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Workshop Liban

Philippe Poullaouec-Gonidec


Abdul Rahman Bizri

Texte intégral

1Saida is an ancient city located on the Mediterranean Sea. The city has a lot of heritage and is considered to be one of the oldest in inhabited cities in the world. The recent British Museum excavations have found evidence of civilization sequence that extends to the 3rd millennium B.C. No one knows exactly the true boarders of the Phoenician Kingdom of Sidon. It is believed to be one of the largest, foremost, and once most prospers.

2The vast majority of modem time families of Saida lived there once and moved outside the boundaries (walls) of the old town on several waves starting at the eruption of the 1st World War. However, the most important movement was after a major earthquake in 1956. Yet, regardless of recent initiatives and achievements the old town remained segregated from the city at large.

3The newly elected local authority (municipal council) faced several challenges to redeem some of the potential side effects of the development projects that took place and reestablish better integration between the old town and the rest of the city. Social issues were as important as cultural and heritage aspects. The approach needs to be comprehensive.

4This is why the newly elected Municipality of Saida had welcome in November 2005 the implementation of the annual workshop of the UNESCO Chair in Landscape and Environmental Design of the University of Montreal within the AL-WASTANI district as a follow up to UNESCO’s International Seminar “Balanced Urban Development between Sea, Land and People” in 2001. The projects proposals of the team works had taken into account the rural, archaeological and urban components of this territory to maintain the unique character of Saida as a cultural urban landscape. Due to the summer 2006 bombing, these projects realized in November 2005 are now a testimony of the regained prosperity of Saida at that time after 17 years of war.

5Keeping open channels with various international organizations serves multiple purposes. It enhances cultural interaction and improves communication between various civilizations and empowers needy communities. After all, world's cultural heritage is universal and belongs to all. Saida deserves to be preserved and protected in this scheme and the people of Saida are willing to do what is necessary to achieve this honour.


Chairman of the municipality of Saida

© Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 2006

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