Mina-Tripoli Carfree Day, a day promoting environmentally friendly culture in these two cities in Lebanon, kicks off this Sunday, November 13th. An initiative of the Tripoli Youth Network, supported by BankMed, and the Maurice Fadel Prize, the event will ban cars across two major axes of Tripoli and Mina, instead hosting sports and cultural events to entertain citizens and raise awareness about the environment.
The event is driven by the Tripoli Youth Network, a coalition of NGOs operating in Tripoli that is run by young citizens. “60% of the population are below the age of 24 in Tripoli,” says organizer Hala Fadel. The event began with a humble idea, shared by the youth organizations, she explains. “We brought together youth and several organizations in Tripoli, for a full day of brainstorming to determine what could be done to create change. Clearly a cleaner environment was at the top of the list, not just for Tripoli but for Lebanon and the region.
When it comes to the day itself, the organizers are not holding back on fun despite the serious message. “We're closing 12km of road and organizing sports tournaments in six football fields and four basketball courts that are drawn on the streets. We have two major stages that major artists will perform on, and four kids areas where children can draw and do facepainting,” describes Fadel.
Rana Chmeitally of The Little Engineer, who won the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Business Plan Competition last year, will train public schoolchildren to race solar cars, while the organizers also raise awareness about safe driving. NGOs Greenpeace and IndyAct will also be present to promote environmental agendas, and there will be booths to promote entrepreneurship as well as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.