Old Achrafieh (Geitawi) House To Be Demolished

A few seconds’ walk away from my house is a small building that I never took much notice of. That small building, however, is counting the days until it exists no more to give way for a new high rise.

As I walked next to it this past weekend and was taken aback by the metal frames to keep people out, I looked at the facade of the two-story building and couldn’t but notice how beautiful it could be. It’s a shame really that the mentality of renovating instead of demolishing isn’t taking hold in Beirut, especially Achrafieh.

Former minister of culture Salim Warde had a law proposition involving forcing contractors to have the new building they intend to erect be of the same number of stories as the one they demolished. His proposition went into a bureaucratic drawer and will probably never get out of it.

Achrafieh desperately needs such regulations. It’s fast becoming a concrete jungle of buildings that all look alike and feel imported, without a Lebanese flavor to them apart from the people that live in them. It’s a shame really.

And what’s even worse, the parking situation in my apartment’s street is about to get worse. People were allowed to park next to the building set to be demolished. The new building will obviously not allow that.