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French Version


Sidon's old city gets new look (Daily Star)

Hariri Foundation assumes task of restoration

The piece of cement that fell from the ceiling of the Batrouni family's home in the old city of Sidon was the only warning they needed to vacate their house until it is restored by the Hariri Foundation's technical team.

However, the Batrouni family home is not a unique case. It is an example of most of the old houses scattered throughout the city, which have eroded due to nature's elements and man's tampering with an architecture that disfigured urban landscapes.

Fortunately, the Hariri Foundation was ready to assume the task of restoration that encompassed 600 houses and buildings at the request of Sidon MP Bahiya Hariri.

By the end of 2000, only 15 houses remained on the waiting list of the restoration project. In addition, the foundation did not neglect to provide social and humanitarian assistance to the concerned residents.

During a visit to the Batrouni home's construction site, the project's supervisor Omar Haidar said that as a first step, the ceiling was removed and the outer cement layer of the cracked walls was peeled away. Another wooden ceiling was built by spreading a 10- to 15-centimeter layer of dirt that is covered with a thin layer of cement. The 50-centimeter cracked concrete layers were removed from the sandstone walls. This coating consists of two layers of sandstone and a mixture of rubble and mud to hold stones together.

Haidar said the restoration of a house takes one month on average, but work, which is carried out according to traditional techniques, can be completed earlier.

Beirut 02-11-2004
Mohamed Zaatari
The Daily Star



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