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Expo 2020 Dubai: Lebanon pavilion tells the story of a resilient country

anjana@khaleejtimes.com Filed on October 4, 2021

(Supplied photo)

The highlight is the dozens of swings that urge visitors to 'fly above Lebanon’ and enjoy drone shots of the country's beautiful landscape

Lebanon might be reeling under a calamitous economic collapse that has pushed 80 per cent of its people to poverty. But the indomitable spirit of Lebanon and its people is what the country is portraying at its Expo 2020 pavilion.

“We are located at Opportunity District. For us, 'opportunity' means our people. That is what we are counting on. So, together we walk and we hope for a better tomorrow,” said Elie Al Khoury, communications manager of the pavilion.

Under the theme ‘Together, we walk’, the pavilion seems to celebrate the only resource Lebanon has – its resource, Khoury told Khaleej Times.

“We came up with an idea to create or to highlight the Lebanese innovation. And Lebanese innovations work by standing together. That is what we are good at,” he said.

The Lebanon pavilion wants the world to see Lebanon and the potential of its people.

"We want people to invest in Lebanon; we want companies to hire Lebanese people wherever they are. This pavilion is all about that,” Khoury said.

The modest pavilion, with a grey exterior, is reflective of the financial crisis the country is going through, but the exhibits inside tells the story of a resilient Lebanon. The pavilion has brought together some of the best Lebanese artists and designers who are exhibiting their creativity.

Khoury said they put together a pavilion in a few months after the UAE generously donated the structure.

“When the economic crisis worsened, our participation at the Expo was uncertain. But the private sector came together and designed and funded the participation. When a world fair is happening, we could not imagine not having a presence here,” he said.

When you enter the pavilion, the first hall has nine huge screens that offer an immersive experience of the Levant nation. Each screen beams images of its geographic diversity, its fashion and party scene, and arts and crafts.

In the second space, ceramic works of renowned artists are displayed.

The highlight of the pavilion is the dozens of swings that urge visitors to 'fly above Lebanon’ and enjoy drone shots of the country's beautiful landscape.

“Sitting on a swing will also remind you of your childhood. You forget your worries and soak in the views,” said Khoury.

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Architect Rudy Faysal designed the swings to represent the constant movement of Lebanese people and how they stand out.

Three statues outside the pavilion, Khoury said, are also symbolic of how people of Lebanon will come together and stand together for each other.

“In the coming days, you will see more statues filling out this space sending out the message that we stand together,” he added.

author

Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist chasing global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported from the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has extensively written on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From interviewing Daesh militants to embedding with the UAE army in Yemen, and covering earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has come out scathe-free from the most dangerous conflict zones of the world. Riding on over 14 years of experience, Anjana currently is an Assistant Editor with Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often speaks about women empowerment on her Facebook page that has 40,000 plus followers.





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