Activists, artists as well as IT experts from around the world came together in Beirut, Lebanon on Friday to celebrate the freedom of music, social media and internet.
It was the second time for the the three-day event, Share Beirut, according to Lebanon’s Daily Star.
The event is expected to attract an estimated 1,700 participants to experience the list of events prepared. A number of activities such as lectures, workshops, discussions, concerts, DJ acts and exhibitions are available for the participants, according to the event’s website. Prominent Arab bloggers from around the region will also be hosting discussions.
Share Beirut was first celebrated last year in Serbia and was organized by activists who said they believed NGOs had become too detached, according to Daily Star. The group has chosen Beirut to celebrate the event this year because they see its underground music scene as depicting freedom of expression.
“This is a special place,” said Vladan Jolen, who – along with two other Share organizers – answered questions about the event at the Lebanon Press Club in Furn al-Shubbak.
“There are different underground cultures, and there’s a high level of freedom of speech and expression that allows this event to happen,” he told the Daily Star.
Jolen described Share as a “strange event” as that will explore Internet culture through planned-out artistic activities
“We’re trying to protect the Internet for open communication,” Jolen said.
Organizers say they weren’t hesitant to set the event in Beirut amidst the regional unrest.
The event will take place in various places across the capital: Solea V in Sin al-Fil, Yukukun in Gemmayzeh, the DRM, Metro al-Madina and Alt City in Hamra, and EM Chill and Radio Beirut in Mar Mikhael.
Viewing of independent short films, performances from an improv group from New York, talks by local Lebanese leaders of the Internet community, and a designer from Facebook is also set to take place according to Share Beirut’s website.