Hariri Foundation established the Saida Cultural Center, also known as “Al Markaz Al Thakafi,” is a nationally renowned center that played a significant role during the civil war and post-conflict unrest in Lebanon, serving as a breakthrough for the national and local community in reinforcing a unified national cultural identity. The center’s main aim was to counter hate speech through promoting sociocultural dialogue and reconciling citizens with their cultural diversity. Through the center, Hariri Foundation offered programs of training and engagement on literature writing, arts, poetry, and performance while housing a library for books, gazettes, and articles written and discussed throughout public sessions. Cultural works produced in collaboration with cultural and artistic stakeholders were on display through permanent and temporary exhibitions held at the center.
The Saida Cultural Center also hosted international and Arab experts and artists through symposiums and meet-and-greet events, organized international and local conferences that engaged elites and community members in sociocultural dialogue. The center’s components, events and mechanisms were later relocated into Saida’s Historic District and integrated into the foundation’s development center of Khan El Franj.