News Reviving Tripoli’s woodcraft by supporting Beirut blast victims

October 30, 2020by Bechara Chemaly

More than 50 days after the devastating blast that decimated Lebanon’s capital on August 4th, 2020, Beirut is still aching.

Streets and homes in affected areas sustained major damage, much of which is still visible today. Hundreds of homes were destroyed and 300,000 families were left homeless and needed to relocate for shelter, according to a press statement by Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud, while others had to vacate their homes in fear for their safety when their doors and windows were destroyed.

As a notable emergency response, Minjara curated the perfect sustainable project to support Tripoli carpenters and help out those affected by the blast. Throughout our initiative, we were able to offer some security to many families who lived through the horror of the blast and the fear of almost losing their lives and homes.

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Who is Minjara?

Minjara is a local initiative funded and supported by the European Union (EU), and implemented under the watchful eyes and careful instructions of Expertise France in collaboration with the Association of Lebanese Industrialists.

How did we respond to the blast?

In the aftermath of the devastating Beirut blast, Minjara partnered with organizations working on ground, including Renovate Beirut and Ma’an Lubnan, to offer relief to blast victims. Our project looked to offer assessment of affected homes, repair of broken doors, providing of replacement doors, dismantling and installation of fixed and temporary doors, and transportation, quality control, and follow-ups. Our plan was immediately set in action, with over 40 craftsmen on the team.

The operations for the response plan were well-thought and carefully calculated, utilizing the Minjara shuttle, a unique service launched after the blast, and an efficient replace-and-repair process.

Since launching this emergency response, more than 166 doors have been repaired to date, thus benefiting more than 65 houses. Our initiative targeted all affected areas and responded to all requests, trying to help out as many homes as possible. Almost two months after the blast, Minjara is still in action, facilitating the EU’s goal in rebuilding Beirut and helping it rise from the ashes. We’re still receiving requests for aid and will be expanding our operations to include all sorts of furniture for homes and other personal and commercial spaces as well.

 How does this support the Tripoli carpenters?

Upon establishing the positive impact that Minjara has left on many affected homes in Beirut, it is important to note how we also benefit the hardworking carpenters.

Minjara gives the talented carpenters of Tripoli a job opportunity at a time when the once-popular woodcraft heritage has vanished from the city. We help them secure an income to support their homes and families amid one of the worst economic crises to hit Lebanon in decades, and relieve them from part of production costs. Minjara and funding partners cover some costs of the process such as electricity, essential equipment or machinery additionally to a favorable work location. All these means are mobilized to help make the work of the craftsmen easier, more efficient, and more affordable.

As a result, the doors are fixed at a reasonable price for affected homes while preserving high quality, and the carpenters make an income during these troubling times.

Why is this initiative important?

At a time of slow rehabilitation and approaching winter after the blast, citizens were left to fend for themselves. Minjara offered a much-needed plan of action to contribute to rebuilding Beirut after it was brought down to its knees for the 8th time.

With every repaired door, Minjara brought back a sense of security and a slight hope that maybe Lebanon’s future is not so bleak, at least not in the presence of initiatives who work for the public good and have the country’s best interest at heart.



Rachid Karami International Fair-Tripoli-Lebanon
Minjara team: +961 81 05 01 13

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