BEIRUT: Pop star Najwa Karam will be performing Saturday evening in
Sassine Square along with other artists taking part in this year’s Live
Ashrafieh Festival. During a news conference Wednesday, Beirut MP Michel
Pharaon invited the public to attend the third edition of the free,
annual street festival, and enjoy the activities that convey the “joyful
spirit” of the neighborhood.
“Everyone knows that Ashrafieh is full of spirit and we are always
working with the ... council and civil society organizations to
encourage initiatives in the area, and one of them is the Live Ashrafieh
Festival,” Pharaon said.
The free festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m., kicking off with games
for children. The performances will start at 7:30 p.m. and will include a
performance by Ktir Salbe, a comedy troupe that has its own weekly show
on MTV, and a performance by Karam.
According to Pharaon, the organizers had doubts about their ability to
complete preparations for the festival due to the tense security
situation in the country but said they were inspired to continue by the
recent passing of Ghassan Tueni, a former MP for the capital, whose
spirit mirrored that of Ashrafieh’s with “its love for life and its
refusal to give in to defeat.”
Beirut MP Nadim Gemayel, who was also at the conference, said that the
festival is taking place at a time when the country’s tourism sector is
suffering a major setback because of the uncertainty in the region.
“We chose in Ashrafieh to put all suffering aside and work on planting a
smile on the faces of parents and children, as well as planting hope in
the heart of all Lebanese,” Gemayel said, calling on people from across
the country to participate in the festival.