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How formerly embattled Tripoli neighbors are now struggling together

Several NGOs and local government are helping residents in two Tripoli neighborhoods to overcome years of animosity and hostilities between them, and progress has been made, but more governmental assistance is needed to pull them out of crisis.

TRIPOLI, Lebanon — In the final weeks of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, more than 100 people gathered on May 25 for iftar (the breaking of the fast) in Tabbaneh Park, one of the only green spaces in the Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood of Tripoli. The meal was the third of its kind organized for residents of Sunni-majority Bab al-Tabbaneh and neighboring majority-Alawite Jabal Mohsen, two districts that engaged in deadly on again, off again violence from 2008 to 2015. The two communities coming together for iftar is a testament to the progress that has taken place in the area over the last four years.

“The annual iftar is an example where Tabbaneh Park hosts people from diverse backgrounds,” said Mohamad Minkara, deputy director of the Lebanese Center for Research and Studies, which helped organize the event, held in conjunction with the Tripoli municipality and others. “People’s hope for a peaceful life and coexistence with diversity has never been destroyed.”

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