PRO­JECT MAN­SION: BRING­ING LE­BANON BACK TO LIFE

Ekaruna - - News Round Up -

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.”

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