Masha3: Finding Common Ground
Video by Preethi Nallu
Text by Rebecca Whiting
Life in Beirut can be extremely segregated. From the apartment to the car to work and home once more, the room for interaction is minimal. Communities socialize separately according to their varying financial means, hemmed in their strata by their pay brackets and out of touch with other modes of existence.
The lack of communal, publicly owned space in Beirut robs the city’s inhabitants of a dimension in which to find palpable common ground. This denial of the space that would allow for social interaction is essentially spatially imposed segregation that cements the socio-economic divides that keep the city’s people from accessing and understanding one another.
■ Story: Public Property ... For the Rich Only by Mohammad Zbeeb
In flagrant disregard of the Lebanese law that states that the sea is public property, the publicly owned land reclaimed from the sea adjacent to Beirut’s downtown area is being gradually transferred to the rampant property developer Solidere, a private company renowned for its elitist and exclusive developments.
In a bid to retain the remaining reclaimed land, the Masha3 (Arabic for commons) movement aims to unite and organize efforts to reclaim it for public use.