Last Call for Blue Sky

September 13, 2012

Uncategorized


Last Call for Blue Sky

Image

Rumor Has it…

I had heard rumor of Beirut’s lost park, a fence enclosed sanctuary large enough to preserve the last of the ancient pine forest, yet hidden somehow in plain sight. Between the chilling rain and the nine-to-five-grind my search wound up shelved for most of the winter. Nearly at once however the skies began to clear and the days grew longer. After spending months feeling cooped indoors I ached for a good place to enjoy the spring weather. One particularly sunny day I sat in the office on the sixth floor and gazed longingly through my window into the outdoors. “Have you ever heard of Horsh Park?” I tossed the question halfheartedly to my supervisor at the next desk, but instead of shrugging it off, he ushered me onto the balcony and pointed just down the street. There, only a few bullet-pocked blocks from where I was standing, sat a seemingly ordinary tuft of green overshadowed by the encroaching metropolis. Horsh Park had been literally under my nose from the start.

Last Call for Blue Sky

Weather you’ve been a slave to the workweek this summer or done way, way too much partying, we could all go for a breezy day at the park. In my opinion, its an ideal way to spend some well deserved downtime (better than private beaches because its free). But don’t wait; your window of opportunity is narrowing. The rainy season is once again just around the corner so for this limited time only, I’d like to offer you a glimpse of the pride land to be found inside Beirut’s forgotten reservation.

Horsh Park Beirut

One second you’re at the center of a traffic-crossed industrial downtown, the next you’re strolling along footpaths between grassy knolls of leafy woodland. On each of my visits I could smell earth and pine, and songbirds (normally drowned out by taxis, construction, etc.) were free to be appreciated. Further inside, dirt roads converge around a spacious center with two slightly overgrown terraces. In total Horsh Park actually accounts for 77% of all of Beirut’s public green-space. So how then can such a large area go on so neglected? Unfortunately, the gates have been officially shut to the Lebanese since 1992. Today, nationals require special government permission to legally enter the premises. Some say the closure is meant to deter vandals from desecrating the area, and so it is not without irony that a spray-painted Arabic soliloquy stabs at the deeper truth. “Why is Horsh Beirut closed to the public,” it reads. “Because of sectarianism.”

For the few at the Nahnoo organization, the struggle to reopen the park has never been hotter. If provided the common space, Horsh could help socialize away the ethno-religious barriers that sealed the gates in the first place. For now however, a passport can still be an expatriate’s ticket into his or her own private escape.

Image

Image

Image

 Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Advertisements
, , , , , , , ,

Subscribe

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: