• Development project in the old souk of Jounieh
The APSAD Kesrwan_Jbeil sub-committee is collaborating since 2001 with the municipal council, local institutions and the inhabitants in order to protect the historical old residences of the region, to preserve and re-valorize the old souk, and to ensure an economical, social and cultural development in the area. Thanks to our activities in the region, the municipal council issued a number of decisions like: prohibiting the destruction of historical old residences, regulating all restoration operations, and controlling construction licenses by taking into consideration the establishment of a coherent urban planing and the existence of historical old buildings. The APSAD Kesrwan_Jbeil sub-committee is organizing since three years different cultural, artistic, touristic and commercial activities in the old souk, which is being transformed into a pedestrian street every night during the festival. Our action ensured a large number of visitors and a considerable media cover. Also we established a common pedestrian public space which gives the opportunity for people to gather within a marvelous historical area, proceeded to the painting and cleaning of all frontages of the souk, and guaranteed the promotion of Jounieh in order to become the capital of modern art. This activity includes the encouragement of the Lebanese musicians and artists, and led to a very enriching collaboration with the town council, etc.

This development project helped to start the restoration works, in which the APSAD took an active part, and stimulated the inhabitants' interest. Also it ensured a palpable improvement in the cultural and economical sectors, and in the heritage conservation field.

  • Tourist Information and Reception center for the region of Kesrwan, Jbeil and Batroun
The APSAD Kesrwan_Jbeil sub committee is collaborating with the municipal council of Jbeil, the DGA, and "projects MED'ACT" in order to establish the tourist information and reception center for the area. APSAD restored the old historical residence that will accommodate the center. This Center will offer a complete tourist service: information, promotion, marketing and reservation for tourists in Lebanon. Its mission is to receive, inform and guide tourists, to coordinate and market the various types of products and tourist services in the region. The consumer will be directed by the center and will have then an easy access to different services. The Center will be promoting the area and will represent an agent of development.

  • Development and rehabilitation project in Salima village
The conservation state of Salima and the quality of its architectural landscape were considered to be exceptional enough to initiate a safeguarding project. To avoid a massive and anarchistic rebuilding, APSAD, and a team of Lebanese architects and teachers and French association Patrimoine Sans Frontiéres have narrowly collaborated for 2 years with the inhabitants of Salima within the framework of a study on the heritage and environment protection.

This project aims to valorize the architectural and natural heritage as well as the assets and qualities of the village, to ensure a technical assistance and orientation of choices in the rebuilding operation in order to preserve the specific qualities of the Lebanese architecture in the region and to create a long-lasting economical development that meets the local population needs. It also seeks to ensure a re-negotiation and a social cohesion that facilitates the return of all inhabitants to their village.

Mobilized by APSAD, the ministry of culture ensured a technical assistance and classified 70 residences (indexed by APSAD team) as historical houses, the ministry of refugees granted a financial and technical assistance to the project. We also financed and collaborated technically to the establishment of a master town planning by the DGU and revised all restoration plans and guided the inhabitants in the conservation of their historical houses. In order to help the inhabitants in the rehabilitation procedure, APSAD established a partnership with 14 Lebanese companies to grant necessary material for restoration at cost or at a cut price, and a follow-up procedure for construction permits in collaboration with the Ministry of public works. Many meetings were held with the inhabitants of Salima in order to coordinate all efforts and discuss the project and the future of the village.

We organized two workshops in the village during 2002 and 2003 with the participation of students in architecture from Lebanese and French universities. The goal of these workshops was to collect data, to initiate with and between all local communities a serene debate, the organization of cultural and artistic activities for all inhabitants, and to coordinate conferences on the heritage and environment topics.

Four fountains were rehabilitated in the village during the year 2003 in order to create a public space that will gather again all inhabitants; the fountain was selected because it represents a symbol of life and renewal, a source of a new departure for the region.

This project generated a true activity in the village, more than 500 visitors and participants gathered in salima during two years, it ensured an economical and cultural activity, facilitated the social cohesion and allowed the protection and the safeguard of the built and natural heritage.

This architectural, cultural and social project, was a success on several levels. The French - Lebanese collaboration was enriching and the work shared by the inhabitants of the village and outside contributors created new horizons. All parties engaged in this event (public administration, French and Lebanese associations, citizens...) are trying to provide all necessary support in order to assure the success of this multi-field project. This experience can lead to the establishment of a genuine operational network that will extend the cultural, social and architectural heritage safeguard field to other Lebanese geographical sectors.