We Love Tripoli (WLT) is a Lebanese youth-led organisation promoting cultural, social and environmental activism in Tripoli, Lebanon. WLT is the pioneer of the worldwide “We Love” movement created by civil society activists to serve their cities through volunteering, advocacy and media campaigns. WLT started as an online Facebook community in 2007. It was launched by youth who wanted to change Tripoli’s image as a city prone to violence and extremism. 2009 the initiative was registered as an NGO. By 2015, their Facebook page had become the largest online community for Tripoli. Their office is located in a small alleyway next to the Mina in Tripoli.
Mission and activities
The organisation aims to improve the image of Tripoli, preserve its heritage and provide capacity building for young people by hosting workshops and events. WLT refrains from pursuing a political or religious agenda. All members work on a voluntary basis and act jointly regardless of their race, confession or political attitude.
Since 2009, the group has become known to host regular weekend photo shooting excursions under the title “Shoot as you walk”. Participants can take pictures of the city’s hidden treasures and post them online in order to show the beauty of Tripoli.
Their Cinema Club “Watch and Chat” provides a platform to meet, watch and discuss movies from all over the world, making foreign arts and cultures more accessible for their community. Following two disastrous bombings in Tripoli on the 23rd of August 2013, WLT mounted the “LabbaynanNida” (“We answered the call”) initiative to honour those who volunteered to reconstruct the sites of the attacks. By making their voices heard through the production of an amateur operetta, non-violent positions were strengthened.
Beyond those projects, WLT offers regular workshops and trainings on topics such as recycling, filmmaking, photography or management.
Cooperation with forumZFD
In 2013, within the scope of the forumZFD project “Let´s get trained 2013”, WLT staff received training on sustainable planning and the application of methods of conflict transformation to enhance the organisation’s capacity. In 2017, forumZFD launched the Future Together Now! II project within the programme area Community Mobilising, partnering with WLT and four other Lebanese civil society organisations. They jointly work on the training of three WLT community activists and the development of knowledge management within all involved organisations The project aims at fostering dialogue between different communities within Lebanon and addressing root causes of violence. They further aim to institutionalise and continue the strategic development of the community mobilising approach in the regional context. Local community initiatives are established and reinforced by social actors in the conflicted area in order for them to take responsibility for and ownership of assessing and addressing their own needs and conflicts.