If you’ve flown into Lebanon recently, you’ve probably noticed the colorful “Ouzville” that greets the eyes as the plane lands.
But it wasn’t always this way; long before Ouzville came to be, it was the underprivileged and neglected neighborhood of the district, where color was all but absent. That was until Ouzai-native Ayad Nasser decided to take matters into his own hands, leaving everything behind to achieve his goal of “giving back to our paradise Lebanon and saving the planet.”
Having suffered hardships throughout his childhood, like many other Lebanese kids, Nasser steered towards success, working tirelessly to make a name for himself in the real estate business.
In life you should accept losing to be able to succeed.
Following years of hard work reviving neglected homes in France, he came back to Lebanon to restore the lands deemed to be the most undesirable. This experience made Nasser appreciate the level of neglect towards the preservation and protection of the environment.
We are the reason behind the corruption.
When the waste crisis arose, Nasser chose to lead by example and make a change. In 2016, he called out to world-renowned artists to join him in repainting Ouzai, the run-down neighborhood near the airport, and when no one dared to help or even visit the place, he took on the task himself to transform it into what it is today, a sustainable environment, through art, cleaning, responsible tourism and, most importantly, social cohesion.
I want everyone to teach our children to become good citizens: to love, clean, fix, beautify, and respect Lebanon and each other. I want all of us to unite as Lebanese citizens once and for all right now, not tomorrow.
Text: Pia Abboud