Beirut- This year, the Lebanese Tripoli has celebrated the holiday season differently. This city that was accused of terrorism and suffered from a 20-round war over six years has gotten rid of fear and aggression and kicked off its holidays’ celebrations.
“The scene seems surrealistic,’ said a man who was wandering in Rashid Karameh International Exhibition Center, which has been transformed into one of the biggest Christmas village in Lebanon. The man who was visiting the exhibition with his wife and kids said that this scene, which joins the city’s residents from different sects, invalidates accusations of extremism in Tripoli.
The crowds participating in the holiday season festivities entitled “Tripoli, The City of Holidays”, organized by “Akid Fina Sawa” and chaired by Mrs. Violette Safadi proves that this city has rejected sectarianism and extremism. The food market visiting all the Lebanese cities has now reached Tripoli and opened many pavilions near the exhibition. More than 40 cooks have joined the market to serve different types of Lebanese foods in their Kiosks… Chairs and tables have been set for visitors who want to sit along with heaters, given the low temperatures currently taking over Lebanon.
One of the food market sellers said that he was coming from Achrafieh and that he was really impressed with what he saw in Tripoli, adding that it was the best Christmas village he has seen in the country. People’s joy in this festival proves that the only thing they want is joy, he concluded.
Decoration, lights, music, big Christmas trees, handmade clothes and accessories, and amusement for children cheered people all through the day. Until today, Tripoli’s Christmas decoration has beaten with many cities like Zahle, Kobayat, Magdousha, and Byblos’s, which had won first place for the best decoration in Lebanon two years ago.
The Christmas tree in Tripoli uses 3-D printing technology and reaches a height of 25 meters. It was launched on 15 December amid a special musical ceremony held to kick off the season’s activities.
Celebrations include daily musical events with special focus on coexistence in this city comprising people from different religions.
Football also had its share of these celebrations as Tripoli hosted the Brazilian star Roberto Carlos who played and celebrated with talented young Lebanese football amateurs.
All exhibitors, artist, and participant have sought to give their best to bring happiness to people who participated in this exhibition. From all across Lebanon, people came to discover the exceptional ambiance in a city that has long suffered from a hopeless bloody war that caused tens of causalities.