Lebanon News

Don’t let the dogs out: Beirut Municipality

Women walk their dogs on the water front in Beirut, Thursday, May 16, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Beirut Municipal Council, headed by Mayor Jamal Itani, Wednesday proposed a regulation to ban dogs, motorbikes, and narguileh in public spaces across the city.

The council passed the request to Beirut Governor Ziad Chebib to enforce the prevention within Sassine Square in Ashrafieh, Horsh Beirut, and the Corniche waterfront.

Executive authority rests in the hands of the office of the governor, while legislative authority is retained by the Municipal Council – headed by the mayor.

Within the request were instructions for municipal police to enforce the procedures and for banners and adverts to be erected informing residents and visitors of the new implemented procedures.

In the statement released by the council, no provision for enforcement of the proposed regulation was made. At this stage, there’s no indication of how the police will be asked to apply the ruling, whether verbal warning, fines, or even jail terms are being used to deter violations.

The ruling also proposed outlawing the riding of motorbikes on pavements and pedestrianized areas in the frequented areas, rather than wholesale across the city.

The areas mentioned in the proposal are among the last vestiges of public space in Beirut. If they are agreed to by the governor and enforced, dog owners will have few places left to take their pets.

Many Beirutis can be seen taking their own narguileh to public places to enjoy a smoke, particularly in popular meeting place such as the Corniche. For many this is preferable to frequenting Beirut’s notoriously expensive restaurants and cafes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 04, 2016, on page 2.




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