During the past few weeks, we have been witnessing a not-so-traditional campaign for the municipalities of Beirut that deserves all our attention, support and encouragement.
A group of technocrats and apolitical experts who called their municipality campaign “Beirut Madinati” (Beirut, My City) thought about changing the current devastating situation of their capital that lacks, inter alia, of proper public transportation, free and clean public spaces and public participation in the decision-making process where the “public” should be the reason, the source and the end-destination for any decision that is currently adopted or that will be adopted in the future.
I am a Lebanese citizen and I have moved to Achrafieh for the past 2 years and I believe I am entitled to give my opinion on how Beirut Madinati can be a wind of change in Beirut’s voting process and in the community-oriented awareness of its citizens.
The strategy of the group is genuine: It is based on (i) informal discussions in all the streets of Beirut about the needs of the local habitants of such streets and neighborhoods, (ii) on addressing the young generation and making them participate by speaking their languages in their outing destinations (live band concerts, theaters, pubs etc.).
Moreover, this campaign shows and illustrates Beirut’s diversity by having a gender/social/educational-equality representation backed up with off the scene experts and volunteers who provide the campaign with all needed researches, documentation, energy and hope.
In light of all the above, why it is so obvious to vote for/back up/volunteer with/write about/market for/donate funds for “Beirut Madinati”? Because its candidates represent a change, a solid one. They represent a hope, a genuine one. They represent a diversity, a true one. By voting for them, you will not be only voting for a change in the municipality of Beirut, you will be voting for a generation of hope which will be the driving force for any possible future change in the political and community scene of Lebanon.
May 8, 2016 is a day that can hopefully be the start of what prematurely ended before. Your vote will not be against the other candidates (which can actually be out of competences and respect as well), but rather a vote that is not linked to any political party and that is strictly linked to a municipality program for all voters, for all Beirut residents.
May 8, 2016 is the day where Beirut (and Lebanon on the long run) might witness a small change and as W. Churchill said that “to improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often“.