Lebanon News

Waad wraps up rebuild of ex-Hezbollah security perimeter

The newly designed street is kept exceedingly clean. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

HARET HREIK, Lebanon: The Hezbollah-led Waad project for rebuilding the Beirut southern suburbs announced Tuesday that reconstruction of a street in Haret Hreik, the former location of Hezbollah’s “security perimeter,” had been completed.

The “security perimeter” famously used to house Hezbollah’s top commanders among other residents before Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon. The newly designed street now contains 28 buildings, including 600 residences and 150 shops.

“We finalized the construction of all buildings in this street and its entire infrastructure,” said Hasan Jishi, director general of the Waad project.

The majority of the street’s former residents have moved into their new buildings, Jishi added, but some residents have yet to return since they now own residences in other areas.

Former Cabinets since the July 2006 war had not followed through on promised government compensation for the destroyed apartment units, according to Jishi. He added that the current Cabinet finally approved a treasury advance decree, but the money has yet to be spent through the Central Fund for the Displaced and the Higher Relief Committee.

An official ceremony will be held to open the street in the coming weeks under the patronage of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah.

“This street witnessed the most destructive bombardment during the 2006 war and hopefully all other streets in this area will soon be in as good a shape as this one,” said the mayor of Haret Hreik, Ziad Waked, at the same news conference.

Both speakers thanked the municipality of Haret Hreik and various state institutions, particularly the Council for Development and Reconstruction.

A few shops have already returned to the newly restored and exceedingly clean street, including a cellular phone shop, another for accessories and a fast food restaurant.

The name “Waad” (Arabic for promise) refers to an address given by Nasrallah on Aug. 14, 2006, hours after a cease-fire with Israel came into effect, vowing to rebuild areas devastated during the war.

Waad’s urban planning scheme allowed for the rebuilding of demolished structures according to their prewar dimensions, but residents had a say in the process over the layout of their individual homes and in selecting materials for the interiors.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 18, 2012, on page 4.




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