A manifesto in favour of the gentrification of Furn el Chebbak

Gentrify this!! graffiti in London (foto via Flickr)

Gentrify this!! graffiti in London (foto via Flickr)

 Just two weeks ago, Matthias Merkle, the owner and founder of the first Kreuzberg bar (Freies Neukölln), gave an interview to the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung where he talked about his decision to close down. Because of gentrification rent had become too high, making it impossible for him to run the space as he wanted.

He now lives in the outskirts of Berlin, where he grows his own vegetables and is thinking of where to go next. We believe Furn El Chebbak might be just the right place for him and all like minded people.

There are two fundamental reasons for this. The first is because rents are cheaper than in other European capitals and empty lots are easy to find. The second is that the aesthetics of the neighbourhood are similar to those of Dalston lane, North-East London, and Kreuzberg Strasse, West Berlin. Small local shops, low buildings, a neighbourhood in transition.

In order to transform it into a gentrified paradise where hipster are able to run free and wild a few changes will be necessary. We need your help to achieve them:

– Furn al Maaouneh, the local man2ouche joint, will have to start selling Km zero products. It will also have to open 24/7 (at least on weekends) and add a Nutella man2ouche to its menu.

– To allow Furn al Maaouneh to achieve its green, zero impact goal, we are currently collecting signatures to send a petition to the French embassy. What we ask is that the Paris authorities open up Horsh Beirut and subdivide the park into small lots in order to create self-sustaining urban gardens.

– Fahed Supermarket needs to give up its pink panther logo and its crummy motto “always low prices” in favour of “always fresh nices”. Alternatively it should enter an agreement with Whole Foods and become the first franchise in the region.

– Bike Generation needs to change its name to Furn el Chebbak Bikes. Its owners also need to understand that cycling is not an activity people should pursue for fitness but for aesthetic reasons. Bike Generation needs to change its offer from mountain bikes to fixie bikes. Ideally it would enter an agreement with London’s Brick Lane Bikes.

– Roys’ needs to leave middle class Badaro and move to Furn El Chebbak. It would preferably move on top of ON/OF buildong in order to create a roof top bar to allow incoming gentrifiers to take advantage of Lebanon’s climate and hang out under the sky.

The Kindergarten Collective have introduced you to this neighbourhood; now it’s your turn to help us achieve the changes envisioned above. Next time you find yourself looking for a room or a house in Beirut search in Furn el Chebbak first. In the meantime join the campaign to gentrify Furn el Chebbak by following this link — http://brassliberation.org/anti-gent.php

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