PROJECT MANSION: BRINGING LEBANON BACK TO LIFE
Whilst Lebanon remains war-torn and unordered, it is a country slowly getting back on its feet. Today, Lebanon is mainly peaceful and its troubled past isn’t stopping the launching of glamorous galleries, restaurants and wineries across Beirut and beyond. But in order to breathe life back into Beirut, it needs more than just money. It needs diversity, energy and the spirit that once made the country the cultural and intellectual capital of the Middle East. Historically, the country was always home to thinkers, writers, philosophers and artists amongst other creative minds. Ghassan Maasri is hoping to make a change with his experimental project, ‘Mansion.’ He began this movement two years ago, where he convinced the owner of a picturesque family villa to let him establish a non-profit organization within its walls. The villa will be home to a community of people that include ambitious professionals and artists who wish to make a difference to their city, and the ‘Mansion’ will be their workspace to do so. Maasri told The Boston Globe, “I want to be able to meet artists on the street. The process of producing art is very important for the modern city. Filmmakers, fine artists, architects, designers – these are the things that make a city liveable or interesting.” Whilst it is still too early to determine the impact ‘Mansion’ will have upon the city and its inhabitants, it is a huge step in terms of working together as a community to make positive changes happen.
“I’m trying to find a way so that people can produce things inside the city,” Maasri continues. “It’s an experiment. Let’s see how it goes.”