Lebanon’s Tripoli Begins 2024 Celebrations as Arab Culture Capital

The flags of Arab countries flutter in Tripoli, Lebanon (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The flags of Arab countries flutter in Tripoli, Lebanon (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Lebanon’s Tripoli Begins 2024 Celebrations as Arab Culture Capital

The flags of Arab countries flutter in Tripoli, Lebanon (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The flags of Arab countries flutter in Tripoli, Lebanon (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Lebanon’s Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati kicked off the “Tripoli the Capital of Arab Culture” celebrations at a formal event held at the Rashid Karami International Fair in Tripoli.

Attendees included Mohamed Ould Amar, Director-General of ALECSO, and Mohammad Wissam Mortada, Minister of Culture.

Ministers, deputies, ambassadors, and other notable figures also were also present at the ceremony.

Mortada told Asharq Al-Awsat that he believes the celebrations to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Lebanon and Tripoli.

“This is our chance to uncover Tripoli’s treasures in terms of people and landmarks. I’m stunned by the human and natural potential here. You’ll witness what makes Tripoli unique, and we’re doing it all with no funding,” said the minister.

Despite no budget, workers are determined to succeed. Young volunteers are eager to overcome obstacles and make the event a hit. Some see the coming months as Tripoli’s big chance to shine, while others feel funding issues should have delayed the festivities.

“Tripoli has suffered, but now, with activities starting, people will see what they've missed out on for years,” Mortada affirmed.

This year promises a packed schedule of cultural activities, some already underway for months. Organizations are competing to host programs, but the highlight could be cultural weeks organized by several Arab countries.

Qatar, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Palestine, Morocco, Syria, and Oman have confirmed plans.

For Mortada, the aim is for more than just temporary celebrations; he wants to establish Tripoli as a permanent cultural capital of Lebanon.

The minister is not just dreaming; he's building on reality.

Tripoli boasts the Rashid Karami International Fair, a stunning architectural marvel. Spread across 70 hectares, it features unique conference halls, integrated buildings, and an experimental theater.

UNESCO recognizes its significance but also flags maintenance challenges and development threats.

Tripoli’s vibrant markets and river make it a unique destination. Its port is crucial for trade, with an economic zone stretching to Europe.

Mortada believes Tripoli could become Lebanon’s cultural tourism hub, generating revenue for the country.

“Tripoli is ready to play a vital role,” he asserted.



World Camel Day: Tabuk Camels Symbolize Authenticity and Heritage

Photo by SPA
Photo by SPA
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World Camel Day: Tabuk Camels Symbolize Authenticity and Heritage

Photo by SPA
Photo by SPA

In Saudi Arabia, camels receive devoted attention and care from the government, the Saudi Press Agency reported. With a deep connection to the history and life of the Saudi people since ancient times, camels symbolize tradition, and the government harnesses all resources to preserve and nurture them.
The UN declared June 22 the World Camel Day in recognition of the historical significance of camels which ensure food security with their products of great nutritional value. The year 2024 has been designated by the UN as the International Year of Camelids.
Saudi Arabia participates in the preservation and safeguarding of camels, further solidifying the country's civilizational, historical, and cultural identity.
Tabuk, like other regions in the Kingdom, cares for this national resource.
Founded in 1407 AH, this field is renowned for organizing seasonal races and official celebrations of Arabian camels in the Kingdom. It accommodates over 900 stables and more than 10,000 camels raised to take part in winter and summer races and for breeding purposes.