On August 4, 2020, the largest non-nuclear explosion in history tore through Beirut, destroying homes, businesses and entire neighborhoods in this beautiful metropolis that was once called the Paris of the Middle East. The blast killed over 180 people, injured 6,000 and left 300,000 homeless. An already shaky power grid sustained significant damage plunging large swaths of the city into darkness after sunset.
Night photos by Rami Moukarzel
This disaster unfolded on top of an existing economic crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic, and ongoing protests against decades of corruption. The silver lining lies in Lebanon’s creative, entrepreneurial citizens and their can-do spirit, as they mobilize to clean up and rebuild in place of their government.
Our existing replicable and scalable model is readily adaptable to quickly bring some illumination to the darkened streets without having to wait for grid restoration or construction. As horrific and intractable as the current situation appears, it also presents an opportunity to build back better. We are thrilled by the opportunity to help quickly and sustainably re-illuminate Beirut.
Light for Lebanon is a partnership between Light Reach and Manale Kahale, an architectural lighting designer based in Beirut.
- Project partner: Manal Kahale (LEBANON)
- Legal consultant: Elizabeth Boulos (LEBANON)
- Financial advisor: Ramzi Kahale (CANADA)
- Fundraising Ambassador: Tina Aghassian (USA)
- Graphic Designer: Julia Mahseredjian (LEBANON)
- Local organizations: TBD
Solar Lighting Equipment
- streetlights: pole-mounted lighting fixtures.
- stationary lights: lighting systems that can be installed flexibly to feature streetscapes and architectural elements, and to highlight access points to the streets, alleys and building entrances.
- portable lights: small portable lights that are distributed to residents for indoor and outdoor use, and educational and artistic workshops and community gatherings and events.
Project kicked off August 28, 2020.