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A Chat with Nebih

In our series of longer conversations with specific experts - here is another, who can easily be referred to as a specialist of the neighbourhood. In his own words, Nebih is a member of nearly all local associations in Petit-saconnex, barring the football club (for now).

He speaks of his connections with the neighbourhood thanks to his father bringing him to the mosque located here, that is an intrinsic part of its fabric. The connection continues across another generation - through his children. Such an inter-generational heritage is special, as the accumulation of memories across time creates layered attachments.. Every generation creates its own meaning - its own special way of creating a neighbourhood.

Nebih's conversation shows us how diversity is intrinsic to a neighbourhood. And for him, the most important element of such diversity is the voice of the next generation. He emphasizes the importance of representing their voices in local ongoing meetings. Such meetings are of course, an important endeavour on their own terms, but need to consciously give the opinions of children their rightful place. They are the ones who will inhabit and inherit it - and while doing so, infuse new meanings.

His children were the ones that introduced Nebih to the forest - a place that lit up their imagination and infected him too. The children built their own camp there and called it 'the base'. And the 'base' it seems to have indeed become. A small centre of gravity that attracts everyone to it, even seeming to pull in the imagination of the emerging urban program of the IFRC park project as well! A new sacred space that the neighbourhood has come to cherish, with its own set of diverse users and passers by - but none as enthusiastic as the younger ones!

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