BEIRUT: The Discover Abdel Wahab-Sodeco event will not take place in Ashrafieh next Sunday due to security turbulences in Beirut, as the organizing group announced Thursday.
“We are sorry to have to inform you that we have had to CANCEL 'Discover Abdel Wahab Sodeco Car Free Day' which was supposed to be held on Sunday, 29 June 2014,” the nongovernmental organization Ashrafieh 2020 posted on their Facebook page Thursday night.
“Following consultation with the local authority and police, it was determined that the current unfortunate situation is unsuitable to organize such a large gathering event.”
Beirut has been rocked by security incidents this week, with a suicide bomber blowing himself up near a cafe in Tayyouneh Monday. Wednesday, another would-be bomber blew himself up in a Raouche hotel as the security forces raided it. The security forces have been on high alert, and numerous hotels and neighborhoods have been raided, with many suspects arrested.
The event was supposed to empty Abdel Wahab and Sodeco streets of all cars, and engage residents in entertainment and awareness-raising activities.
The NGO, which was created two years ago, aims to make Beirut's Ashrafieh neighborhood the best place for pedestrians to walk, bikers to ride and people with disabilities to access buildings and services.
Achrafieh 2020 launched its activities in 2012 with a wide car-free day spanning most of the neighborhood. They have since organized vehicle-free Sundays in Rmeil, Gemmayzeh, Mar Mikhael and Monnot.
“We intend to make our next 'Discover ... Car Free Day' even more spectacular so we hope you can join us then. Achrafieh Loves Life, Stay Safe and Yours Sincerely,” the group said.