Conflicts & War

Let there be light, the Beirut NGO restoring the city’s nightlife

Beirut, Jun 4 (EFE).- Lebanon’s capital Beirut descends into darkness at nightfall due to the power outages that blight the crisis-stricken nation but three streets in the city’s nightlife hub burned brightly once again thanks to a community generator initiative.

The NGO Rebirth Beirut, which sprung up to help the city recover from the devastating port explosion in August 2020, ignited street lamps along the bar-lined Gemmayzeh, Mar Mikhael and Pasteur streets using generators as part of a program in collaboration with energy company MEDCO.

The fuel firm provides incentives to generator operators who are involved in Rebirth Beirut’s project.

Lebanon has been in the grips of a severe socio-economic crisis since 2019.

“It’s a community initiative, all the community will be helping to illuminate their own streets,” Gabriel Fernaine, the head of Rebirth Beirut, told Efe.

“We decided to start here because this area was completely destroyed by the explosion,” Fernaine added.

Rebirth Beirut plans to roll out its initiative to other areas of Beirut.

As well as restoring joy to inhabitants, relighting Beirut’s streets alleviates the dangers that thrive in the darkness such as robbery and sexual assault.

“When there is light, there is hope,” the NGO’s founder said.

Marie, a 42-year-old resident of Gemmayze, told Efe that before the power outages, she would open her liquor store until 3am but has since decided to close up early due to the “fear” she feels when the streets are dark.

Revelers in Gemmayze cheered when the lights returned to the popular party area, conjuring mixed feelings for Fernaine.

“It’s beautiful but also sad that people would have to applaud a basic necessity,” he added.


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