Words From The Mayor Of Beirut
Abdul Monaem Al Aris - Mayor Of Beirut
Because it symbolizes the social coexistence and is the cradle of law, we have endeavored since the very first day of our election in 1998 to advance all aspects that contribute to its development, growth and prosperity. With the sincere collaboration support and trust of all the citizens of Beirut we were enabled to undertake and implement several developmental and embellishment projects for Beirut. It was such a joyful relief to see the immense and spontaneous positive reaction from the citizens regarding the execution of several projects of this nature and the project of embellishing the corniche of Ain el Mreisse - Avenue de Paris has become the focus of everybody's attention.One might ask, why pick this spot in Beirut and not elsewhere? Because it symbolizes the city of Beirut standing against and rising above the ashes of the despicable war because the corniche was and still is the place where restaurants, hotels, and tourist attractions meet. In this exact place, also, our children and elders find a place of fun and solace, for they have the right to have a safe, welcoming meeting place like this to enjoy. For this, the Municipality of the city of Beirut has decided to implement the project of embellishing the corniche and has assigned a dedicated committee from the members of the municipality itself and has arranged with official, local, and artistic sectors and committees, showing to everyone that Beirut lives and thrives by the genuine and sincere efforts of its citizens and all those who love it. Why not, when the city is highly regarded as the portal to the orient, and the center where civilizations meet. All this gives Beirut its character and charisma in a very prestigious place in the world, which gives the orient its identity.
Our thanks to all those involved, and we hope that this project is one of a series of projects that will help show Beirut's cultural identity.
Words From The Supervisory Committee
Roula W. Al Ajouz Sidani - Member of the Municipal Council and Projects Coordinator
Beirut, a majestic Mediterranean capital...each wave breaking against its shores bearing acknowledgment of this city's contribution to all world cultures. This is the city that exported the alphabet, its science, and knowledge to the world. The "mother of legislations" in Roman times, it became - and continues to be - a faithful guardian of Arab culture.
It's not by square meters that Beirut's value emerges but by its championing of the torch of culture. On behalf of the Supervisory Committee for the Ain El Mreisse Corniche Embellishment Project, a committee which consists of Dr. Mohammed Kheir Al Kadi, Attorney Rachid Jalkh, Hajj Amin Sherry, and myself, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to H.E. Governor of Beirut Architect Yacoub Sarrraf, the local associations and committees, and especially to MP engineer Mr. Mohammed Kabbani, as well as all the tourist and economic institutions that were highly cooperative, asking the Almighty to keep Beirut a symbol of peace and safeguard its residents as bearers of culture, compassion, and faith. I would also like to thank the artist Lena Kelekian and her team for their efforts in illustrating Beirut's best image within the Ain El Mreisse Corniche Embellishment Project, sponsored by the Municipality of Beirut.
Words From The Architect
Hagop Sulahian - Architect / Restorer
The Embellishment Project of the Ain Mreisse Corniche Waterfront – Avenue de Paris, Beirut – Lebanon can be perceived in a different way once viewed from the perspective view of an architect’s eyes.
The project conceived by the international Artist Lena Kelekian had a far too many goals set to achieve within a global concept.
The City of Beirut being at the crossroads of so many civilizations has been imbued throughout the centuries by their cultures, architecture and art forms.
I found the Embellishment of the Ain Mreisseh, Avenus de Paris project, a true opportunity towards the uplifting and conversion of its past characterless dull image. The rich historic content, integrated within the masterfully crafted cut ceramic works cladding the ergonomically designed cement benches, would certainly add that touch of cultural input transforming a prominent public avenue into a more distinguished point of attraction and a venue consisting of benchmarks that are diversified and yet unique meeting points for all age groups that constitute all walks of life.
The launching of this project coinciding with the 150th birthday and the International Year of Antoni Gaudi, the great visionary Catalan architect, pays tribute to his creations in the use of cut ceramics in environmental design and city embellishment.
It is the marriage of cutting edge technology with the most traditional techniques of cut ceramic that has provided an additional proof to the validity of projects that aim at the creation of projects of sustainable development nature.