conflict first. The renovation could provide employment as well as increased tourism.

Thumb EagleDawn 14 May 2014, 22:12

A Arsal resident from the al-Hujeiri family has been kidnapped and the abductors asked for a $100,000.

Who did that you think?

Default-user-icon guest (Guest) 14 May 2014, 20:49

We have hariri International airport, and now we are looking for hariri street!!!

Thumb EagleDawn 14 May 2014, 22:10

the emptiness of your soul is even more fascinating..

Thumb cedre 14 May 2014, 23:13

there is a lot of traditional heritage in syria street, ever been there ?

Missing national.pact 15 May 2014, 01:27

this is all they do. Rebuild streets, decorate everything and then everything gets more expensive w shoghol ma fi. shou hal maskhara

Missing cedars 15 May 2014, 04:41

Who is going to pay the electricity bill when the street is fixed? The Ha side won't pay because they are the army-people-resistance equation.

Thumb liberty 15 May 2014, 05:09

why would a shia residing overseas care about the cost?

Thumb liberty 15 May 2014, 05:13

please, list the bills you think Hariri owes or tie your tongue in a knot @hussainbond..

Missing peace 15 May 2014, 11:24

why doesn't naharnet report on the new scandal of buying a part of the coast near rawche to turn it into a beach resort by the hariri family? they steal what is the property of EVERY lebanese! tfeh!

Missing peace 15 May 2014, 13:02

why doesn't naharnet report on the new scandal by the hariri family? they bought a piece of coast near rawche to build a beach resort! this land belongs to the LEBANESE people!!!

And thank you nahranet for deleting my previous post... does this affair annoy you?

Thumb rover98 15 May 2014, 15:25

There are still damaged buildings in the area from the 80's. Tripoli and the North in general has been neglected and treated as backwater for decades.