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Old February 9th, 2008, 12:23 AM   #1
AmeriLEB
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Rafik Hariri Memorial and Garden

Hariri memorial near completion




By Michael Bluhm
Daily Star staff
Saturday, February 09, 2008


BEIRUT: The memorial for former Premier Rafik Hariri at the site of his assassination in Ain al-Mreisseh is being built with stone from Syria, the firm in charge the project says. "It's from Syria," Bashir Dimassi, executive manager of Geneco, told The Daily Star Friday.

Hariri and 22 others were killed in a massive car bombing on February 14, 2005, in front of the St. George Hotel, an attack which Hariri's family and his political allies immediately blamed on Syria. Damascus has denied any involvement, while in May 2007 the UN created the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to try suspects in the killing and in the numerous other political assassinations in Lebanon since then.

Geneco chose to use Syrian stone because its quality surpasses that of the material excavated in Lebanon, Dimassi said.

"You won't find the same quality in Lebanon," he said. "It's a natural stone that we take from the ground in blocks."

Dimassi added that his company was pressed for time in construction, having two and a half months to build the memorial, which will be unveiled Thursday, the third anniversary of Hariri's assassination.

Geneco has used the same Syrian stone to build many other projects in Lebanon, such as a mosque in Sidon, he added.

Syria offers builders certain types of stone, such as basalt, which cannot be found in Lebanon, said Jamil Bou Haran, business development manager at Holcim, Lebanon's largest cement maker.

The stone for the Hariri site, though not as hard as marble, differs from the light limestone used to make ready-mix concrete, a limestone which Lebanon has in abundance and of the same quality as in Syria, Dimassi explained.


Syria provided all the types of limestone used in Lebanon for a number of years after the state banned the extraction of limestone in September 2002, Bou Haran added.

"All the supplies came from Syria for two or three years," he said, adding that limestone is mined in Lebanon today under special permits that have to be renewed every six months.

The Syrian stone for the Hariri memorial has been sculpted to create a 700-square-meter replica of the garden of the Hariri family residence in Qoreitem, Dimassi said. A 6-meter bronze statue of the late premier will adorn the garden, Dimassi added.

It will look "as if Mr. Hariri is standing in his garden at home in Qoreitem," Dimassi said.

Water will flow around the edges of the site to create the impression that the garden sits on a body of water, Dimassi added.

"It will look as if it's raised on water," he said.

A bronze pole with a clock will stand near Hariri's statue, and each day at 12:55 p.m. - the time of Hariri's killing - the clock will emit the sounds of church bells and the Islamic call to prayer for five minutes, Dimassi said.

During the same five minutes a flame will also rise from a 4-meter statue in the garden in the middle of five bronze Lebanese flags, he added.

Dimassi would not reveal the cost of the memorial, which was paid for by the Hariri family on land provided by the city, he said. Hariri's Future Movement and its allies in the ruling March 14 Forces coalition have called on "all the Lebanese people" to gather in Beirut's Martyrs Square, where Hariri is buried, to mark Thursday's third anniversary of his death.

Last edited by Beiruti; February 12th, 2008 at 10:57 PM.
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Old February 9th, 2008, 03:38 AM   #2
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That's good,another Beirut Landmark,Allah yer7amak sheikh Rafi2 You will always be remembered
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Old February 9th, 2008, 04:59 AM   #3
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This will be a very special landmark for Beirut. I am really glad that they have sped up construction in order to unveil it at the anniversary.

It is unfortunate though that the materials used in construction couldn't have been 100% Lebanese...but it was the only option.
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Old February 9th, 2008, 05:18 AM   #4
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But are they going to Organize the area around the Memorial??they took part of the road and the parking in front of HSBC .i wonder if it's going to affect the traffic there.
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Old February 9th, 2008, 05:37 AM   #5
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Are you sure? That road is narrow as it is... I doubt they would have the memorial site just cut into the street.
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Old February 9th, 2008, 10:40 AM   #6
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wow, all that work in two months .........and it sounds amazing............
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Old February 9th, 2008, 11:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
paid for by the Hariri family on land provided by the city
Does anybody know what the municipality initially planned to with the land, and if it was offered to Hariri's family free of charge?
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Old February 9th, 2008, 11:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beiruti View Post
Are you sure? That road is narrow as it is... I doubt they would have the memorial site just cut into the street.
look good at the picture the road seems really cut off
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Old February 9th, 2008, 12:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charly! View Post
Does anybody know what the municipality initially planned to with the land, and if it was offered to Hariri's family free of charge?
i dont know if the municipality was planning anything but i really doubt it
.... it wasnt given to the hariri familly to use for investment it was given as a contribute to a great man
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Old February 9th, 2008, 11:27 PM   #10
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Here is the Google earth image of this area...It was a landscaped median before...I think the angle of the pic is bad..You cant block the buildings road access. The road is narrow.


Last edited by AmeriLEB; February 9th, 2008 at 11:37 PM.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 10:31 AM   #11
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if u compere the pic here and the one in the first post u can tell that they took half the road
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Old February 10th, 2008, 05:12 PM   #12
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I dont think we can be sure at this point. But I highly doubt the memorial will extend into that narrow street right in front of the Bank.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 07:03 PM   #13
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Old February 10th, 2008, 09:04 PM   #14
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oh my God that scared the crap out of me..............
(no offence BTW)
but it will be a great Garden for a great man................................
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Old February 10th, 2008, 09:10 PM   #15
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Yes, Something like a 'Freedom Torch' will be "lit" everyday at 12:55 pm,the time when he was assasinated.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 02:27 AM   #16
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Ok ,take a glimpse



الشعلة

المستقبل - الاثنين 11 شباط 2008 - العدد 2872 - الصفحة الأولى - صفحة 1



في إطار التحضيرات للذكرى الثالثة لاستشهاد الرئيس رفيق الحريري تمّ تركيب جزء من النصب التذكاري في موقع الجريمة وأجريت تجربة على الشعلة التي ستضاء يومياً لحظة الاغتيال في الواحدة إلا خمس دقائق.

(نبيل اسماعيل)
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Old February 11th, 2008, 09:15 AM   #17
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NICE ...............
specially the bronze flags
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Old February 11th, 2008, 06:50 PM   #18
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Very cool...when its done someone has to take a video at 12:55 so we can see it on here hehe
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Old February 12th, 2008, 05:30 AM   #19
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I was just noticing its all grass...not much of a "garden"
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Old February 12th, 2008, 03:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmeriLEB View Post
I was just noticing its all grass...not much of a "garden"
Well the grass will allow the statue to stand out more. Besides, I am sure the surroundings will have plenty of plants and flowers.
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