Went to a street festival this Sunday in Ashrafiya (that’s East Beirut for the uninitialized among you). You can argue that East and West no longer exist when it concerns Beirut but I can give you a 100 examples that it does. Well, maybe not 100. But quite a few.
It was a pleasant event; Abdel Wahab el-Inglezi Street was transformed into a pedestrian zone, and there was food, music, little stands where people sold homemade food, jewelry (also homemade) and lots of other things artistically crafted items. There is an incredible talent out there on the streets (I think), but no real venue where they can market their merchandise. Guys on stilts, a juggler, a band; a good way to pass your Sunday morning (or afternoon, it’s just that I am a morning person).
It was also fun to see the bicycle cops out in force. They’re a new sight in town, they only started operating the beginning of this year. They’re based in Ras Beirut, so I am used to seeing them bike around, but it’s good to see they’re venturing out. I am not sure how successful they are in fighting crime - it would be nice to read about some cases they solved, or prevented – but it is good to see some law enforcement officers that do not have big bellies, or that sit at the wheel of big cars with a cup of coffee in hand. I hope we get more of those guys. And I am waiting for the first girl cop on a bike. You see more and more women in the ISF force on the street, so maybe it’s time for one on a bike as well.