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Hariri Vows to Keep Beirut 'Jewel of the Arabs'

Jun 08

 Hariri Vows to Keep Beirut 'Jewel of the Arabs'

Prime Minister Saad Hariri vowed to exert all efforts needed to keep the capital Beirut the “jewel of the Arab,” and highlighted the missions tasked to the municipality of Beirut to implement development and maintenance projects in the capital.

“We will always work together to keep Beirut the jewel of the Arabs, the center of creativity, investment, tourism, medication and education, and the engine of economy and job opportunities for the youth of Beirut and all the Lebanese,” said Hariri in a speech during an Iftar held by al-Mustaqbal Movement in BIEL on Tuesday.

“Beirut the capital is precious to the hearts of all the Lebanese and is the symbol of Lebanon’s message of coexistence between Muslims and Christians,” he said.

Highlighting Israel's aggression against the country, he said: “35 years ago, on June 6, 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon. Israel considered that bringing Beirut to its knees was the only way to bring Lebanon to its knees. But Beirut did not kneel.

“Beirut suffered from the practices of the Lebanese and Palestinian militias, from the military domination of the Assad regime and the security martial law that was imposed by force on the Lebanese. But it always stood up victorious,” said the PM.

Pointing out to the development projects that brought the city to life when his late father, Rafik Hariri, was PM, he said: “ Rafik Hariri brought back life to the heart of Beirut that was destroyed by war and turned it into a jewel that several neighboring countries are trying to copy,” and assured “we will continue this project because we want to protect the historic and civilized face of Beirut.”

Responding to what he said were “lies” against actions taken by the municipality of Beirut he said: “Beirut Municipality is responsible for my words today because as I promised you I will follow up its work and will not tolerate any negligence: Horsh Beirut will remain open for the people of Beirut and the municipality tasked a consultant to develop it. The tender to rehabilitate, maintain and manage it will take place next month.

“Ramlet Baida beach will always remain a free beach for the people of Beirut and the municipality will enlarge and develop it,” said Hariri.

He added that a master plan has been prepared to replace all cement blocks in Beirut with 6 thousand trees, and that existing parks will be rehabilitated and new ones will be established as well as spaces for pedestrians and bicycles.

Turning to Beirut's coastline, the PM said “Beirut's water is polluted,” pointing out that the work in Bourj Hammoud processing plant and al-Ghadir will be rehabilitated to absorb all wastewater and rain water in Beirut in order to reduce pollution.

On Lebanon's waste management crisis, he said: “The sweeping and gathering tender according to international standards will take place in eight days. The comprehensive plan to sort from the source and turn waste into energy is complete. Garbage will not return to the streets of Beirut!”

The PM also assured that electricity will be provided 24 hours per day as per a municipality plan “we are discussing this with the Ministry of Energy. Meanwhile, street lights will use “Led” lights that save 50% energy consumption and protect the environment. Next year there will be eco-friendly buses for public transportation. Sports stadiums in Achrafieh and Kaskas will also be rehabilitated and the project of the new municipal stadium will be launched.

“Also next year 8 health clinics will be rehabilitated and health cards will be issued for the people of Beirut in addition to emergency services,” concluded Hariri.