Lebanon is to have its first company dedicated soley to providing a bicycle messenger service, set to open in mid-September in the busy streets of Beirut, according to news outlet, Daily Star Lebanon.
“Deghri Messengers” aim to deliver packages by bicycle, as fast and efficiently as possible. The Arabic word “deghri,” means straightaway, underlying the company’s aim; to deliver goods in a timely manner.
Deghri Messengers was created by cycling enthusiasts Matt Saunders and Karim Sokhn. Brtish-born Saunders has previous experience as a bike messenger in Switzerland and predicted that his new venture would be successful due to Beirut’s heavy traffic.
“You know what the traffic is like here” he told Daily Star Lebanon. “That’s a [necessary] condition for a bike messenger service to be really successful.”
The number of messenger services has ben has been dwindling in cities like New York and London, but in places like Bangkok, Mexico City the service has been popping up, Saunders added.
“I think it has to do with the traffic getting worse in these places, and their economies are growing in a way that the infrastructure of the city is hard to keep up with, which bike messengers can really exploit,” he said.
He stated that while messengers abroad do not receive the benefits of a normal job, being freelancers, at Deghri, messengers work on a substantial commission.
The company also enforces strict safety regulations, added Mohommad Cheblak, a bike messenger with the service. The service has made helmets and bicycle lights obligatory for all its employees.
“We’re not being naive or ignorant about the risks we might face because we’ve been on the road for a long time,” Cheblak stressed to the Daily Star.
“I heard about cycling messengers a long time ago and had dreams of doing it because you have your passion, you can extend it, and messengers have a kind of freedom; you’re kind of your own boss. You’re also doing something that you love, and it’s beneficial for the community that you live in,” Cheblak added.