Work on the stage where events will take place have already begun at the Rashid Karami International Fair (The Daily Star/Antoine Amrieh)
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Scheduled to kick off in September, the Tripoli International Festival is already facing criticism.The festival, announced this month, is being supported by Salima Rifi, wife of resigned Justice Minister and Tripoli native Ashraf Rifi.The festival is not without its detractors. While it is Islamists who have been vocal in their objections to a local festival in the southern city of Sidon, the situation in Tripoli is different. Some have said that Salima has politicized the festival, and has been able to do so because of the successes that Ashraf Rifi scored in the municipal elections.Additionally, some have alleged that Salima is usurping the role of the Tripoli Tourism Association, headed by Wafaa Shaarani, which is generally responsible for organizing tourist festivals and events. Others have criticized the name of the festival, saying that it shouldn't be called international, as an international festival should feature more international artists.
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