Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Urban Farming

Urban agriculture in Lebanon: the Chweifat plain near Beirut, which people from the Bekaa and the South have been farming for decades. Urban encroachment reduced its size from 7 million m2 to 700,000 m2. This is an interesting place as it is the buffer area between the ever expanding Hayy el Sullum and Amrousiyyeh in the southern suburbs (Shi'a mostly from the Bekaa) and the Druze of Chwiefat. I am told that clashes occur frequently there between youth and not so young, especially that they now belong to politically opposite sides. I am also told that Walid Jumblat is preserving these last hectares of agricultural land in order to block the expansion of the housing from the southern suburbs towards Chweifat, so that this does not pose a danger to his Progressive Socialist Party (sic) in Chweifat. Jumblat is obsessed with the Shi'a expansion towards the druze emirate, but this is another story...

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