ASHRAFIYEH 2020 – A Dream in Action
The executive committee of ASHRAFIYEH 2020 held a press conference at Hotel Le Gabriel on July 5, 2012 in the presence of, Ashrafiyeh’s MPs Michel Pharaon, Jean Oghassabian, Nadim Gemayel, Mr. Imad Wakim general secretary of the Lebanese Forces, and Beirut’s municipality council members.
ASHRAFIYEH 2020 is an apolitical long-term (8 years) environmental driven initiative by MP Nadim Gemayel. Its objective is to reinvent Ashrafiyeh as a livable, breathable, welcoming and friendly neighborhood.
Initiatives of this kind were courageously taken in many cities in the world, such as Seville, Rio, Milano and most of North European cities.
Ashrafiyeh residents are dreaming of a neighborhood where adults, youth and children can easily and safely walk on wider and cleaner sidewalks, bike on dedicated bicycle alleys, hop on a tramway as a means of commuting; where waste is managed optimally, where parking is well organized and structured and where traffic is highly regulated and law is enforced.
A change of behavior campaigning will energize this 8 years initiative.
Ashrafiyeh’s initiative is not to be seen as an isolationist one. Its ambition is being recognized as a pioneer action which will hopefully propagate to the entirety of Beirut and other Lebanese cities.
Being intimately convinced that this initiative should not be perceived as a political promotional levy, NG envisioned the gathering of an Executive Committee composed of Ashrafiyeh residents who share the same vision of a reinvented Ashrafiyeh.
This executive committee has emerged and took over ASHRAFIYEH 2020 as its main driving force it includes Akram Nehme, Antoine Baraka, Asma Andraos,,Bernard Bridi, Carole Babikian, Georges Farag, Jihad Bitar, Joe Ayache, Joseph Otayek, Karim Eid, Lilianne Tyan, Marc Geara, Michel Raggi, Nayla Chkeibane, Nayla Sabbagha, Philippe de Bustros, Roger Bejjani, Shirine Abdallah, Selim Mouzannar, Tony Eid.
DISCOVER ASHRAFIYEH – September 2, 2012
The main popular and high profile announcement of this initiative remains a yearly car free all pedestrian day, which is scheduled to take place in its 1st edition on September 2, 2012.
This short term objective aims to initiate awareness within Ashrafiyeh’s community regarding an alternative to extensive car usage by banning cars for a single day and the benefits of such an alternative in terms of quietness, air quality, stress free, well-being, handicapped mobility, discovering Ashrafiyeh on foot or on bike... while the underlying long term vision remains a well thought more comprehensive and ambitious Ashrafiyeh make-over transforming this charming and residential neighborhood yet becoming so overcrowded and noisy into a better, greener and more friendly place to live in (i.e. bicycle alleys, green public transportation, parking regulation, pedestrian zoning…).
We have all noticed how many details occur to a walker or a biker that usually go unnoticed by drivers driving through the city. Walkers DISCOVER every day a new tree, an old resisting house hidden behind the big modern buildings; a stair….Paying tribute to walkers, this 1st edition of the pedestrian day has been branded DISCOVER ASHRAFIYEH.
The Executive Committee shall steer the task force preparing and implementing DISCOVER ASHRAFIYEH
Perimeter of DISCOVER ASHRAFIYEH
1. Tabaris up to Charles Malek avenue and continuing to Burj Hammoud
2. The Spinneys – HDF fast road
3. The fast road leading to Burj Hammoud and starting at Fassouh
Promotion of DISCOVER ASHRAFIYEH
A well thought awareness and promotional campaign including the concept of ASHRAFIYEH 2020 as well as DISCOVER ASHRAFIYEH/pedestrian day, kicked off on July 5, 2012. It will gradually grow in intensity until September 2, 2012.
The media which will be solicited are:
1. Web site (www.ashrafiyeh2020.org)
2. Social media (Twitter, Facebook www.facebook.com/ashrafiyeh2020)
3. Outdoor space
4. TV spots
5. Newspaper ad
6. Talk shows on TV and Radio
7. T shirts
Activities of DISCOVER ASHRAFIYEH
1. Running: (a) corrida (b) fun run
2. Cycling: (a) professionals (b) family cross competition
5. Street Basketball
6. Mini Football
7. Garage sale
8. Dog Show
9. Street performers (amateur dancers, singers, musicians, comics….)
10. Fortune tellers
11. Market (organic products)