Another Abou Rakhoussa market took place in Downtown Beirut yesterday, and while I still believe that it’s a diversion from the real problem at hand which is the garbage crisis of course, opening a permanent flea market in Beirut’s central district may actually be a good idea. Open food markets are always packed in Beirut Souks, the upper part of Solidere is practically empty now and it’s very easy to set up a market there so why not give it a try?
I say let’s have a flea market and let Chammas, Solidere and the Abou Rakhoussa people organize it together. People may actually look at it as a positive sign and go down in large numbers. After isn’t that what we all want? bringing Beirut back to life?
On another note, I never thought Beirut’s Central District was for the rich and I don’t think expensive restaurants and boutiques are the reason why Lebanese are staying away from the heart of the city. I remember the pre-2005 years when all the Lebanese used to go down to Beirut to eat, drink, smoke arguile, party or simply walk. You could spend as little as $10 and enjoy the night. I don’t want to dig further into this topic because it’s a very long and complicated one but Beirut has always been for all the Lebanese and no one can ever change that no matter how much they try.
The idea behind Abou Rakhousa and the movement is to fight Solidere and its illegal occupation of people’s lands the company confiscated after the civil war. So I don’t think a flea market or a Abou Rakhousa look-alike made by Solidere would be an idea to wish for.
I did not say made by Solidere. The movement was meant to protest Solidere and how Beirut has become for the rich, so what I’m saying is for them to come up with a proposal for Chammas and Solidere to set up a space for this flea market (based on their rules not Solidere) and make it a permanent on.
The question is though: Will a flea market attract more people to the central district?
Sigh. The abou rakhoussa thing is just an exaggerated ant-theJackassWhoMentionedItFirst . What the people mean by it, is that DT isnt for the Lebanese anymore when you have to pay 17 $ for orange juice. The illegally occupied land is a different story and Solidere is at least ripping off the the country by its rent prices ( somethin about 2000LL per squared meters as many reports mention). The logical/legal request would be to raise the rent prices to the scale of prices at which they sell, the prices of being “classy” :P, so that even if not every lebanese can enjoy them, he can at least be sure hes getting $ to his government.
Turning a part of a city into a spaace that only attracts the rich is just one of the natural outcomes of a capitalist system, nothing surprising about that