Joint tour of Tyre by senior UNIFIL and local officials to boost local economy

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10 May 2017

Joint tour of Tyre by senior UNIFIL and local officials to boost local economy

In the antique historical city of Tyre – criss-crossed by a labyrinth of narrow streets and pathways – the onset of spring is usually a boon. The reason: it brings with it economic prosperity in the form of thousands of tourists. 
 
One recent Saturday afternoon, the scene was different. Shop-owners and residents of the south Lebanese city witnessed an atypical group of people – including the local Mayor, regional army commander and UNIFIL commander – walking together, passing by their stores, talking to them and buying stuff. 
 
The goal was two-fold: to consolidate the relations between the local people and UNIFIL, and to encourage economic activities. 
 
“This is a really important occasion today for UNIFIL,” said the UNIFIL head, Major General Michael Beary, flanked by the President of the Tyre Union of Municipalities, Hassan Dbouk, and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF)’s South Litani Sector Commander Brigadier General Khalil Al Gemayel. 
 
He added: “We’ve just had a really great tour. We’ve met a lot of people from Tyre just to ensure that the people of Tyre and UNIFIL remain very closely nestled together, that we are a community, we are a family and that we are here to keep the peace and to ensure that the people of Tyre can continue to enjoy peace.”
 
The UNIFIL head’s views were echoed by Mr. Dbouk. Stating that it was like a “family tour,” he underscored the contribution made by UNIFIL and LAF in ensuring peace and stability in the area – thereby allowing economic activities to grow. 
 
“UNIFIL and LAF are doing big roles to provide stability which is very essential for the economy of the city,” he said. “Tyre is an active city… a living city with the different elements and components of the city, and UNIFIL and the LAF are (parts of) our big family. This was very clear on the faces of the people we have met here – all with the big smile, with a big welcome.”
 
Brigadier General Gemayel said that with decades of wars and conflicts behind it, the city of Tyre has become “a touristic city and a new city” – thanks to the joint work of UNIFIL and LAF.
 
Later, in a tweet, the UNIFIL head said with UNIFIL and LAF working together for peace in south Lebanon, “ancient Tyre has certainly become a must-see for tourists.”
 
Earlier in the day, 17-year-old Mustafa Joumaa, who was sitting with his mother in an arguile (or hookah) shop, received a token of appreciation from the UNIFIL Force Commander for his recent successful completion of a marathon. 
 
“It was my pleasure to receive the medal; I liked it so much,” said Mr. Joumaa, who is a ninth-grader in a local school.

 

 

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Article: Tilak Pokharel 
Video Editor: Suzane Baderddine, Mohamad Hamze
Video Camera: Aoibheann O’Sullivan
Photos: Zeina Ezzeddine, 
Tilak Pokharel 
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