Voxnox x Forgotten Faces - Hostel Beirut
There has never been a more important need for safe and inclusive spaces in Beirut.
A victim of corrupt politicians and geopolitical warfare, Lebanon has long suffered from a series of compounded political, economic, health, and social crises that tarnished the basic foundations of the country and made daily life increasingly difficult.
More recently, a financial and economic crisis that induced systemic financial failures including the impairment of the banking sector, an exchange rate collapse, triple digits inflation rates, and a severe economic contraction, pushed people to a situation of extreme hardship. The situation got even worse with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the most vulnerable people across the country suffered gravely.
The Beirut Blast on August 4, 2020, rocked the city past its threshold. Destroying homes and neighborhoods within the vicinity of the port, the capital left many stranded, homeless, or suffering physically, financially, and psychologically.
Today, fuel shortage, food and water scarcity, weak or even unavailable health care services, and limited livelihood and resources have cast Lebanon into its darkest state… and there are no potential solutions on the horizon.
Nestled in a small, quiet street in Geitwai, the charming building of the well-known Hostel Beirut suffered much damage from the blast. Since 2014, Hostel Beirut had been welcoming visitors from all over the world to a space that was about so much more than just accommodation. Following the blast, the management team faced too many challenges and limitations and decided to close the doors and stop operations of Hostel Beirut.
Today, we are happy to share with you a vision to bring back Hostel Beirut and open its doors to those who need it.
As part of a growing movement to reclaim spaces for local residents, instead of real estate moguls, and build solidarity economies amid a crumbling situation, a team of Lebanese activists wants to reopen the hostel based on a worker-owned cooperative model.
The goal is to breathe new life into the Hostel Beirut community and sustain its revival. With plans anchored in building a sustainable economic solidarity model that reclaims our power of labor and production, we hope to bring together a community of self-sustainability and mutual support – everyone working at the hostel will benefit from working there.
The funds collected will go to rebuilding Hostel Beirut and creating a comfortable space to breathe amid the suffocating reality of the city.