Sunday, June 18, 2006

Another Sibling: Beirut!

Over at the LAist last night, Tony Pierce posts a list of Los Angeles' Sister Cities. This list is almost complete, except that Beirut, Lebanon is just about to be a Sister City, too. In fact, from June 29th to July 3rd, Councilmen Dennis Zine & Eric Garcetti will lead a L.A. City delegation to the Middle Eastern city once hailed as the "Paris of the Middle East" to secure the agreement needed to make the Sister City relationship official.

Originally put forth in 2005, the idea to form this Sister City relationship came from Councilman Zine, who is of Lebanese decent, because (as he wrote in his motion):
"Beirut shares many common characteristics with Los Angeles, including its diversity and tolerance for all groups, its great destination as a tourist attraction, its topography and geography with a beautiful rocky coastline, sandy beaches, mountains, rivers, and a climate similar to Los Angeles. These common attributes as well as a rich historic and cultural heritage, make it appropriate to consider making Beirut, Lebanon a sister city to Los Angeles. "

There is an official process to become a Sister City to Los Angeles and Beirut has only two steps to go; it should be official by the end of the summer if the City Council decides to take action on it.

The Steering Committee has set up a site to start to promote the Los Angeles-Beirut relationship. They have already had one official event, and I suspect more are on the way.

I guess the next logical question is: When will the new sign be added to the City's international sign post at 1st and Main Streets? Will the new City be adopted in time for the annual Sister City Festival?

Image above from Public Art in L.A.. Note: This is the second version of this pole sign. Originally, the countries were also listed, but due to issues related to Taipei, Taiwan vs. China.

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