El Mina is a peninsula looking over the Mediterranean Sea. It occupies a total surface of 3.5 km2. El Mina means Port in Arabic. It is located 3 Km from Tripoli (the capital of North Lebanon) and 80 Km from the Capital Beirut. It is considered one of the main coastal cities in Lebanon (Tyre, Sidon, Beirut and Byblos). Population is estimated 60.000. Around 40% live in the old town. Religions: Sunni Moslems, Greek Orthodox, Maronites, and Armenians.
There are a number of historical towers, khans, mosques and churches that go back to the different epochs that ruled Lebanon. Unfortunately, during the civil war, some of these monuments were the victim of negligence.
One of the historical places that have been badly damaged is Khan Al Tamasylee. It was built by the Mamalik during the 14th century. It was initially used as a residence for the travellers and the negotiators. Today the building is in bad shape because it is occupied by immigrants and suffers from the lack of renovation although it is of great architectural value. The Khan consists of one floor that combines thirty rooms. The decorations of the interior yard are still intact and the main wooden gate is reinforced by metal nails. The Khan is a basic element of El Mina's national heritage.
Economic, Social and Touristic Profile
It is estimated that the local economy highly depends on business and services (71%) and on industry (29%). Fishermen still populate the majority of the old part (especially the eastern district). It is estimated that fishing provides the basis of living for some 400 households. However, and after the World Bank and EU interventions in the last 2 years, tourism has enormously improved especially after turning the Old Souk into a pedestrian area. The renovation of the facades in the historic style and other improvements in addition to the improvement of pavements and lightenings have created a great potential for touristic growth.
El Mina has not yet adopted a Strategic Plan. However, the city is also involved in another STREAM Med-Pact project which will eventually assist the MC in forming a Strategic Plan for the City. The project will end in 2009.
Departments involved in Archimedes Project
Municipal Tourism Committee: They will participate in the planning and implementation phase
Municipal Cultural Committee: They will participate in the planning and implementation phase
Municipal Restoration Committee (Architects and Urban planners, university professors who are experts in restoration of old buildings): They will participate in the planning and implementation phase.
ABAAD Association: A professional NGO that is supporting development plans of El Mina City
Legal Representative for Archimedes project
Abdul Kader Alameddine, Mayor
Dr. Samer Annous